History provides real stories that are filled with suspense and drama, such as that found in Apollo 13. Unlike the previously mentioned books, this one was not written by a personal acquaintance, nor is it a recent book. I’m not even sure how the copy, autographed by Jim Lovell himself, made its way to my bookshelf, but it’s one I’m glad I read. The suspenseful tale of the doomed flight of Apollo 13 held my interest throughout. The real miracle is that its three astronauts actually returned to Earth and lived to tell the tale of their crippled spaceship.
The release of the acclaimed movie Hidden Figures in early 2017 made my reading even more pertinent. The movie highlighted the continued and absurd discrimination against black Americans (specifically black American women) even though their efforts proved to be highly valued—even irreplaceable—by the US space program. The team of black mathematicians was instrumental in aiding the successful return of the stranded astronauts.
Though the authors of Apollo 13 had never claimed Kansas to be home, I was delighted to discover the story concluded in Kansas when the spacecraft itself was delivered to its final resting place in Hutchinson at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. It has found a home since 1995 in the space museum there.
Coming next: Ike and McCarthy by David A. Nichols