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Moon Shot

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Moon Shot

Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon is a book written by Mercury Seven astronaut Alan Shepard, with NBC News correspondent Jay Barbree and Associated Press aviation writer Howard Benedict. Astronaut Donald K. "Deke" Slayton is also listed as an author, although he died before the project was completed and was an author in name only. The book was published in 1994. It was turned into a miniseries that aired on TBS in the United States in 1994. The miniseries was narrated by Barry Corbin and featured interviews with several American astronauts as well as a few Russian cosmonauts. Due to Slayton's death before the miniseries completed production in 1993, the miniseries is dedicated in his memory.

The book is a work of nonfiction describing the history of the Space Race from Sputnik 1 to the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. It includes depictions of many American space missions and several Soviet space missions. Emphasis is placed on Shepard's and Slayton's roles in the events in the craft and behind the scenes, as both were early leaders in NASA's Astronaut Office due to being grounded for medical reasons (Slayton for a heart condition, Shepard for Meniere's disease).

The book generated controversy on release for its historical accuracy, in particular its use of an artist-created composite image of Alan Shepard playing golf on the moon presented as if it were a real photograph. In NASA's Apollo Lunar Surface Journal  space historian Andrew Chaikin comments that the photo is "a composite made up of pieces of various Hasselblad images.... the ball and the shadows of the S-Band legs - like the golf club - appear to have been drawn in."

James Scotti, Senior Research Specialist of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona, has stated of the book "Ghost written by Jay Barbree and Howard Benedict, it is clear from the relatively large quantity of errors that this book was not very carefully reviewed ....Use caution when quoting its 'facts'."


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