In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible. For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.
On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch thirty-eight-year-old American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong become the first person ever to step on the surface of another heavenly body. Perhaps no words in human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic moment.Upon his return to Earth, Armstrong was honored and celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also -- as James R. Hansen reveals in this fascinating and important authorized biography -- misunderstood.
Instant New York Times Bestseller As the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing approaches, the award winning historian and perennial New York Times bestselling author takes a fresh look at the space program, President John F. Kennedy's inspiring challenge, and America's race to the moon.
NASA's Apollo answered President Kennedy's 1961 directive to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade. The astronauts, scientists, and mission control operators who took part in the fifteen manned Apollo missions not only accomplished this memorable triumph of courage and technical ingenuity, they stirred the world's imagination and redefined the notion of what is truly possible. In this captivating story of adventure and exploration, expert David West Reynolds presents a complete and engaging reconstruction of all the key events and personalities in the Apollo program. From the thrilling experiences of the astronauts to the men of extraordinary vision and skill who built a reality out of a dream, Reynolds captures the drama of this epic journey. Rendering complex and technical material into accessible terms for the uninitiated reader, while providing unusual details for the aficionado,Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon takes you along on the most unforgettable ride of the twentieth century.
Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind’s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words “magnificent desolation.” And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control’s clearance to take off with the quip, “Roger. Understand. We’re number one on the runway.”
Much has been written about Neil Armstrong, America’s modern hero and history’s most famous space traveler. Yet shy of fame and never one to steal the spotlight Armstrong was always reluctant to discuss his personal side of events. Here for the first time is the definitive story of Neil’s life of flight he shared for five decades with a trusted friend – Jay Barbree. Working from 50 years of conversations he had with Neil, from notes, interviews, NASA spaceflight transcripts, and remembrances of those Armstrong trusted, Barbree writes about Neil’s three passions – flight, family, and friends. This is the inside story of Neil Armstrong from the time he flew combat missions in the Korean War and then flew a rocket plane called the X-15 to the edge of space, to when he saved his Gemini 8 by flying the first emergency return from Earth orbit and then flew Apollo-Eleven to the moon’s Sea of Tranquility. Together Neil and Jay discussed everything, from his love of flying, to the war years, and of course his time in space. The book is full of never-before-seen photos and personal details written down for the first time, including what Armstrong really felt when he took that first step on the moon, what life in NASA was like, his relationships with the other astronauts, and what he felt the future of space exploration should be. As the only reporter to have covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings Jay knows these events intimately. Neil Armstrong himself said, “Barbree is history’s most experienced space journalist. He is exceptionally well qualified to recall and write the events and emotions of our time.” Through his friendship with Neil and his dedicated research, Barbree brings us the most accurate account of his friend’s life of flight, the book he planned for twenty years.
The summer of 1969 saw astronauts land on the moon for the first time and hippie hordes descend on Woodstock for a legendary music festival. For Neil M. Maher, the conjunction of these two era-defining events is not entirely coincidental. Apollo in the Age of Aquarius shows how the celestial aspirations of NASA's Apollo space program were tethered to terrestrial concerns, from the civil rights struggle and the antiwar movement to environmentalism, feminism, and the counterculture. With its lavishly funded mandate to send a man to the moon, Apollo became a litmus test in the 1960s culture wars. Many people believed it would reinvigorate a country that had lost its way, while for others it represented a colossal waste of resources needed to solve pressing problems at home. Yet Maher also discovers synergies between the space program and political movements of the era. Photographs of "Whole Earth" as a bright blue marble heightened environmental awareness, while NASA's space technology allowed scientists to track ecological changes globally. The space agency's exclusively male personnel sparked feminist debates about opportunities for women. Activists pressured NASA to apply its technical know-how to ending the Vietnam War and helping African Americans by reducing energy costs in urban housing projects. Particularly during the 1970s, as public interest in NASA waned, the two sides became dependent on one another for political support. Against a backdrop of Saturn V moonshots and Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind, Apollo in the Age of Aquarius brings the cultural politics of the space race back down to planet Earth.
From the first experimentation with rocket technology in the early 20th century to the Mir space station and the Mars Pathfinder mission of 1997, this one-stop guide to space exploration provides a wealth of information for student researchers. Combining narrative description, analytical essays, a timeline, biographical profiles, and the text of key primary documents, Roger D. Launius, Chief Historian of NASA, provides the latest information and analysis on all aspects of space exploration.
This highly acclaimed study approaches the space race as a problem in comparative public policy. Drawing on published literature, archival sources in both the United States and Europe, interviews with many of the key participants, and important declassified material, such as the National Security Council's first policy paper on space, McDougall examines U.S., European, and Soviet space programs and their politics.
The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA at the leading edge of the feminist and civil rights movement, whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space--a powerful, revelatory contribution that is as essential to our understanding of race, discrimination, and achievement in modern America as Between the World and Me and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
A nation in need of hope, the most powerful rocket ever launched, and the first three men to break the bounds of Earth: Apollo 8 was headed to the moon. In 1957, when the USSR launched Sputnik I, the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth, America's rival in the Cold War claimed victory on a new frontier. The Space Race had begun, and the United States was losing. Closer to home, a decade of turbulence would soon have Americans reeling, with the year 1968 alone seeing the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy as well as many violent clashes between police and protesters. Americans desperately needed something good to believe in, and NASA's mission to orbit Earth in Apollo 8 and test a lunar landing module was being planned for the end of the year. But with four months to go and the module behind schedule, the CIA discovered that the USSR was preparing to send its own mission around the moon -- another crucial victory in the Space Race -- and it was clearly time for a change of plan. In a volume full of astonishing full-color photographs, including the iconic Earthrise photo, Martin W. Sandler unfolds an incredible chapter in U.S. history: Apollo 8 wouldn't just orbit Earth, it would take American astronauts to see the dark side of the moon.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rare breed of astrophysicist, one who can speak as easily and brilliantly with popular audiences as with professional scientists. Now that NASA has put human space flight effectively on hold, Tyson's views on the future of space travel and America's role in that future are especially timely and urgent.
"Human beings are natural explorers, and nowhere is this frontier spirit stronger than in the United States of America. It almost defines the character of the US. But the Earth is running out of frontiers fast. Star Trek was right -- there is only one final frontier, and that is space. In Brian Clegg's The Final Frontier we discover the massive challenges that face explorers, both human and robotic, to uncover the current and future technologies that could take us out into the galaxy and take a voyage of discovery where no one has gone before ... but one day someone will.
The first in-depth, fully illustrated history of global space discovery and exploration from ancient times to the modern era The Smithsonian History of Space Exploration is a comprehensive history of international space exploration paired with photographs, illustrations, graphics, and sidebars on key scientific and technological developments, influential figures, and pioneering spacecraft.
In The Moon, celebrated amateur astronomer Bill Leatherbarrow provides expert insight into the history of our study of this compelling astronomical body. Drawing on his own decades of lunar observation, he describes how and why the observation and study of the moon has evolved, particularly in the age of telescopic study. He also offers an overview of current scientific thinking and developments in lunar science since the advent of the Space Age, even providing practical advice on how to make your own observations of the moon. Extensively illustrated with images of the lunar surface taken both from spacecraft and using amateur equipment, this book is an accessible introduction to complex astrophysical concepts that will give all amateur astronomers and anyone fascinated by this natural satellite something to moon over.
In this volume, a wide array of scholars turn a critical eye toward NASA's first 50 years, probing an institution widely seen as the premier agency for exploration in the world, carrying on a long tradition of exploration by the United States and the human species in general. Fifty years after its founding, NASA finds itself at a crossroads that historical perspectives can only help to illuminate.
A comprehensive account of the first manned space mission to leave Earth's orbit describes the odyssey Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders in a study of a seminal mission that transformed human concepts of space exploration.
Ted Spitzmiller describes how humans first came to employ lifting gasses such as hydrogen and helium. He traces the influence of science fiction writers on the development of rocket science, looks at the role of rocket societies in the early twentieth century, and discusses the use of rockets in World War II warfare. Spitzmiller considers the engineering and space medicine advances that finally enabled humans to fly beyond the earth's atmosphere during the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. He recreates the excitement felt around the world as Yuri Gagarin and John Glenn completed their first orbital flights. He recounts triumphs and tragedies, such as Neil Armstrong's "one small step" and the Challenger and Columbia disasters. The story continues with the development of the International Space Station, NASA's interest in asteroids and Mars, and the emergence of China as a major player in the space arena.
Chapters include: At home in orbit -- The birth of Sputnik -- The Nedelin catastrophe -- Man and woman in space -- The Voskhod follies -- Death and disaster -- The moon-race cover-up -- The long climb back -- Secret space cities -- The Salyut-6 breakthrough -- Through the Zero-G barrier -- Things to come.
Aiming for the Stars explores the motivations, goals, trials, and triumphs of the people who pioneered space exploration from the sixteenth century to the modern era. Tom D. Crouch describes space travel's emergence from the pages of science fiction into the laboratories of twentieth-century rocketeers such as Wernher von Braun, who masterminded Nazi rocket development and later became a key figure in the U.S. space program, and Sergei Korolev, an engineer whose successful launches became the foundation of Soviet Cold War policy. The book also explains the goals and missions of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs and describes the 1986 Challenge disaster, the spacefaring adventures of astronaut Shannon Lucid, and the fortunes of the Mir space station in the wake of glasnost. Linking individual obsessions and achievements with the political events and social currents that surrounded them, the book offers a wide-ranging view of the attempt to explore the final frontier.
Explores the possible hazards facing future space tourists, travelers, and colonists, using fictional log entries of an imaginary astronaut from the future to explain and illustrate actual science fact.
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. One of the world's greatest technological achievements, the Apollo 11 mission was a mammoth undertaking involving more than 410,000 men and women dedicated to winning the space race against the Soviets. Donovan provides a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it.
The remarkable story of the trailblazers and the ordinary Americans on the front lines of the epic mission to reach the moon. President John F. Kennedy astonished the world on May 25, 1961, when he announced to Congress that the United States should land a man on the Moon by 1970. No group was more surprised than the scientists and engineers at NASA, who suddenly had less than a decade to invent space travel.