Robert Godwin and Apogee Books have over the years compiled a variety NASA documents, press kits, crew interviews and the like, which recount the early days of the space race, focusing on the Apollo missions. This time, they have released the first volume of information dedicated in the second lunar landing, Apollo 12, which followed the first lunar landing conducted by Apollo 11. This mission was commanded by Charles "Pete" Conrad who was accompanied to the surface by Alan Bean with Dick Gordon as the Command Module pilot.
The book opens with the usual NASA mission press kit which provides a general, but descriptive overview of the mission. The next portions of the book contain the pre- and post-flight operations reports. The pre-flight report, an in-house NASA report, describes the planned activities of the mission, while the post-flight operations report, another NASA in-house report, documents the actual events and describes any discrepancies between the planned and actual activities.
The final section, the debrief section, which is over 100 pages, contains the crew comments and feelings about various parts of the mission and contains a fair amount of the technical language and acronyms that many NASA documents include. The crew debrief contains crew comments from the suiting up phase to the landing, plus comments about the training (was it adequate). In this section there are numerous pages devoted to the precision landing made by the crew, the investigation of the Surveyor III lunar lander and the two moonwalks. I always find the crew debriefing quite enjoyable, because it is the closest thing to being there.
The book also includes a CD which features a 30th anniversary interview with Command Module Pilot Captain Richard "Dick" Gordon and the NASA produced "Pinpoint For Science" and the entire EVA television transmissions. In addition, the CD includes the in flight press conference, five Quicktime panoramas of the landing site and over 2100 still black and white and color photographs.
Some general information that might be useful.
1) This report is a set of scanned-in documents from a previously released NASA document. In order to preserve the spirit of the original reports, all typographical and grammatical errors have NOT been fixed.
2) Proceeds from the book goes to "The Watch" an asteroid impact research project of the Space Frontier Foundation. In other words, Apogee Books is making very little off the sale of US government produced books and documents.
3) Many people have asked why the post mission science reports are not included. Since NASA has published several books with hundred of pages each, the NASA Special Publications Series, it would be difficult to include this voluminous amount of data.