Robert Godwin

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Robert Godwin
Robert Godwin (ca. 2012)
Birth Name Robert D. Godwin
Birth Date 1958
Birth Place UK
Occupation Author, Publisher
Nationality UK
Notable Works The NASA Mission Reports, Lunar Exploration Scrapbook, New Horizons


Early Life and Education

Robert was born in England in 1958. Educated at St Oswald’s College in Shropshire where he studied mathematics and physics. His first job in the UK was as an electro-plater working on Rolls Royce jet turbines.

Music Business

In 1975 Robert attended a Led Zeppelin concert appearance in London which began a life-long obsession with the band and their music. That same year he briefly worked as a member of the road crew for the rock band Scorpions.

He moved to Canada in 1978 and took over the operational management of a chain of eleven English pubs. In 1981 he would establish the most popular night club in Canada, The Orient Express. In 1982 Robert co-produced an outdoor concert in Canada which attracted over 20,000 people. Later that year he was asked to fill a vacancy at Toronto's prestigious George Brown College which he did under contract for a year; teaching management.

In 1983 he moved into music management. Robert helped some of the artists who played at his club to get worldwide recording contracts. Moving from management into production, he assisted in the recording of several popular albums and worked at Musicland Studios in Munich Germany, Metalworks in Toronto, as well as Sunset Sound and United Western in Los Angeles. In 1984 Robert turned his love of Led Zeppelin into the first of a long string of books about the band. He quickly established a reputation as one of the world's leading experts on the subject. He followed this success with books on other artists which interested him, including the archetypal British space-rock group Hawkwind. This led to a continuing friendship and business relationship with Hawkwind and their science-fiction guru, world-famous author, Michael Moorcock.

In 1987 Robert opened his own record label, Griffin Music, which by 1992 would be voted best independent label in America by several major US newspapers. Over the next few years Griffin Music would release many classic rock acts' back-catalogs, notably, the BBC In Concert series, Anderson - Bruford - Wakeman and Howe, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, Mike Oldfield, Olivia Newton-John, Hawkwind, Nazareth, David Bowie, and many other household names.


By 1995 Robert sold his interest in Griffin Music and briefly dabbled in the merchandising business where he acquired a coveted license from Lucasfilm to manufacture Star Wars memorabilia. Later that year he incorporated his private publishing company, Collector's Guide Publishing, and went into full-time publishing. Building on the success of his Led Zeppelin books Robert began to sign up authors and subsequently published and edited dozens of books on many aspects of pop culture including music, collectibles and movies. These books have won accolades from around the world and have sold in at least 80 countries.

Apogee Books

In 1998 Robert was invited by his brother, Richard, to attend a celebration in honor of the crew of Apollo 7. During that event Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin asked Robert to publish a book to honor his fellow astronauts and to commemorate man's first voyage to the moon. Working with advice from his friend, noted space-author, Andrew Chaikin, he launched a space book imprint.

In partnership with his brother, Robert subsequently worked with almost every surviving Apollo astronaut on his acclaimed book series "The NASA Mission Reports". Robert's space series has included contributions by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Tom Hanks, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, David Brin, Ron Howard, Senator Harrison Schmitt, Eugene Cernan, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Walt Cunningham, Dr Marc Garneau, Eileen Collins, Bonnie Dunbar and many more astronauts and space scientists. Robert created the first ever Virtual-Reality digital panoramas from the Apollo lunar photography and his acclaimed film Apollo 11 - Moonwalk was the first time that the mission of Apollo 11 was shown from multiple camera angles simultaneously.

In 2014 he co-authored 2001 The Heritage and Legacy of the Space Odyssey with Frederick I. Ordway III, who was technical adviser to Stanley Kubrick for the film 2001 A Space Odyssey. Godwin also contributed feature articles to such publications as Goldmine (magazine) and Boeing Employee Times.

In October 2015, Godwin wrote and published The First Scientific Concept of Rockets for Space Travel, an essay in which he asserted that a Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Canadian University Principal named William Leitch was the first scientist to determine, for the correct reasons, that rockets were the best method for powering space flight. Godwin's essay was publicly endorsed by Frank H. Winter, retired Curator of Rocketry at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and by David Baker, editor of the British Interplanetary Society's magazine, Spaceflight.Leitch's proposal for rockets appeared in September 1861 in the magazine Good Words, effectively pre-dating the modern proponents of rocketry, such as Robert Hutchings Goddard and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky by more than three decades. In late 2016 Godwin released his findings as a book entitled William Leitch - Presbyterian Scientist & The Concept of Rocket Space Flight 1854-1864. Godwin co-authored Outpost in Orbit - An Oral and Pictorial History of the International Space Station with David Shayler in 2018. The book was written in cooperation with the ISS office at the Johnson Space Center under a NASA Space Agreement.Godwin's book Manned Lunar Landing & Return, released in March 2019, told the story of Project MALLAR, the 1959 plan for a manned lunar landing created by Conrad Lau, head of Advanced Projects at the Chance Vought Aircraft Company's Astronautics Division. Lau's report proposed a three module spacecraft system which would take two people to the lunar surface and use a technique known as lunar orbit rendezvous to return them to Earth. Godwin showed that Abe Silverstein, a senior NASA manager was given the report on January 12, 1960, and two weeks later instructed NASA's Advance Vehicle team to adopt this design for the Apollo spacecraft.


Robert has appeared on dozens of radio and television programs in Canada, the USA and England as an expert on, not only music, but also space exploration. His books have been discussed on CNN, the CBC, the BBC and CBS 60 Minutes.

In 2001 Robert's company co-sponsored a party at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles to honor Sir Arthur C. Clarke, in attendance were movie directors James Cameron and Oliver Stone, actors Patrick Stewart, Bill Paxton and Morgan Freeman, astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Robert Crippen as well as many other celebrities from different walks of life. A film about the history of science fiction and space exploration, directed and created by Robert, was one of the evening's highlights.

Apogee Books created an average of one new space book a month for more than fifteen years. CG Publishing garnered contracts to document aspects of space history from both NASA and the Russian space corporation Energia. Robert worked regularly with many of the world's leading space advocacy groups including The National Space Society, The Space Frontier Foundation, The Mars Society, The X-Prize Foundation, The British Interplanetary Society, The Planetary Society, Space Day and many more. Through revenues generated from the sale of their books Robert and Richard donated funds to an asteroid impact research project called The Watch, which led to Apogee Books sponsoring a U.S. Senate round-table on the subject of catastrophic impacts. The round-table raised political awareness on the subject and assisted in more long-term funding for asteroid research.

He is an advocate of the Space Frontier Foundation. In 2008 Robert was appointed as Space Curator at the Canadian Air and Space Museum.

Godwin's first appearance on television was in 1983 as a guest of Elwy Yost on TV Ontario's Saturday Night at the Movies. In 1994 his U.S. based company Griffin Video commercially released a VHS tape of the Classic Pictures space documentary "One Small Step", narrated by actor Tom Baker. For his 1999 book Apollo 11 The NASA Mission Reports he created the first ever seamless QTVR digital panoramas of the Apollo lunar surface photography(1999)as well as the first commercial release of the digitised footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk broadcast, both on an accompanying CDROM.For the second volume Godwin published the declassified crew debriefing which included the transcript of the infamous crew UFO sighting.He also produced and directed the 2002 direct-to-DVD Apollo 11 – Moonwalk which featured the first ever time-synchronized multiple-camera-angle movie of the first moonwalk and moon landing. The DVD first appeared in the book Apollo 11 – The NASA Mission Reports Volume 3. (2002). Godwin has consulted on the Discovery Channel TV series Rocket Science and in 2007 Mars Rising. He also consulted on the Led Zeppelin episode of VH-1 Legends television show. In 2004 he appeared in the Apollo 11 episode of the History Channel series "Tech Effect". He also appeared in the 2010 BBC television series "Rewind the Sixties" talking about his recollections of the first moon landing. At the Oshkosh air show, on July 26, 2019, for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight to the moon, Godwin premiered newly enhanced footage of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface. Godwin reviewed the second generation inter-negative and discovered previously unseen details of the two astronauts working in the shadow of the lunar module.In 2021 he was invited to participate in a series of Podcasts about space flight hosted by actor Paul McGann.

Awards and achievements

In 2002 Godwin's Mission Reports series won the Space Frontier Foundation's Best Presentation of Space Award.

In 2005 Robert co-authored the book Saturn with Alan Lawrie. The book later won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best non-fiction book.

In November of 2007 the International Astronomical Union's Committee for Small Body Nomenclature approved the naming of a main belt asteroid after Robert and his brother Richard Godwin for their efforts in documenting space history and raising public awareness about Near Earth Objects. "4252 Godwin" is an absolute magnitude 12.7 minor planet discovered in 1985 by H. Debehogne at the European Southern Observatory.



  • Apollo 11 - Moonwalk - Director/Producer (1999)
  • 100 Years of Spaceflight At The Movies (For the Arthur C Clarke dinner at the Playboy Mansion) - Director/Producer (2001)
  • A Celebration of Apollo (Apollo 17 anniversary, for The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) - Producer (2003)
  • The Rocket Team (DVD) - Producer (2003)
  • Saturn V Test Movies - Producer (2005)
  • Apollo 11 - The Launch Film/ Apollo 11 The Crew Interviews - Producer/Animator (2009)
  • Apollo 12 - 40th Anniversary - Producer (2009)
  • Apollo 17 - Last Man (Apollo 17 40th anniversary) - Producer (2012)
  • 2001: The Science Of Futures Past - Producer/Animator (2013)

Comments and reviews


  • "I'm always impressed with Robert's work." John Paul Jones - Led Zeppelin
  • "Outrageously exhaustive!" Guitar World
  • "Exceptional. A marvel." FMQB
  • "A massive fix of facts." New Musical Express
  • "The way that publishing should be heading." Record Collector


  • "We have had nothing but compliments on the Apollo 17 film. Thank you." Senator Harrison Schmitt - Apollo 17
  • "Your work is important to the future of space exploration." Chris Kraft - Mission Control chief NASA
  • "Keep up the good work!" Fred Haise - Lunar Module Pilot Apollo 13
  • "It's about time someone did this right." Jim Lovell - Commander Apollo 13
  • "I have watched it three times and still find it thrilling. (Apollo 11 film) You did a great job!" Wendell Mendell Mgr. Human Exploration NASA
  • "...deserves a place in every scientific library..." Sir Patrick Moore
  • "A fascinating and fun book." Tom Hanks
  • "A unique reference." Library Journal
  • "A treasure for the serious student of space exploration." Captain Edgar Mitchell - Apollo 14
  • "Should be on the desk of everyone working on the next lunar lander." Captain Richard Gordon - Apollo 12
  • "Marvelous. I'm afraid I'm going to lose a lot of sleep."Sir Arthur C Clarke
  • "Invaluable" Astronomy
  • "The most ambitious look at our space program to date." Playboy
  • "I believe your books are the best reference material that someone could use." Guenter Wendt NASA Pad Leader Cape Canaveral
  • "Worth of the great Sherlock Holmes. A profound contribution to space flight history." BIS Spaceflight
  • "A wealth of information within these pages." National Space Society Book Review

Space Library Papers

100 Years of Aerospace History in Canada: From McCurdy to Hadfield by Robert Godwin

The Empire Strikes Out - Canada's Defence & The Commonwealth Space Program by Robert Godwin‎

Hans Dominik and Hermann Oberth by Robert Godwin

The First Scientific Concept of Rockets for Space Travel by Robert Godwin