I would like to thank all the people who patiently read and checked the drafts of this book and debugged them as they grew online. I am especially indebted to Luca Boschini, John H. Cato, jr, Epsilon, Cesare Guariniello, Hammer, Martin Keenan, Massimiliano Carnevale, Naomi, Razvan Neagoe, Papageno, Giuseppe Regalzi, Luigi Rosa, Claudio Severi, Linden Sims, Roland Suhr, Trystero, Tukler and Larry Turoski for their tireless fact-checking and proofreading. Any surviving mistakes are solely mine.

I am also very grateful to:

  • Terry Watson (Apollo GNC), Eric Jones of the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, and to all the members of the Project Apollo online forum, for helping me through the maze of jargon and technical minutiae and for unerringly answering the bizarre questions of a fellow space geek;
  • Nicola Colotti, Dario Kubler, Fabio Letta, Milco Margaroli, Rodri Van Click, Andrea Tedeschi, Luigi Pizzimenti, Roberto Crippa, Paolo Miniussi, Guido Schwartz, Lukas Viglietti and all the good people of Space Lectures, for organizing amazing encounters and interviews with Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Charlie Duke, Al Worden, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Ed Mitchell and Walt Cunningham, with Mission Control EECOM Sy Liebergot, and with Apollo computer scientist Don Eyles;
  • Diego Cuoghi, for kindly sharing his research;
  • Elena Albertini, for keeping the e-book and paper editions in sync;
  • my daughters Lisa and Linda, who helped me with the technical process of creating the digital edition of this book;
  • my wife Elena, for her endless patience and for organizing my many public talks about the Apollo missions and this book.

I would like to thank all the donors who made it possible for me to make this book freely available online and keep it up-to-date.

This book is dedicated to my parents, who woke me up when I was six years old so that I could watch the Apollo 11 Moon landing live on TV in sleepy amazement (it was nighttime in Europe), and to my aunt Iris, who in the early 1970s gave me a copy of Peter Ryan’s enthralling account of the first Apollo missions, The Invasion of the Moon 1957-70. I never recovered from this double bite of the space bug. That dog-eared paperback is still here with me as I write these words. Its pages are fading, but the passion and wonder they have fed for all these years are certainly not.