U of M Morris Alum Nancy Atkinson is the author of "Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions." (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

With so many books written about the astronauts of the Apollo space missions, University of Minnesota Morris alumnus and space writer Nancy Atkinson wanted to focus on the countless people in the background that made the historic missions possible for her new book, “Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions.”

“One thing that people might not be aware of is that the Apollo program wasn’t just the astronauts or the people at Mission Control,” said Atkinson. “It took the efforts of over 400,000 people around the world and across the country to make going to the moon possible.”

Atkinson spoke recently at her alma mater, and told the KMRS Community Connection program that the Apollo missions were a huge inspiration for her interest in writing about space. Virtually every aspect of space travel was an unchartered territory that needed many brains to come to a solution, not the least of which was trying to get computing power from the size of a building’s wall to a unit small enough to fit inside a space capsule.


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