Much has been written about the legendary flight of Apollo 11 and mankind’s first tentative steps into deep space. It’s often said that the world stopped, watching in awe as the crew of Apollo 11 completed their mission. It is true that in that moment, almost everyone had virtually gone to the moon as people around the world gazed in wonderment at the grainy black-and-white images of Neil Armstrong taking that first step onto the surface of another world. But that was a fleeting moment and just as quickly, the moment was gone– wars raged on, protestors filled the streets, and average Americans went back to their daily lives.
Everyone’s Gone to the Moon is a week-by-week journey through July 1969, one of the most pivotal months in human history – in space and here on Earth. This unique book follows the crew of Apollo 11 and NASA as they prepare for the historic first lunar landing alongside the major global events buried beneath headlines covering the historic space mission. Interwoven with the story of Apollo 11 are the events on our home planet that made an equally important impact on who we were then and who we are today: the Life of Prince Charles was threatened by a terrorist attack in Wales; the storm dubbed the Ohio Fireworks Derecho ripped through the Midwest, killing dozens; the assassination of Kenyan Economic Minister Tom Myoba (of which Barack Obama Sr. was a key witness) undercut a nation just learning to stand on its own; Senator Ted Kennedy was involved in a mysterious accident in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts; ARPANET, the first real “Internet” was unveiled; Monty Python was born; John Lennon and Paul McCartney released “Give Peace a Chance” during escalated Vietnam War tensions; Midnight Cowboy stunned the Academy Awards; and much more.
Meanwhile, NASA was still scrambling. Everyone’s Gone to the Moon features little known behind-the-scenes stories of the moon landing like how NASA had to grapple with media, the technical issues that still plagued the lunar module, and how the prior crew of Apollo 10 suffered incredible itching from their spacesuits that needed correcting before Apollo 11 could even be launched.
This deep dive into the Apollo 11 mission’s most crucial weeks and the little-known and rarely remembered events occurring simultaneously back on Earth gives a vivid new perspective to the month that launched humanity into the future.
Joe Cuhaj grew up in New Jersey as a space fanatic. He would skip school to watch every launch and recovery from the late Mercury missions to the final Skylab mission all while building and flying model rockets. Cuhaj is a Navy veteran and former radio broadcaster turned author and freelance writer. He began his radio career just outside of New York City but moved to Mobile, Alabama in 1981 with his wife who is from the Port City. During this time, Cuhaj worked in various positions including news director / reporter where he applied to take part in NASA’s Journalist in Space program, but he never heard back.