The second man to walk on the moon tells his tale amid historical photos and pop-up spacecraft.
Aldrin offers a brief account of his astronautical career from a Gemini 12 spacewalk through Apollo 11’s splashdown, with overviews of other Gemini and Apollo missions, brief glances at some Soyuz missions, and a closing pep talk about future landings on Mars. Anecdotes, mostly about narrowly averted disasters (“We couldn’t get the pole more than a few inches onto the soil. I was afraid the flag would fall over with half a billion people watching!”), in the narrative and reminiscences by the astronaut’s daughter, Jan, on slide-out panels add immediacy to events that occurred half a century ago. Sheaves of photos and space art likewise make the experience vivid. The pop-ups incorporate some of the former but are inexpertly designed: The fronts of both a Gemini capsule and the spacesuit floating nearby are the same as the backs, major visible portions of the Eagle lander are just blank areas, and an abstract swirl that’s supposed to represent rocket exhaust at the base of a Saturn V lifting off doesn’t look like much of anything. Also, three of the five slide-out panels are blank on one side, and a multipiece punch-out standee of the Eagle is just laid in loose, sans sleeve or storage pocket.
A stirring first-person account of “humanity’s greatest adventure” marred by distractingly unvarnished special effects. (Informational pop-up. 8-11)