2020 New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award Master List In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued a challenge to the nation: land astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade. The Apollo program was designed by NASA to meet that challenge, and on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin. Apollo 11's prime mission objective: "Perform a manned lunar landing and return." Four days after take-off, the Lunar Module "Eagle," carrying Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the Command Module "Columbia," and descended to the moon. Armstrong reported back to Houston's Command Center, "The Eagle has landed." America and the world watched in wonder and awe as a new chapter in space exploration opened. Through verse and informational text, author Rhonda Gowler Greene celebrates Apollo 11's historic moon landing.
It's 1969 and Marty's family lives on the U.S. island of Guam, where his father manages the NASA tracking station. It's important work and never more so than during the Apollo 11 space mission, where the tracking station relays signals back and forth between the astronauts and Mission Control in Houston, Texas. Along with the rest of the world, Marty listens to every mission update, including the historic landing on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong's first steps. But during Apollo 11's return to Earth, something goes wrong. There is a problem with the tracking station's antenna during the final hours of the mission. The problem must be resolved--the antenna is the only way Mission Control can communicate with the astronauts before Apollo 11 splashes down. Marty finds himself playing a key role in helping bring the craft safely back to Earth. Based on actual events, young readers get a front-row seat to this historic event in this new entry in the Tales of Young Americans series.