Ward's second book focuses on the equipment at KSC that launched the Apollo spacecraft to the moon. Again, his focus is on the Apollo 11 mission, which was when the program hit its stride, launching four Saturn Vs in 1969. He tells the story of the building of the mammoth buildings and pads that were necessary put a Saturn V into space, including a Vehicle Assembly Building that could build and launch four Saturn Vs at the same time (the fourth bay and control room ended not not being needed), a pad complex that could launch three at a time (the third pad was never built) and three launchers (the LUT structures) so that three Saturn Vs could be stacked, carried out to the pad and launched at the same time.
It was this simultaneous operation that was the big surprise to me. When Apollo 11 began to be stacked in the VAB, Apollo 8 had just launched and Apollo 9 and 10 were in progress. By the time it was ready to head to the pad, Apollo 12 and 13 were under construction alongside it in the VAB. NASA was gearing up for three shots at landing on the moon before the end of the year, with 12 and 13 read to go before the end of the year if Apollo 11 had to abort.
I found the information on KSC fascinating, including learning how workers crawled into the Saturn V throughout the process, right up through its time on the pad. The rocket, on its launcher, was moved out to the pad on its crawler, then encased in a second tower for the process of final checking out and fueling, during which time workers swarmed around the various stages and spacecraft. The lunar module Eagle for example, had the gold aluminum foil on its landing pads changed to a different configuration as it sat folded inside its shroud on top of the third stage only days before launch. I had no idea.
The book also explained the nuts and bolts of the various structures and assemblies in a way that was very helpful to me. If I hadn't already pretty much completed the launcher portion of my LUT, I'm pretty sure I would have built it as the three-deck structure it is, rather than as a simple box. But at least now I know what all was inside it, and why.
fascinating book, if you're interested in the "nuts and bolts" of the rocket and the spacecraft it carried.