The Story of The First Lunar Bible on BBC Radio… by rrauction

Music to the Moon: The Apollo 10 Music Tape

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!


On May 18, 1969, Tom Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan lifted out from Pad 39B of the Kennedy Space Center launch complex. Their next stop was the Moon. Their mission was the final “dress rehearsal” for the Saturn V, the Apollo spacecraft and the lunar module at the Moon prior to landing.

The trip to lunar orbit would take three days of coasting in deep space. Although the crew remained busy during the translunar coast phase of their mission, there were down times between chores. The crew had a special piece of home in the form of popular music of the time recorded onto a cassette tape by a friend to occupy them during such lulls in the flight.

The cassette tape was recorded by Al Bishop, who was an employee of Boeing at the time. Al hooked a cassette tape player to his stereo and recorded several of the more popular musical artists of the day. Artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and The Kingston Trio were included on the tape. Mr. Bishop used songs like “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Going Back to Houston” and “Moonlight Serenade” to provide a theme befitting a flight to the Moon.

In August of 2006, Gene Cernan and Al Bishop spent the afternoon lying on the floor of Al’s living room recording all the music on this tape. The quality of the tape reflects that type of early private recording with miscues, skips and clicks that an older record album would make on a turntable. That is what makes the tape so good for historic purposes. These two men took the time to sit, choose and record music for a flight to the Moon. (content courtesy Larry McGlynn)

As the Apollo 10 crew completed their tasks and prepared to return to earth, they cued their mikes and according to Stafford, sent Houston a message via the first song on the tape:

1. “Going Back to Houston” (Dean Martin)

2. “Fly Me to the Moon” (Frank Sinatra)

3. “Let’s Fly Away” (Dean Martin)

4. “My Beautiful Baloon” (Dean Martin)

5. “Saying Something Stupid” (Frank Sinatra)

6. “Sentimental Journey” (Acker Bilk)

7. “Greensleeves” (Acker Bilk)

8. “Good Night My Love” (Acker Bilk)

9. “Welcome to My World” (Dean Martin)

10. “Praying for Grapes in California (Dean Martin)

11. “Thirty More Miles to San Diego” (Dean Martin)

12. “Moon River” (Henry Mancini)

13. “Moonlight Serenade” (Frank Sinatra)

14. “When I Fall in Love” (Ertha Kitt)

15. “Unforgettable” (Ertha Kitt)

16. “Greenfields” (The Brothers Four)

17. “Rock Island Line” (The Brothers Four)

18. “Summertime” (The Brothers Four)

19. “Shenando” (The Kingston Trio)

20. “It Was a Very Good Year” (The Kingston Trio)

21. “The Honey Moon Glows” (The Kingston Trio)

22. “The Waves Roll Out” (The Kingston Trio)

23. “It’s Over”

24. “Trains and Boats and Planes”

25. “Days of Wine and Roses”

26. “Oh Lonesome Me”

27. “I Wonder”

28. “Born to Lose”

29. “Those Little White Lies” (Dinah Shore)

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Book review: The Apostles of Apollo: The Journey of the Bible to the Moon and the Untold Stories of America’s Race into Space


By Steve Weinberg

The effort to explore the earth’s moon seems like quasi-ancient history circa 2010. After all, U.S. astronauts took the first step on the moon’s surface two generations ago, and a few years later the space program pretty much disappeared from public consciousness.

But Carol Mersch, just a child when those dramatic space walks and moon landings occurred during the 1960s, brings it all back home in her fascinating book “The Apostles of Apollo: The Journey of the Bible to the Moon and the Untold Stories of America’s Race Into Space.”

The new angle in Mersch’s book is the journey of the Christian Bible, in various forms, into space, carried there by astronauts either deeply religious in the churchgoing sense or at least deeply spiritual in the secular sense. Because U.S. astronauts faced severe limits on what they could carry into the cramped command module, transporting a Bible meant subterfuge and sacrifice. But those astronauts would not be denied.

As a result of Mersch’s fresh research through interviews with those in the space program still alive as well as readings and hearings of copious documents and tapes, Christians are quite likely going to embrace her book. The Bible’s role in the narrative, however, is not overwhelming; the book contains vast sections that atheists, agnostics and religious non-Christians are bound to find compelling, too.

The narrative arrives pretty much chronologically, from the Apollo One space mission through the Apollo Seventeen mission. Within that chronology, Mersch, a Tulsa writer, offers a great deal of celebratory material for those who bought into spending U.S. dollars on space exploration. She does not shy away, however, from the deaths of some participants and the psychological crippling of others. It turned out that space exploration meant perils as well as triumphs.

Mersch’s writing is marred somewhat by reliance on cliches, but overall is easy to digest. She is especially skilled at foreshadowing. Those who paid attention to the space program already know the outcome. Yet the use of foreshadowing creates a narrative drive that will lead even the cognoscenti to turn the pages enthusiastically.


Steve Weinberg is one of the most prolific and talented book reviewers in the nation. He has been writing reviews professionally since the early 1970s.  Those reviews, as well as extended essays about books and authors, have appeared in almost every high-quality newspaper book section, including New York Times, Washington Post Book World, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Houston Chronicle , Chicago Tribune, and more.


“It’s a classic.”

-Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot

The technological side of things changes quickly. The side shown here is the side that endures.”

-Eugene Cernan, Commander, Apollo 17

“Well written and captures the human side of space flight.”
- Tom Stafford, Commander, Apollo 10

Apollo Commander, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

“Mersch has produced an amazing book that is written in thoughtful and well-assembled prose, which holds the reader’s interest right to the end.”

- Colin Burgess, Space Historian and Award-winning Author

“Fallen Astronauts,Into That Silent Sea, & In the Shadow of the Moon”

“Truly captures the courage and emotion of those in Mission Control as we struggled to find answers and find them fast.”

-Jerry Bostick, NASA Chief, Flight Dynamics officer

Project Apollo, 1968-1973

“We never thought that we would not save the [Apollo 13] crew, not once. A well researched book.”

-Sy Liebergot, EECOM systems Flight Controller, Project Apollo,

Skylab EGIL systems Flight Controller, 1966-1975

“This fascinating book describes an aspect of Project Apollo that I knew very little about.”

- Ed Hengeveld, Space Artist and Apollo Historian