Proposal for Man-in-Space (1957-1958)
ISBN 9781989044063

160 pages!


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Proposal for Man-in-Space (1957-1958)

On October 4th 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, inaugurating the Space Age. To the general public and many politicians in the West the small satellite racing overhead was a shocking and frightening display of communist technological advance. But in the back rooms of the Pentagon and the headquarters of the United States' Air Force, work had been underway since the end of World War II on the inevitability of space flight.

The shock of Sputnik created an opportunity to bring this work into the light of day. During the 12 months between October 1957 and September 1958 engineers, doctors and a host of Air Force Colonels and Generals began a concerted effort to persuade President Eisenhower to allow them to take control of the United States' future space efforts, and to place humans into space no later than 1960 and then send them to the surface of the moon by 1964.

In February 1958, without going through the usual gauntlet of hearings the Air Force brass were informed that they were in charge of the country's space program. Emboldened by this unexpected surprise a team of more than 60 Air Force staff quickly put together a long-range plan for the exploration of space.

This new plan included the evolution of Air Force missiles from the Thor, through the Titan, to the Super-Titan and ultimately to the 2,200,000 lb thrust "Big B" booster. The proposed spacecraft carried acronym names like MISS, MISSOPH, LUREC and finally LUMAN, for the manned lunar lander. This book includes the official Air Force history of these events, for many years classified as "SECRET." It explains how many of these ideas ended up being adopted by NASA and led to the Space Race of the 1960s.

Included with this book is a CD-ROM featuring documents from the early USAF plans for a moon landing.

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