Apollo in Perspective: Spaceflight Then and Now, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Apollo in Perspective

Spaceflight Then and Now, 2nd Edition

By Jonathan Allday

CRC Press

230 pages | 158 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367263331
pub: 2019-07-25
Available for pre-order
Hardback: 9780367263355
pub: 2019-07-25
Available for pre-order

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This special edition of Apollo in Perspective marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969. Updated and revised throughout, it takes a retrospective look at the Apollo space program and the technology that was used to land a man on the Moon. In addition there is a new chapter looking forward to the future of contemporary spaceflight in returning to the Moon (project Artemis) and going on to Mars.

Using simple illustrations and school-level mathematics, it explains the basic physics and technology of spaceflight, from how rockets work to the dynamics of orbits and how to simulate gravity in a rotating spacecraft. A mathematical appendix shows how some of the formulas can be derived.

This is an excellent introduction to astronautics for anyone interested in space and spaceflight.


  • Accessible, written in a friendly and informal style
  • Contains real world examples
  • Updated throughout, with new chapters on the Apollo missions and the immediate future of human spaceflight

From the Foreword:

"I am sure there is a woman or a man alive today who will land on the Moon and on Mars. This book will certainly help them be ready for such a journey. Most importantly, it explains not only what happened fifty years ago, but how the Apollo missions happened, and the science that is required to do it again, or to go further, to Mars. If the reader is younger, still in school and perhaps considering the sciences, this book will introduce ideas that will help you choose the subjects to study which can help you to make your space travel a reality. For others, the book will be an exciting and thought provoking read that gives a vision of the near future in space, which all of us on planet Earth will be able to enjoy as the adventure unfolds."

Michael Foale, CBE, former-NASA astronaut


Praise for the first edition:

"An ideal summary of NASA's Apollo program and a good spaceflight primer. Highly recommended."

W.E.Howard III, Universities Space Research Association

"… a book which should fascinate and stimulate the next generation of physics students. Written with an almost naive simplicity, yet backed up at every stage with an explanation of the basic physics and technology, Allday examines not only how NASA reached the Moon in 1969, but the viability of all the subsequent proposals for continuing the journey on to Mars and beyond. He explains with startling clarity that manned bases on Mars, which has a similar day/night cycle to Earth's, are much more practical than on the Moon."

Astronomy Now

"Written in a friendly and informal style, this very readable book will serve as an excellent introduction to astronautics for teenagers/school students interested in space, science teachers, and general science readers. All school libraries should have a copy of this book."


"… all handled very nicely and the text is spiced with real-world examples and illustrated with clear diagrams and black-and-white photos."

Earth Space Review

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Apollo in Outline

Chapter 2. The Best Drivers in Physics

Chapter 3. Rocketry

Interlude 1. The Saturn v Booster Rocket

Chapter 4. Orbits and Trajectories

Interlude 2. From Mercury to Gemini

Chapter 5. The Apollo Command and Service Modules

Interlude 3. Inertial Guidance and Service Modules

Chapter 6. The Lunar Module

Interlude 4. The Three 'Ings

Chapter 7. The Missions

Chapter 8. The Space Shuttle

Interlude 5. The International Space Station

Chapter 9. Moon to Mars

About the Author

Jonathan Allday teaches physics at Woodhouse Grove School where he is also Director of Digital Strategy.

After taking his first degree in physics at Cambridge, he moved to Liverpool University where he gained a PhD in particle physics in 1989. While carrying out his research, he joined with a group of academics and teachers working on an optional syllabus to be incorporated into A-level Physics. This new option was designed to bring students up to date on advances in particle physics and cosmology. An examining board accepted the syllabus in 1993 and now similar components appear on most advanced courses and some aimed at GCSE level.

Shortly after this, Jonathan started work on Quarks, Leptons and the Big Bang, published by CRC Press and now in its 3rd edition, which was intended as a rigorous but accessible introduction to these topics. Since then he has also written Apollo in Perspective; Quantum Reality; and Space-time: An Introduction to Einstein's Theory of Gravity also published by CRC, as well as co-authoring various textbooks for 16+ level, most prominently Advanced Physics from the well-respected OUP series of Advanced Science books. He is also active writing articles for Physics Review which is a journal intended for 16+ physicists.

Outside of teaching physics, Jonathan has a keen interest in cricket and Formula 1, although no ability in either sport. He and his wife Carolyn live in Yorkshire and spend a reasonable amount of time wandering the country following their three children in their sporting endeavours. While his eldest son somehow found his way into Accountancy via Psychology, his middle son is reading Physics at Bristol and his youngest is completing A levels and hoping to read philosophy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Astrophysics & Space Science
SCIENCE / Physics