“Tracking Apollo to the Moon”

by Hamish Lindsay

Hamish’s book

The “Unsolicited Plug” Department

There have been many books written about manned space exploration and the Apollo Program in particular. Who needs another one?

The Springer Verlag website says,

Hamish at Honeysuckle in 1969“This is perhaps the most complete, detailed and readable story of manned space-flight ever published. Beginning with the historical origins of the dream of walking on the Moon, Tracking Apollo to the Moon is the complete story of manned spaceflight, from the earliest Mercury and Gemini flights through to the end of the Apollo era.

In readable, fascinating detail, Hamish Lindsay – who was directly involved in all three programs – chronicles mankind’s greatest adventure with a great narrative, interviews, quotes and masses of photographs, including some previously unpublished.

As well as bringing the history of these missions to life Tracking Apollo to the Moon serves as a detailed reference for space enthusiasts and students.

Having seen the manuscript, the Smithsonian requested two copies of the finished book, and Buzz Aldrin asked for five!”

And it’s true!

Despite having a (very nice) photo of Parkes on the front, Tracking Apollo to the Moon is written to tell the story of manned space flight – in a most comprehensive way. As it does so, it tells the previously untold story of the Australian tracking stations. Not just Honeysuckle and Tidbinbilla – but also Muchea and Carnarvon as well.

Here’s a part of the Foreword by Chris Kraft, NASA’s First Flight Director and Retired Director of the Johnson Space Center –

Christopher Kraft“I am very pleased that one of the people from Australia who lived in the times has chosen to write about the space odyssey of the 20th century.

Hamish Lindsay has done a marvellous job of telling the story of manned spaced flight.

He has given his readers a sort of encyclopedia of the beginning of man’s quest for flight into space. This is followed with a splendid description of the real time operations of all of the major missions. As one who lived through the Camelot period of space in the 60s and knows the trauma we all endured, I am greatly impressed with the detail and authenticity of the stories that Hamish so vividly tells. For example, as I read Harnish’s account of the Apollo 11 and 13 missions, I could again imagine myself back in mission control reliving some of the finest moments of my life.

Those of you who are fortunate to read Hamish Lindsay’s account will be much richer for it.”

Jerry Bostick (Flight Dynamics Officer during Apollo 13) writes,

“Hamish Lindsay has accomplished what few other manned space program writers have; he has captured the excitement of the Apollo Program from the viewpoint of a participant, has led into it with an historical perspective of man's quest for the stars, and has sprinkled it with historical data, photographs and cartoons which results in an outstanding record of not only what happened during Apollo, but why.

I believe this book will be for future generations THE authorative record of one of mankind's greatest achievements.”


Hamish – with a background in professional photography – documented the work at Muchea (during the Mercury Project), Carnarvon (during Gemini) and Honeysuckle (the Apollo Program) and has unique images of these pioneering days of manned space flight.

To get a feel for the book, you can read several chapters on John Saxon’s website – and on this website, the Epilogue and the Technical Appendix – both of which had to be left out of the printed version.

Hamish has, of course, made a huge contribution to this website – both in his photographs and in his essays.


Publishing Info –

Published by Springer-Verlag in London in 2001
426 pages, 250 illustrations, hardcover
ISBN: 1-85233-212-3

See also these websites –



This wonderful book is out of print, but second hand copies are available via places like Amazon and Abebooks. Hopefully, Springer-Verlag can be encouraged to reprint it.

It would make a very valuable addition to any library – and if you don’t have any books on manned space exploration, get this one! – Colin Mackellar.