GETTING OFF THE PLANET: Training Astronauts
|GETTING OFF THE PLANET: |
by Mary Jane Chambers and Dr Randall Chambers
Pub Date Jan / 2006
Getting off the Planet is the story of how a group of dedicated scientists, working with some of the nation's finest pilots, prepared for space flight by meticulous research and patient, relentless testing. The book provides a piece of space history largely missing until now.
Introduction by Mary Jane Chambers
Anyone who glances at this book may wonder about its authorship.
Since Dr. Chambers is a space pioneer and a world-renowned authority on some aspects of space flight training, why is Mrs. Chambers doing most of the writing?
This is a good question.
The answer can be found in the old saying,“Engineers and scientists tend to tell you more about something than you really want to know!”
A case in point is a biologist-friend of ours who spent his entire life studying the chromosome map of the salivary gland of the fruit fly. He was completely unaware that the whole fruit flymuch less his glandwas not of great interest to most of us.
Sending a man to the moon, and returning him safely to Earth in July, 1969, was arguably the most significant scientific achievement of the 20th century.
It was accomplished by scientists from at least two dozen disciplinesfrom anatomy to zoologyfrom laboratories of government, industry and universities.
The obstacles to such an undertaking are so enormous that they have seldom been listed anywhere.
Most of us rarelyif everthink about what it would require to get off the planet. We take gravity, which tightly holds everything to Earth, for granted. We rarely take time to appreciate the fact that gravity is so powerful that nobody has ever fallen off the Earth. Or jumped.
Astronauts in science fiction seem to glide into the great beyond effortlessly. However, the reality is that physical forces such as gravitational stress, atmospheric pressure, and weightlessness all have to be“conquered” before a safe flight can be made.
Beginning in 1958, there were 10 busy years of researchtrial, error, testing and recheckingby scientists of different disciplines to achieve the moon walk.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: From the Beginning
Chapter 2: Getting Started
Chapter 3: Some Glimpses into Early Space Research Projects
Chapter 4: The Biosatellite Pioneers
Chapter 5: Astronaut Selection and Trainingwith Stress, Distress, Zeal and Determination
Chapter 6: Acceleration Forces and Stresses: Coping with Gravity
Chapter 7: Early Mars Experiments
Chapter 8: Microgravity and Weightless Simulations
Chapter 9: Atmospheric Pressure Factors
Chapter 10: More Glimpses into Early Space Research Projects
Chapter 11: All Dressed Up for Space Exploration
Chapter 12: So Much for Creature Comforts
Chapter 13: Into Space with Mercury, Gemini and Apollo
Chapter 14: Exploring the Moon and Returning to Earth
Chapter 15: The Shuttle Programs: New Spacecraft, New Missions
Chapter 16: Preparing for Sky Lab and Other Space Stations
Chapter 17: Meeting the Public
Chapter 18: Serendipities Galore!