Our Speaker is acclaimed science author Rod Pyle. He has written a beautiful and insightful book commemorating the Apollo 11 Mission, “First on the Moon.” His book offers an exciting behind-the-scenes look at America’s journey to the Moon—from the origins of the Space Race, to the landing on the Sea of Tranquility, to splashdown on Earth and the aftermath of this daring mission.
Rather than a mere chronological retelling of the journey, “First on the Moon” examines the vast preparations required to accomplish President Kennedy’s lunar goal, profiles the three brave men who undertook the mission, and examines the exotic technologies that were invented from whole cloth to enable this amazing achievement.
Pyle spent years combing NASA archives and private collections for memorabilia from the mission, and the book includes everything from accessible explanations of the enormous challenges facing NASA to reproductions of original 1969 documents. It also features a number of specially commissioned photocompositions created from images released from NASA’s archives in 2015, resulting in unique restorations of their originally intended montage formats. With compelling firsthand accounts and a gripping narrative, this gorgeously designed volume fully immerses readers in the Space Age. “First on the Moon” includes a foreword by Buzz Aldrin.
Mr. Pyle is a space author, journalist and historian. He has written 15 books on space history, exploration and development for major publishers that have been published in seven languages. His frequent articles have appeared in Space.com, LiveScience, Futurity, Huffington Post and WIRED. He has written extensively for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech, and authored the Apollo Executive Leadership program for the Johnson Space Center with The Conference Board. Other recent books include “Space 2.0,” a look at the new Space Age, “Heroes of the Space Age,” and “Interplanetary Robots,” the story of NASA’s robotic exploration of the solar system.
Mr. Pyle appears frequently on national radio and television, with regular slots on KFI/Los Angeles, WGN/Chicago, PBS’s “Between the Lines” and other venues. Rod holds an MA from Stanford University and a BFA from the Art Center College of Design. Prior to book authoring, Rod produced nonfiction programming for The History Channel, Discovery Communications and a number of educational program providers, as well as producing TV commercials for over a decade. He additionally worked in visual effects on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and a number of sci-fi pilots for Paramount Television, and ran the preliminary visual effects unit for the new “Battlestar Galactica.”
A number of his books, including "Blueprint for a Battlestar," “Innovation the NASA Way,” “Destination Mars” and “The Space Race” have been adopted for STEM efforts as well as university textbooks. He lives in Alhambra, California.