Updates, corrections and statistics


In October 2018 I converted the entire book to HTML and posted it to this website. Due to time constraints, I will no longer be updating the paper and EPUB editions, which will remain available on Amazon and elsewhere. I‘ve reorganized figure numbering to allow faster updating and additions without having to worry about manually renumbering all the figures and figure references in a chapter.

In December 2018 I also revised the online book extensively, adding lots of material from the Italian edition and fixing the numbering of the figures. This is a complicated process and therefore the numbering may be a bit ratty and some section-to-section links might be broken. If you spot anything, let me know. Thank you for your patience.

I’ve introduced a few typographical fixes, such as proper apostrophes (’) instead of “computer” apostrophes ('), and tweaked the stylesheet for clarity.

I’ve changed all occurrences of manned to a more gender-neutral crewed, except where I am quoting someone’s exact words or referring to an organization that has or had manned in its name (e.g., the Manned Spaceflight Center).

I’ve also reduced the number of footnotes, including as many as possible in the body of the text.

I’ve fixed a few UK/US English inconsistencies, such as sunburned/sunburnt. I’m British, but I’ve used US English spelling rules in the book because I know that otherwise I’ll get heaps of mail complaining about my “misspelling” of colour, metre, tranquillity and so on. Brits, instead, will cringe and bear politely.

Corrections and fixes

Chapter 1, “Race for the Moon”: I’ve corrected explodes dishearteningly on the pad, in front of a television audience of millions to explodes dishearteningly on the pad because there is some doubt among historians as to whether the Vanguard TV3 footage was broadcast live on TV or not.

Section 1.3, ”The US catches up”: I've corrected the date of the GRAB-1 launch to 22 June, 1960 from July 5 because this is the date reported by the Smithsonian and Encyclopedia Astronautica. June 22 was the date when the first signals were received.

Section 1.7, “Post-Apollo Explorations”: I’ve added China’s Chang’e 3/Yutu soft landing on the Moon, which occurred in 2013 shortly after I had published the first edition.

Section 5.4, “How could the flag change position when the astronauts were back inside the spacecraft?”: I corrected the sentence “its shadow can be seen in photo AS14-66-9339, but no longer in photo AS14-66-9339” to “its shadow can be seen in photo AS14-66-9325, but no longer in photo AS14-66-9339”, as the first photo reference number was wrong. Thank you, Martin, for spotting that typo.

Section 8.8, “It’s impossible to cool an astronaut in a vacuum”: I’ve corrected a typo: use self-contained is now used self-contained

Section 9.7, “Why is there no delay in the Apollo communications?”: I’ve added a response to a recent conspiracist claim that Spacecraft Films’ DVDs lacked the expected transmission delay.

Section 16.3, “Apollo astronauts”: Sadly, I’ve had to update this section to record the deaths of some Apollo astronauts. I’ve also corrected a typo which made it appear that John Young had flown on Apollo 6 (it was actually Apollo 16).


These are screenshots from this book’s all-time statistics, taken on 6 June 2023, as provided by Google. I apologize for the charts being in Italian: that’s the default language of my Google account and I was unable to quickly convince Google to show the stats in English.


The charts begin in May 2010 because that’s when I created this site to promote what was then an e-book and paperback project. After its migration to a fully online version in November 2018, traffic picked up quite remarkably. The highest peak, unsurprisingly, came in July 2019, around the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon.

Origin of page views

I’m not surprised by Italy’s fourth place, despite the book being in English, since I’m fairly well-known as a journalist and radio show host there. What really surprises me is that Ukraine is the third source of page views in all the world. It seems that Ukrainians are very keen to find out about a part of world history that maybe they experienced through the censorship of the Soviet Union.

Most popular posts

This chart is dominated by a decades-old topic, the Van Allen belts, and by a more recent and very popular news story about alleged fake Moon rocks found in a Dutch museum (spoiler: they were an artist’s prank).

Most popular search keywords

The most popular search keywords are all related to moon hoax and debunked in their various permutations. Semalt.com is a search optimization service which somehow crept into this chart. I have no idea why; I don’t use any SEO services.