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|Rocket Science |
by: Alfred Zaehringer & Steve Whitfield
Listen to The Space Show interview with Alfred.
Rocket Science. Two words which are synonymous with complexity. Two words which for many people signify the zenith of human genius. A phrase which has entered the English lexicon to describe the toughest discipline in human endeavor.
Author Alfred Zaehringer has a unique perspective on both the phrase and the discipline. In 1944 he was a soldier in the US Army fighting for every inch of ground at Remagen while under fire from the German V-2 rocket. Even under such stress he had the presence of mind to make mental notes of the accuracy of the world's first ballistic missile.
After the war he returned to America and founded the Detroit Rocket Society where he published his own magazine, he called it "Rocketscience" it was the first use of the phrase. Later he would become chief test engineer for America's
preeminent rocket manufacturer, Thiokol.
In this book, his first about space in nearly forty years, Alfred Zaehringer uses his lifetime of experience to take the mystery out of the phrase he coined.
Beginning with a short history of the birth of rocketry he moves into an explanation of the physics that makes it possible to use rockets to fly in space.
Leaving no stone unturned he moves on to the politics and economics of space-flight before providing a detailed cross-section of man's different uses of the reaction rocket to fly into the heavens.
Finally he looks at the proposals for future methods of space transportation and looks at the many promising new technologies which may offer cheaper access to space.
From Goddard to Tsiolkovsky. From the International Space Station to faster-than-light travel. From the ICBM to the Hubble Space Telescope. From the Soviet Union's R-1/Sputnik to China's Long March. From Chuck Yeager's X-1 to the hypersonic scramjet X-43. From the Apollo moon landings to President George W Bush's proposals for building lunar bases and sending humans to Mars. It's all just "Rocket Science."
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