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Spaceflight USA: books - History, programs and technology

A book on the American space program? Here are books on the history and technology of NASA projects and the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The Birth of NASA : The Work of the Space Task Group, America's First True Space Pioneers

This is the story of the work of the original NASA space pioneers; men and women who were suddenly organized in 1958 from the then National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) into the Space Task Group.
A relatively small group, they developed the initial mission concept plans and procedures for the U.S. space program. Then they boldly built hardware and facilities to accomplish those missions.
The group existed only three years before they were transferred to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, in 1962, but their organization left a large mark on what would follow.

Von Ehrenfried's personal experience with the STG at Langley uniquely positions him to describe the way the group was structured and how it reacted to the new demands of a post-Sputnik era.
He artfully analyzes how the growing space program was managed and what techniques enabled it to develop so quickly from an operations perspective. The result is a fascinating window into history, amply backed up by first person documentation and interviews.

Author:Manfred 'Dutch' von Ehrenfried
Specs:358 pages, 24.5 x 17.5 x 1.9 cm / 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.75 in, paperback
Illustrations:109 b&w and 48 colour photographs
Publisher:Springer International Publishing AG (CH, 2016)
Book: The Birth of NASA : The Work of the Space Task Group, America's First True Space Pioneers

The Birth of NASA : The Work of the Space Task Group, America's First True Space Pioneers

Language: English

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De la terre à la lune - La conquête spatiale américaine de Mercury à Apollo

Comment la Nasa a réussi ce pari insensé que fut celui de faire marcher un homme sur la lune avant la décennie 1970 ? Pourquoi est-ce que les Russes devancèrent les Américains lors des premiers pas de la conquête spatiale ? Comment les Etats-Unis ont-ils comblé leur retard technologique ? Quelles sont les origines des premiers lanceurs employés aussi bien en URSS qu'aux Etats-Unis ? Saviez-vous que le programme Apollo devait succéder au programme Mercury sans passer par le programme Gemini ?

C'est ce que cet ouvrage, à l'aide de plus de 300 photos, d'encadrés et de dessins, va vous expliquer. Si la conquête de l'espace reste encore aujourd'hui une entreprise voulue comme étant pacifique, elle a réellement débuté avec la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale et la confrontation du bloc de l'Est et celui de l'Ouest, sur les ruines de l'Allemagne nazie et du premier programme de missiles balistiques de l'histoire.

Les scientifiques allemands furent éparpillés entre l'URSS et les États-Unis. Pères de la première génération de lanceurs, qui permirent les premiers sauts de puce dans l'espace, certains, tel Von Braun, poursuivirent la quête de la réalisation de leurs rêves, envoyer un homme sur la Lune.
Si Korolev eut beaucoup de mal à convaincre le pouvoir politique soviétique de le laisser tenter l'envoi d'un satellite dans l'espace, la réussite de la mise en orbite de Spoutnik 1, puis le vol de Youri Gagarine firent basculer le monde dans une course technologique, une aventure humaine sans précédent.

C'est cette aventure technologique, humaine et aérospatiale qui est narrée dans cet ouvrage, avec force de détails, photos et dessins, qui permet de mieux cerner l'extraordinaire valeur de cet exploit, ce pari insensé, encore inégalé de nos jours.

Author:Antony Angrand
Specs:368 pages, 31 x 23.5 cm / 12.2 x 9.25 in, hardback
Illustrations:250 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:ETAI (F, 2010)
Book: De la terre à la lune - La conquête spatiale américaine de Mercury à Apollo

De la terre à la lune - La conquête spatiale américaine de Mercury à Apollo

Language: French

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NASA - Space Flight Research and Pioneering Developments

Around the world, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is synonymous with air and space flight. This book covers NASA's aerospace research from the agency's beginnings as NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) in 1915 to the present-day NASA.

Exciting projects and developments are portrayed, such as the first supersonic flight of the X-1 in 1947, the flights of the fastest manned aircraft, the rocket-powered X-15, which attained almost seven times the speed of sound in 1967, the flight-testing of the lunar module for the moon landings, tipping-rotor aircraft, testing new wing concepts, and much more.

The emphasis of the book is in the realm of aviation research, but the boundaries between air and space research are often fluid, so that the development of the Space Shuttle and its testing have been included in this book. Besides project portrayals and descriptions of various research trends, the development sites and important personnel of NASA are portrayed.

Author:Hans-Jürgen Becker
Specs:200 pages, 28.5 x 22.5 x 2.2 cm / 11.2 x 8.9 x 0.87 in, hardback
Illustrations:164 colour photographs
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing Ltd (USA, 2012)
Book: NASA - Space Flight Research and Pioneering Developments

NASA - Space Flight Research and Pioneering Developments

Language: English

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NASA Operations Manual (1958 onwards) - An insight into NASA operations, programmes and field-centre facilities (Haynes Space Manual)

This book provides, for the first time, a comprehensive manual explaining how NASA works and operates its various programmes, opening the door to NASA facilities across the United States.
The down-to-earth text provides a directory of information on the various facilities, what they do, the technical parameters of their equipment and laboratory assets, and how it all fits together.

Pages of the book NASA Operations Manual (1958 onwards) (1)

A full operations description is provided for each of the 13 primary NASA field centres, moving from a historical introduction to sections on each of the sites, and ending with appendices providing reference information on personnel levels, budgets (as a percentage of total US government expenditure each year), a list of NASA Administrators and relevant information.

A fascinating insight into the US agency responsible for the civilian space programme, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

Pages of the book NASA Operations Manual (1958 onwards) (2)

Author:David Baker
Specs:208 pages, 27.5 x 21.5 x 1.6 cm / 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.63 in, hardback
Illustrations:numerous b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Haynes Publishing (GB, 2018)
Series:Haynes Space Manual
Book: NASA Operations Manual (1958 onwards) - An insight into NASA operations, programmes and field-centre facilities (Haynes Space Manual)

NASA Operations Manual (1958 onwards) - An insight into NASA operations, programmes and field-centre facilities

Language: English

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Die Zukunft der Raumfahrt - Private Projekte

Die Raumfahrt, wie wir sie bislang kannten, gehört der Vergangenheit an. Vorbei die Zeiten, als staatliche Agenturen in Ost und West das Monopol für den Zugang zum Weltraum hatten.
Die Zukunft begann spätestens am 16. September 2021, als die »Inspiration 4«-Crew zu einem dreitägigen Flug ins All startete: Eine komplett privat finanzierte Mission, nur mit Laien-Astronauten an Bord.

Weitere Raumflüge werden folgen; Umrundungen des Mondes stehen schon auf dem Programm. Die komplette Bandbreite der privaten Raumfahrt von den Anfängen bis heute fachkundig und spannend dargestellt.

Author:Eugen Reichl
Specs:144 pages, 22.5 x 24.5 x 1.4 cm / 8.9 x 9.7 x 0.55 in, hardback
Illustrations:160 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Motorbuch Verlag (D, 2022)
Book: Die Zukunft der Raumfahrt - Private Projekte

Die Zukunft der Raumfahrt - Private Projekte

Language: German

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SpaceX's Dragon : America's Next Generation Spacecraft

In May 2014 SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, presented the spaceship that will carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station as soon as 2016.
Dragon V2 is a futuristic vehicle that not only provides a means for NASA to transport its astronauts to the orbiting outpost but also advances SpaceX's core objective of reusability.

Dragon V2, which is a direct descendant of Dragon, can be retrieved, refurbished and re-launched. It is a spacecraft with the potential to completely revolutionize the economics of an industry where equipment costing hundreds of millions of dollars is routinely discarded after a single use.

"SpaceX's Dragon - America's Next Generation Spacecraft" describes the extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement that have placed this revolutionary spacecraft at the forefront of the launch industry and positioned it as the precursor for ultimately transporting humans to Mars.
It describes the design and development of Dragon, provides mission highlights of the first six Commercial Resupply Missions, and explains how Musk hopes to eventually colonize Mars.

Author:Erik Seedhouse
Specs:188 pages, 24.5 x 17 x 1.1 cm / 9.7 x 6.7 x 0.43 in, paperback
Illustrations:1 b&w and 77 colour photographs
Publisher:Springer International Publishing AG (CH, 2015)
Book: SpaceX's Dragon : America's Next Generation Spacecraft

SpaceX's Dragon : America's Next Generation Spacecraft

Language: English

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U. S. Spacesuits (2nd Edition)

Spacesuits are far more than garments. They are a personalized spacecraft that allows direct contact and interaction with everything beyond our world, and a last refuge for survival in a disaster. Creating safe, reliable, and comfortable spacesuits is an ongoing challenge that has spanned over four decades.

This book details the technical evolution of U.S. spacesuits from their roots in high altitude aviation and vacuum tube development to present day, with an additional look into the future. This primary source of spacesuit information explains the functions, historical development, and use of spacesuits from a worldwide perspective.
In this new edition, the authors update the story of U.S. spacesuit development and efforts, from the design challenges modern engineers face to the latest roles of spacesuits in space exploration. The book also provides a close up look at NASA's new Constellation Space Suit System as well as Apollo prototype configurations that have been discovered since 2005. Also not in the earlier edition is a prototype and model of the Gemini pressure suit and an explanation of its development.

Finally, there are new insights into the suits used for the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, and International Space Station missions.

Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Reaching upward and outward
3. The basics of spacesuits
4. Launch/entry spacesuits: Past, present, and possibly future
5. Gemini: The first approaches to exploring and working in space
6. Apollo: Mankind starts the exploration of the Moon
7. Advanced development for canceled Apollo missions
8. U.S. Air Force spacesuits
9. Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project suit systems (1969-1975)
10. The Space Shuttle program: Orbital EVA comes of age
11. The quest for future extravehicular activity and planetary exploration
12. Epilogue.

Author:Kenneth S. Thomas, Harold J. McMann
Specs:512 pages, 24 x 17 cm / 9 x 6.7 in, paperback
Illustrations:160 b&w and 124 colour photographs
Publisher:Springer-Verlag New York Inc. (USA, 2011)
Book: U. S. Spacesuits (2nd Edition)

U. S. Spacesuits (2nd Edition)

Language: English

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Related titles:

Selecting the Mercury Seven

Selecting the Mercury Seven

Colin Burgess

English | paperback | 386 p. | 2011

Liberty Bell 7: The Suborbital Mercury Flight

Liberty Bell 7 : The Suborbital Mercury Flight of Virgil I. Grissom

Colin Burgess

English | paperback | 300 p. | 2014

Aurora 7: The Mercury Spaceflight of Scott Carpenter

Aurora 7 : The Mercury Spaceflight of M. Scott Carpenter

Colin Burgess

English | paperback | 239 p. | 2015

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Last update:05-04-2024