Fly Me To The Moon: Apollo 11 And The Unsung Hero Who Made It Happen John Houbolt is often a footnote in Apollo 11 history, author Todd Zwillich told us. Astronauts often get the most recognition.

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Fly Me To The Moon: Apollo 11 And The Unsung Hero Who Made It Happen

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Fly Me To The Moon: Apollo 11 And The Unsung Hero Who Made It Happen

1A

Fly Me To The Moon: Apollo 11 And The Unsung Hero Who Made It Happen

Fly Me To The Moon: Apollo 11 And The Unsung Hero Who Made It Happen

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/739536828/739563877" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dr. John C. Houbolt at work as a consultant with Aeronautical Research Association. ARTHUR SCHATZ/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES hide caption

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ARTHUR SCHATZ/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES

Dr. John C. Houbolt at work as a consultant with Aeronautical Research Association.

ARTHUR SCHATZ/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION VIA GETTY IMAGES

Fifty years ago, the world held its breath as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men on the moon.

The Apollo 11 mission advanced America in the space race against the Soviet Union.

It took more than 400,000 people across the country to bring that mission together: including John Houbolt, the radical engineer who fought popular opinion on how to conduct the mission.

Had he failed, Aldrin and Armstrong would not have gotten ticker-tape parades. They would have gotten memorials.

Houbolt is the subject of a new audiobook called The Man Who Knew the Way to the Moon.

We spoke with author Todd Zwillich about Houbolt's groundbreaking work.