breaking the chains of gravity the story of spaceflight before nasa

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Breaking The Chains Of Gravity

Author : Amy Shira Teitel
ISBN : 9781472911193
Genre : Science
File Size : 22. 71 MB
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NASA's history is a familiar story, one that typically peaks with Neil Armstrong taking his small step on the Moon in 1969. But America's space agency wasn't created in a vacuum. It was assembled from pre-existing parts, drawing together some of the best minds the non-Soviet world had to offer. In the 1930s, rockets were all the rage in Germany, the focus both of scientists hoping to fly into space and of the German armed forces, looking to circumvent the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. One of the key figures in this period was Wernher von Braun, an engineer who designed the rockets that became the devastating V-2. As the war came to its chaotic conclusion, von Braun escaped from the ruins of Nazi Germany, and was taken to America where he began developing missiles for the US Army. Meanwhile, the US Air Force was looking ahead to a time when men would fly in space, and test pilots like Neil Armstrong were flying cutting-edge, rocket-powered aircraft in the thin upper atmosphere. Breaking the Chains of Gravity tells the story of America's nascent space program, its scientific advances, its personalities and the rivalries it caused between the various arms of the US military. At this point getting a man in space became a national imperative, leading to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA.

How Apollo Flew To The Moon

Author : W. David Woods
ISBN : 9781441971791
Genre : Science
File Size : 27. 94 MB
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Stung by the pioneering space successes of the Soviet Union - in particular, Gagarin being the first man in space, the United States gathered the best of its engineers and set itself the goal of reaching the Moon within a decade. In an expanding 2nd edition of How Apollo Flew to the Moon, David Woods tells the exciting story of how the resulting Apollo flights were conducted by following a virtual flight to the Moon and its exploration of the surface. From launch to splashdown, he hitches a ride in the incredible spaceships that took men to another world, exploring each step of the journey and detailing the enormous range of disciplines, techniques, and procedures the Apollo crews had to master. While describing the tremendous technological accomplishment involved, he adds the human dimension by calling on the testimony of the people who were there at the time. He provides a wealth of fascinating and accessible material: the role of the powerful Saturn V, the reasoning behind trajectories, the day-to-day concerns of human and spacecraft health between two worlds, the exploration of the lunar surface and the sheer daring involved in traveling to the Moon and the mid-twentieth century. Given the tremendous success of the original edition of How Apollo Flew to the Moon, the second edition will have a new chapter on surface activities, inspired by reader's comment on Amazon.com. There will also be additional detail in the existing chapters to incorporate all the feedback from the original edition, and will include larger illustrations.

This New Ocean

Author : Loyd S. Swenson
ISBN : 1934941875
Genre : History
File Size : 59. 58 MB
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NASA's official history of Project Mercury, America's effort to get a man into space. Covers the development of the rocket boosters, the selection and training of the astronauts, the design of the Mercury spacecraft, the test launches, and all six manned Mercury flights, including Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American in orbit.

Space And The American Imagination

Author : Howard E. McCurdy
ISBN : 9780801898686
Genre : History
File Size : 52. 47 MB
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People dreamed of cosmic exploration—winged spaceships and lunar voyages; space stations and robot astronauts—long before it actually happened. Space and the American Imagination traces the emergence of space travel in the popular mind, its expression in science fiction, and its influence on national space programs. Space exploration dramatically illustrates the power of imagination. Howard E. McCurdy shows how that power inspired people to attempt what they once deemed impossible. In a mere half-century since the launch of the first Earth-orbiting satellite in 1957, humans achieved much of what they had once only read about in the fiction of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells and the nonfiction of Willy Ley. Reaching these goals, however, required broad-based support, and McCurdy examines how advocates employed familiar metaphors to excite interest (promising, for example, that space exploration would recreate the American frontier experience) and prepare the public for daring missions into space. When unexpected realities and harsh obstacles threatened their progress, the space community intensified efforts to make their wildest dreams come true. This lively and important work remains relevant given contemporary questions about future plans at NASA. Fully revised and updated since its original publication in 1997, Space and the American Imagination includes a reworked introduction and conclusion and new chapters on robotics and space commerce.

Dyna Soar

Author : Robert Godwin
ISBN : 1896522955
Genre : Science
File Size : 32. 50 MB
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The story of the Dyna-Soar program, which consumed $430 million and never flew, is one of the great "what-ifs" of American aerospace history. A compilation of government documents, more than 100 photographs, and 200 drawings and charts tell the story of America's extraordinary spacecraft that was consigned to oblivion less than two weeks after President Kennedy's assassination. A bonus DVD includes rare footage of the program.

We Could Not Fail

Author : Richard Paul
ISBN : 9780292772496
Genre : History
File Size : 56. 25 MB
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The Space Age began just as the struggle for civil rights forced Americans to confront the long and bitter legacy of slavery, discrimination, and violence against African Americans. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson utilized the space program as an agent for social change, using federal equal employment opportunity laws to open workplaces at NASA and NASA contractors to African Americans while creating thousands of research and technology jobs in the Deep South to ameliorate poverty. We Could Not Fail tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of how shooting for the stars helped to overcome segregation on earth. Richard Paul and Steven Moss profile ten pioneer African American space workers whose stories illustrate the role NASA and the space program played in promoting civil rights. They recount how these technicians, mathematicians, engineers, and an astronaut candidate surmounted barriers to move, in some cases literally, from the cotton fields to the launching pad. The authors vividly describe what it was like to be the sole African American in a NASA work group and how these brave and determined men also helped to transform Southern society by integrating colleges, patenting new inventions, holding elective office, and reviving and governing defunct towns. Adding new names to the roster of civil rights heroes and a new chapter to the story of space exploration, We Could Not Fail demonstrates how African Americans broke the color barrier by competing successfully at the highest level of American intellectual and technological achievement.

How To Make A Spaceship

Author : Julian Guthrie
ISBN : 9780698405851
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 22. 18 MB
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A New York Times bestseller! The historic race that reawakened the promise of manned spaceflight Alone in a Spartan black cockpit, test pilot Mike Melvill rocketed toward space. He had eighty seconds to exceed the speed of sound and begin the climb to a target no civilian pilot had ever reached. He might not make it back alive. If he did, he would make history as the world’s first commercial astronaut. The spectacle defied reason, the result of a competition dreamed up by entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, whose vision for a new race to space required small teams to do what only the world’s largest governments had done before. Peter Diamandis was the son of hardworking immigrants who wanted their science prodigy to make the family proud and become a doctor. But from the age of eight, when he watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon, his singular goal was to get to space. When he realized NASA was winding down manned space flight, Diamandis set out on one of the great entrepreneurial adventure stories of our time. If the government wouldn’t send him to space, he would create a private space flight industry himself. In the 1990s, this idea was the stuff of science fiction. Undaunted, Diamandis found inspiration in an unlikely place: the golden age of aviation. He discovered that Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight to win a $25,000 prize. The flight made Lindbergh the most famous man on earth and galvanized the airline industry. Why, Diamandis thought, couldn’t the same be done for space flight? The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne, and the other teams in the hunt, is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible. It is driven by outsized characters—Burt Rutan, Richard Branson, John Carmack, Paul Allen—and obsessive pursuits. In the end, as Diamandis dreamed, the result wasn’t just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry and a new age.

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