When the first moon-bound rocket blasted off from the Earth's space station in 1983, it was as ready for every eventuality as scientists and engineers could make it. But neither the crew nor the authorities were prepared for the last-minute switch in the ship's complement that upset carefully planned replacement schedules. Instead of a highly trained Air Force Academy graduate as the fifth man in the pioneering crew, the inaugural rocket headed into space with teen-age Ted Baker, an Academy senior.

Around a tragic misunderstanding, Evan Hunter has traced a tale of high excitement from the Earth's gleaming satellite space station to the ragged surface of a hostile Moon. His story of how a teen-ager crash lands a crippled ship on the Moon, far from its base of supplies, is not only an unexcelled description of space flight but a tense personal drama of a young man who proves his worth to a hostile crew.

A thousand-mile trek on foot across the face of the Moon, the discovery of organic matter on the planet's airless surface, the slow depletion of irreplaceable supplies, the effect of the Sun on a planet that lacks atmosphere, stud this story of a strained relationship between stranded crew members with fascinating detail. Climaxed with a rocket blastoff that vindicates the judgment of one young earthling, ROCKET TO LUNA is as gripping a flight into space and the future as any contemporary author has written.

ROCKET TO LUNA is a juvenile science fiction novel, published first in 1953 as one of the books in the Winston Science Fiction series.

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