Half a century ago mankind first set foot on the Moon. Many of us, including myself, experienced that extraordinary moment as amazing news that filled the papers and magazines and gave us an unforgettable, sleepless night spent gazing at the ghostly live television pictures that reached our homes from another world.

Today, however, to a growing number of people that memorable achievement is literally history: blurred, distant, known only through second-hand stories and often reported tiredly and superficially by mainstream media. Even today, going to the Moon is still an incredible, mythical and unreal challenge, and the idea that we went there in the 1960s – and then stopped going – is, for many, understandably hard to accept.

I offer this book to anyone who honestly seeks to understand what really happened and rightly demands answers to his or her reasonable doubts. To hardcore Moon hoax believers, those who are impervious to any argument and think that they have it all figured out, I offer only my pity. They are unable to enjoy this amazing adventure, which is one of the few peaceful endeavors for which the twentieth century stands a chance of being remembered as something more than a heartbreaking series of wars, devastations and genocides.

However, this book is not just a pedantic refutation of a set of eccentric claims. It’s a celebration of a moment in time that can never be equaled or repeated. Yes, there will be other destinations, other missions, other landings on distant worlds, but the Moon landing of July 1969 will be forever mankind’s first contact with another world. It will always be the first time that humanity proved, albeit for a brief moment, that it is capable of crawling out of its fragile cradle.

What an incredible privilege it is to be alive in that unique, minuscule slice of history in which all this happened, and to be able to personally thank, talk and shake hands with those who accomplished a voyage that for countless centuries was merely a dream beyond the power of even the mightiest king, emperor or pharaoh. To walk on the Moon. This book is my small homage to the courage and ingenuity of all those who contributed to turning that dream into reality. In peace, for all mankind.