Lucky and Smart: Apollo 11 at 50

Author and historian Dr. Michael H. Gorn, who specializes in the field of aeronautics and spaceflight, will present a special talk, “Lucky and Smart: Apollo 11 @ 50” at the Hill Road Library at noon on Sunday, September 8.

At this free event, Gorn will discuss how the Apollo program got started and the many ways in which good (and bad) fortune influenced the outcome of the mission. He also speaks about his book, Spacecraft: 100 Iconic Rockets, Shuttles, and Satellites that Put Us in Space (Quarto Publishers, London, 2018).

The book is an ambitiously illustrated aerospace history that profiles and depicts spacecraft from Sputnik 1 through the International Space Station and everything in between. Illustrator, and aerospace professional, Giuseppe De Chiara teams up with Gorn to present a profusely illustrated and authoritatively written collection of profiles depicting the design, development, and deployment of these manned and unmanned spacecraft. Satellites, capsules, spaceplanes, rockets, and space stations are illustrated in multiple-view, sometimes cross-section, and in many cases shown in archival period photography to provide further historical context.

Gorn, who lives in Thousand Oaks, is a federal historian of nearly 30 years and is the author of eight books on the history of aeronautics and spaceflight. He spent 13 of those years at NASA and is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships for his aerospace writing. He has been featured in interviews on National Public Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the History Channel, and the Discovery Channel.

Hill Road Library is located at 1070 South Hill Road in Ventura. A book signing will follow the presentation. For additional information, contact Linda Cherry, Librarian, at (805) 677-7180. The Ventura County Library web site is available at

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