Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon

by Catherine Thimmesh

Hardcover, 2006



Local notes

629.454 Thi




Houghton Mifflin Company (2006), Edition: 1st, 80 pages


Culled from direct quotes from the people behind the scenes, NASA transcripts, national archives and NASA photos, the whole story of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing emerges.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

80 p.; 10 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member KelliSingleton
Team Moon is a Historic nonfiction book written by Catherine Thimmesh. It is about the Apollo 11 flight to the moon and back. It also talks about many of the “challenges” that they faced. The book begins by telling you everything that it took to make the space craft. The Apollo 11 had a
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nickname, The Eagle. Neil Armstrong and Buzz were the first men to walk on the moon in 1969. During their trip to the moon they had some MAJOR problems; they didn’t know if they would make it home alive. Steven Bales, the mission controller for guidance and navigation did a wonderful job at helping them with their first major problem, “challenge one”. The book also takes you through the countdown of the miles they have left until the reach the moon. The flight direction of “the eagle” was Gene Kranz. Running out of fuel was a main concern to them. They finally arrived back home eight days later.

I would recommend this book to a high school science class. There are several activities that you could teach your students. This book would be great when teaching the solar system. It would also be a great history lesson as well. You could make your students do research and do a time line of the eight days that they were in space.

This book was ok. It taught me a lot that I did not know about the flight to space and back. At first I thought it wasn’t going to be interesting until I kept reading. While reading I would get nervous when I would read about the “challenges” that they faced. I would never be able to do that; I would have a heart attack. But overall, it is a great book for teaching about the Apollo 11.
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LibraryThing member KarenBall
A great read right now, since our final shuttle mission lifted off July 8th. When most people think of the original moon landing, they think of Neil Armstong and his famous quote as he stepped onto the surface of the moon for the first time: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." But
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who worked to get the three astronauts there, and how did they do it? Team Moon is the fascinating story of so many different little-known parts of the Apollo missions: the computer programmers and mathemeticians, who worked to foresee and solve problems ahead of time, and to solve the ones no one could foresee as they came up during the mission. Check out the photos of the computers they had to work with, and you'll start to understand why they chose to work with paper and pencil sometimes! There were several hundred testers and seamstresses who worked on developing the right combinations of fabrics and materials for the spacesuits to protect the astronauts. The engineers and chemists who worked on the fuel and engines for the rocket and vehicle design were an integral part of the mission also. There were photographers who trained the astronauts to use the movie and still cameras to capture the first steps on the moon, and there were those who designed the parachutes and those who went out to rescue the astronauts once they landed safely back in the ocean. The photos and layout of this book are outstanding, and it is a fantastic choice for everyone!
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LibraryThing member edspicer
When I was a student, my vision of science was centered on amazing individuals like Albert Einstein and Marie Curie. I read everything I could about George Washington Carver and there was a time I said that I wanted to be Thomas Edison when I grew up. In my mind science required a genius. As I
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teach, I recognize more and more the essential need for a group approach to science. No longer does science insist on genius; far more essential is the hard work and team efforts of people putting in that sweat equity. Team Moon shows this in a gorgeous book that reads like a thriller. Mere seconds were the difference between Apollo 11 landing on the moon and changing the national psyche and failure, which has consequences we may only know in our imaginations. The Apollo landing is a massive scientific project involving around 400,000 people, some smarter than others, but all cooperating and reaching for a shared goal. This is a more accurate picture of the scientific community on a day-to-day basis. We all want to find that next Einstein. Even if we do find her, however, science requires each of us to work hard and do our part. This book is beautifully bound and produced. The photos are stunning. The references are complete. Team Moon is this year’s Sibert award winner and it is well deserved. A must buy for every library in the country!
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LibraryThing member jeriannthacker
Story of the Apollo moon landing. Interesting, a little wordy at times, cool pictures.
LibraryThing member jessicacl
I learned so much about Apollo 11 in this informational book. The pictures are also fantasic. It gives students the opportunity to see and read about the steps of making Apollo 11 to it landing on the moon. It also gave my students the insight of what and how many people played a role in this
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wonderful time in history.
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LibraryThing member michelleramos
This book is a very detailed look at all of the people that were involved in the extensive process of having a man land on the moon. Of course there were many people involved, but I had no idea that there were close to 400,000. This book is written very kid friendly, other than the many lists of
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accronyms, names, and codes.
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LibraryThing member mickmyster13
I wish I would have found this book two weeks earlier. We just read about Mea Jemison in our houghton mifflin books and the class had so many questions about planets and space shuttles. There were some great pictures and pages I could have shared if there wasn't enough time to read the entire book.
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This also gives a great view of just how many people really were involved in apollo 11, many others besides astronauts are involved.
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LibraryThing member BrennaSheridan
A really interesting book about the Apollo team reaching the moon. This book gives tons of information about all of the astronauts on board and NASA in general. It also touches the political impact this endeavor held for our country, and our world. Full of beautiful photographs, this is a great
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book for all ages.
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LibraryThing member mmpvppl
Really cool story about the building of Apollo 11. I had no idea how much is involved in building, launching, and bringing home a space shuttle.
LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
This beautiful book gives a play-by-play of the first moon landing with Apollo 11. We've all heard of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. Maybe we've also heard of Michael Collins (the third member of the crew, who flew the ship but did not walk on the moon). But did you have any idea that there were
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400,000 other people behind the scenes of the first moon landing? I didn't.

Team Moon goes into detail about problems that the astronauts encountered on their trip and the people who rushed to solve them. It includes information about engineers who had to quickly determine why alarms kept going off in the ship and whether they should abort the moon landing, the people who kept the Australian satellite dish steady through high winds so that the images would reach the public on TV, and many others. Information is also provided about the people who worked developing equipment that would help the astronauts. It tells about the seamstresses that helped put together the space suits, the space suit tester, the people who invented the lunar module (the part of the ship that actually touched down on the moon).

This book is packed full of information, but short chapters and stunning photos (complete with captions) make it a delight to take in. Very cool book.
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LibraryThing member mkschoen
I found this very hard to read. Layout was confusing, I was never really clear what we were talking about or where I was supposed to look on a page. And many pages had white text on grey backgrounds, which I found extremely difficult to read. Switched back and forth betwwen narrator and quotations,
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but was unclear which was the main text.
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LibraryThing member newanddifferent
Loved this one! The well-written, snappy prose, paired with excellent and relevant photos, tells an engaging story of the Apollo 11 mission as a whole, from dreams to design to success. Provides excellent back matter with related information, resources, and avenues for further exploration.
LibraryThing member pjw1173
This is a book that I can see me putting in my classroom library. I have Moon Shot currently and I have seen students spending days admiring each and every non fictional picture and chart. This book contains both informational text and photos that tell the story of how the Apollo 11 mission became
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a reality.
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LibraryThing member KylieNelson
Filled with fun facts this books walks the world through all the preparation it took to get Apollo 11 on the moon, introduces readers to teams and people that were needed to make the goal, and what NASA had to do even after Apollo landed back to earth safely. I like this book because it adds to the
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many thoughts and perspectives that it took to get one space ship to the moon and what it took to get them back safely, it lets kids not just see this experience from the astronauts views but others involved. I recommend this book for children 10 and up.
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LibraryThing member debnance
President John F. Kennedy set the goal: put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. America met the goal. But it was with the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people that this goal was met. Team Moon looks behind the act of a man walking on the moon to the work of all the people who got him
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there and then got him safely back home.
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LibraryThing member MaowangVater
It’s July 1969, moments after the Lunar Module Eagle had separated from the Command Module Columbia, and 33, 500 feet above the surface of the moon. The Eagle is just beginning its decent.

"Suddenly, the master alarm in the lunar module rang out for attention with all the racket of a fire bell
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going off in a broom closet. “Program alarm,” astronaut Neil Armstrong called from the LM (‘LEM’) in a clipped but calm voice. “It’s a twelve-oh-two.”

Translation: We have a problem! What is it? Do we land? Do we abort? Are we in danger? Are we blowing up? Tell us what to do. Hurry!"

The speech for President Nixon to deliver in the event the astronauts died on the moon had already been written. Fortunately, other back-up plans were in place. Back on earth at mission control in Houston, the Flight Controller looked to mission controller for guidance and navigation, who intern was in touch with the computer programmer in the back room, meanwhile the Capsule Communicator (CapCom) recalled a similar alarm in a simulated training mission. The LM’s computer was momentarily too busy. Twenty seconds from the call from Eagle the CapCom relayed the message to proceed with the landing as long as the alarm was not constant. Eleven minutes later Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land a spacecraft on the moon.

The subtitle says it all, 400,000 people were working with the astronauts, everyone in Mission Control, the engineers working for the contractors that built the Eagle, the Columbia and the parachute system that would return them to earth, the computer programmers, the seamstresses who sewed the spacesuits for the moonwalk, and the radio telescope operators in Australia battling 70 mile an hour winds to capture the television signal and transmit it to an anxious planet.

Thimmesh has carefully selected stories of people behind the headlines and presented them in a marvelously illustrated chronicle of the near-crisis by near-crisis events from lift off to splash down during the first moon landing. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association awarded the author the 2007 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal for the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year.
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LibraryThing member charlottestudent
A great book for discussing space travel, history, and all of the ordinary people who did extraordinary things to make the moon landing possible. I can see middle schoolers really absorbed in this story. I would definitely have it in my classroom library.






(76 ratings; 4.2)
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