Many people and organizations helped and encouraged me while I was writing this book, and they deserve credit. Although I had saved many boxes of material I collected during my Apollo days at NASA in anticipation of one day writing this story, I soon found this source material was insufficient. Calling old colleagues to ask if they had kept records was not very fruitful at first, but eventually I was successful.
The first person who agreed to share his records covering part of this period was Robert Fudali, who was on the Bellcomm staff during Apollo’s early days. His material not only contributed to the accuracy of this story but served as a valuable reminder of some of the events that occurred during the formative years of Apollo science. I have quoted liberally from a few of Bob’s colorful internal memos.
Gordon Swann, a friend, former colleague, and principal investigator who took part in the struggle to develop science payloads for Apollo, especially those aspects related to the astronauts’ geological investigations, reviewed early drafts and provided many important comments and suggestions as well as a few of his famous anecdotes—some printable, some not. Gordon should be encouraged to one day write his account of Apollo.
Paul Lowman, who figures prominently in this story, was an invaluable source of material and a resource for clarifying many events. Paul is renowned among his NASA colleagues as a pack rat of the first degree: his office is so filled with reports and trivia that when you first enter it is hard to find his desk. However, his propensity for maintaining his archives has benefited many who have written about NASA’s early days. He also reviewed the manuscript and offered many useful comments.
James Downey, Herman Gierow, Farouk El Baz, and Charles Weatherred reviewed drafts at various stages, and Jim spent many hours going through the files at the Marshall Space Flight Center library to select material relating to the early years of our post-Apollo work. Chuck Weatherred and Eugene Zaitzeff (both Bendix employees during Apollo) and Charles Spoelhop at Eastman Kodak also provided important background material from their files. My former colleagues Philip Culbertson, Richard Allenby, Edward Davin, Richard Green, George Esenwein, Alex Schwarzkopf, Saverio ‘‘Sonny’’ Morea, George Ulrich, Raymond Batson, William Muehlberger, Floyd Roberson, and John Bensko took the time to provide information and pictures and to confirm recollections now more than thirty years old. Hugh Neeson, a former Textron – Bell engineer, searched the archives of the Niagara Aerospace Museum to find rare artists’ drawings of the lunar flying vehicle. Bruce Beattie, my son, became a fact finder after I moved from Maryland, following up on questions that could be answered by Washington sources.
The NASA headquarters history office, in particular Lee Saegesser (before he retired) and Roger Launius and his staff, helped me access the records still maintained in Washington. Glen Swanson, NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) historian, provided key contacts at JSC, including Joseph Kosmo at the Flight Crew Support Division and Judith Allton in the lunar sample curator’s office that allowed me to fill in a few blanks in my story. And most important Michael Gentry and David Sharron at the JSC Media Resource Center, who spent considerable time helping me select and acquire the photos and drawings in the book.
Roger Van Ghent, a colleague and fellow Floridian, advised me on the intricacies of using my computer to ease my writing load and also helped compile the index.
To all these people and the many colleagues and friends whose names do not appear, my sincere thanks for your help and encouragement from my first days at NASA until the present.
Finally, I thank Alice Bennett at the University of Chicago for editing and improving the manuscript and Bob Brugger, my editor at the Johns Hopkins University Press, for running interference and patiently guiding me through the publishing process. There is no substitute for an unflappable editor.