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The Zone
Lucy Cohan
Ramon Basanta

David Scott and Alexei Leonov

Two Sides of the Moon

In Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race Astronaut David Scott and Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov tell of their involvement in the space programs aimed at moon landings.

The book alternates short sections by each of the authors. We hear of each of their early lives, leading to careers as test pilots - with some near-death experiences - and then to the chance to join the space program. Leonov was the first person to walk in space, but Scott did so soon afterwards. Scott was commander of the Apollo 9 flight, and went on to walk on the moon as commander of Apollo 15, and Leonov flew on the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975.

I felt that the alternation of sections from each author worked well, giving the differing viewpoints of various stages of the space race, including what each side thought about the other - early on they were sometimes doubtful about the claims the other side made, later on they had a more collaborative attitude. This format also avoids long unbroken stretches of text. I felt that the book was highly informative - I hadn't realised how close the Russians were in the race to the moon (until the death of Korolev who had been pushing the project forward). Highly recommended.