“To the Moon and Back”

by Bryan Sullivan with Jackie French


To the Moon and Back revised edition

To the Moon and Back.

“To the Moon and Back” was launched at the Apollo 11 35th anniversary lunch in Canberra on Wednesday 21st July 2004.

A revised and expanded edition (cover above) was released in 2019 for the Apollo 11 50th anniversary.

Aimed primarily at older children and teenagers, adults would also enjoy and benefit from this book.

“To the Moon and Back” is a wonderful introduction to space exploration and the Apollo Program. But it also tells the story with the background of the vital work of Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station.

As well, there are answers to all sorts of questions about space and astronomy – and it’s a helpful corrective for those misguided few who proclaim that the Moon landings were a hoax.

Bryan worked in the computer section at Honeysuckle. He started while the station was being built in 1966, and stayed right through the Apollo Program and Skylab.

Bryan SullivanFrom the Harper Collins website

“When man took the first step on the moon it was a bunch of Australian technicians who tracked the spacecraft and sent the first television pictures to the world. No, not at Parkes – the movie The Dish got it wrong. They were from Honeysuckle Creek in the ACT.

This is their story, told by Bryan Sullivan, one of the technicians on duty at the time, and his wife, children’s author Jackie French.”

Photo: Bryan Sullivan at the computer consoles during the Apollo 12 mission.

Click the photo for a larger version. Photo by Hamish Lindsay.


In August 2005, it was announced as the Children’s Book of the Year in the Information Books category. See below.

Publishing Info –

Published by Harper Collins, Sydney

First edition (2004)
ISBN: 0-207-20009-2

Revised edition (2019)
ISBN: 9781460757741

Available online from various booksellers.

Children’s Book Council of Australia
Children’s Book of the Year 2005.

On Friday 19th August 2005, “To the Moon and Back” by Bryan Sullivan and Jackie French, was announced as the Children’s Book of the Year in the Information Books category at an award ceremony in Sydney.

(The categories for the Children’s Books of the Year are: Older Readers, Younger Readers, Early Childhood, Picture Books, Information Books. Read about the awards on The Children’s Book Council of Australia website.)

Here are some photos taken at the awards ceremony – held in the theatrette in the National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney.

Jackie and Bryan

Jackie and Bryan after the Awards Ceremony.

Bryan Jackie

Speeches as the award is presented.
(Standing at far right is Gus Gordon, who drew the illustrations for the book.)

Jackie and Bryan

Jackie, Bryan, and Bryan’s daughter Cath.

Colin and Bryan
Colin Mackellar with Bryan.
Photo: Cath Wall.

Bryan and the book

Bryan with the book – which now bears a sticker indicating it to be one of the books short-listed for the prize.

(Photos by Colin Mackellar unless noted.)

Below is the cover for the first edition, from 2004.

Moon and Back cover