To a rocky moon : a geologist's history of lunar exploration / Don E. Wilhelms. Wilhelms, Don E., author.
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, [1993?]
xx, 477 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
When human exploration of the lunar surface began in 1969, it marked not only an unprecedented technological achievement but also the culmination of scientific efforts to understand lunar geology. Memoirs of the Apollo astronauts have preserved the exploratory aspects of these missions; now a geologist who was an active participant in the lunar program offers a detailed historical view of those events - including the pre-Apollo era - from a heretofore untold scientific perspective.
It was the responsibility of the scientific team of which Don Wilhelms was a member to assemble an overall picture of the Moon's structure and history in order to recommend where on the lunar surface fieldwork should be conducted and samples collected. His book relates the site-selection process in detail, and draws in concomitant events concerning mission operations to show how they affected the course of the scientific program. While discussing all six landings in detail, it tells the behind-the-scenes story of telescopic and spacecraft investigations before, during, and after the manned landings. Intended for anyone interested in the space program, the history of science, or the application of geology to planetology, To a Rocky Moon will leave all readers with a better idea of what the Moon is really like. In so expertly summarizing this earlier phase of exploration, it stands as an authoritative touchstone for those involved in the next.