One Giant Leap
Some fifty years ago, while a cub reporter, Jay Barbree caught space fever the night that Sputnik passed over Georgia. He moved to the then-sleepy village of Cocoa Beach, Florida, right outside Cape Canaveral, and began reporting on rockets that fizzled as often as they soared. In "Live from Cape Canaveral," Barbree--the only reporter who has covered every mission flown by astronauts--offers his unique perspective on the space program. He shares affectionate portraits of astronauts as well as some of his fellow journalists and tells some very funny behind-the-scenes stories--many involving astronaut pranks. Barbree also shows how much the space program and its press coverage have changed over time. Warm and perceptive, he reminds us just how thrilling the great moments of the space race were and why America fell in love with its heroic, sometimes larger-than-life astronauts.
What do anthrax protection, golf clubs, and cordless power tools have in common? Each was invented or improved with technology first developed for the space program. Since NASA's inception 45 years ago, hundreds of everyday devices and products have emerged from the research and development required to put rockets into space and humans on the moon. To expand our knowledge of the universe, scientists and engineers with the space program constantly confront new challenges in vehicle design, life support, communications, and astronaut health and well-being. The solutions to these challenges have often benefited those of us who remain on Earth. This book tells the story of 67 of the most consumer-friendly products born of space-related research. Discover the fascinating histories of commonplace items that we now take for granted. One model of ergonomic chairs was based on the position of astronauts at rest in Skylab. Improvements in health-rate monitors resulted from the need to track changes in an astronaut's heart rate. Even swimsuits and ballpoints pens have been improved by space technology. This book also includes extensive information on the history of NASA, and on the technology-transfer centers that help make such product improvements happen. Lesson plans and resources offer additional sources of information on this remarkable subject.
Race to the Moon traces the story of how America got to the moon before Communist Russia. The book opens with an appeal by President John F. Kennedy for winning the space race, then flashes back to World War II and traces the history of rocket development by the Germans, who were 25 years ahead of all other nations in rocket R&D. The book tells of feuds among Nazi leaders about who should control the rocket programme, the struggles of German space scientists to persuade Nazi leadership to invest in rocket research, and, finally, the hundreds of individual espionage efforts that went into smuggling information about this new technology out of the Reich and into the hands of British Intelligence.
In this one-of-a-kind memoir, Jack Clemons--a former lead engineer in support of NASA--takes readers behind the scenes and into the inner workings of the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs during their most exciting years. Discover the people, the events, and the risks involved in one of the most important parts of space missions: bringing the astronauts back home to Earth.
For a very brief moment during the 1960s, America was moonstruck. Boys dreamt of being an astronaut; girls dreamed of marrying one. Americans drank Tang, bought "space pens" that wrote upside down, wore clothes made of space age Mylar, and took imaginary rockets to the moon from theme parks scattered around the country. But despite the best efforts of a generation of scientists, the almost foolhardy heroics of the astronauts, and 35 billion dollars, the moon turned out to be a place of "magnificent desolation," to use Buzz Aldrin's words: a sterile rock of no purpose to anyone. In Dark Side of the Moon, Gerard J. DeGroot reveals how NASA cashed in on the Americans' thirst for heroes in an age of discontent and became obsessed with putting men in space. The moon mission was sold as a race which America could not afford to lose. Landing on the moon, it was argued, would be good for the economy, for politics, and for the soul. It could even win the Cold War. The great tragedy is that so much effort and expense was devoted to a small step that did virtually nothing for mankind. Drawing on meticulous archival research, DeGroot cuts through the myths constructed by the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations and sustained by NASA ever since. He finds a gang of cynics, demagogues, scheming politicians, and corporations who amassed enormous power and profits by exploiting the fear of what the Russians might do in space. Exposing the truth behind one of the most revered fictions of American history, Dark Side of the Moon explains why the American space program has been caught in a state of purposeless wandering ever since Neil Armstrong descended from Apollo 11 and stepped onto the moon. The effort devoted to the space program was indeed magnificent and its cultural impact was profound, but the purpose of the program was as desolate and dry as lunar dust.
Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon -- a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines.
On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch 38-year-old American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong become the first person ever to step on the surface of another heavenly body. Upon his return to Earth, Armstrong was celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also--as NASA historian Hansen reveals in this authorized biography--misunderstood. Armstrong's accomplishments as an engineer, a test pilot, and an astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen's access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than fifty hours with Armstrong himself) yield the first in-depth analysis of this elusive, reluctant hero. Hansen recreates Armstrong's flying career, from his combat missions over North Korea to his transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to the first-ever docking in space. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong's storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children.
This book provides an overview of the origins of the Apollo program and descriptions of the ground facilities, launch vehicles and spacecraft that were developed in the quest to reach - and return from - the surface of the moon. It will serve as an invaluable single-volume sourcebook for space enthusiasts, space historians, journalists, and others. The text includes a comprehensive collection of tables listing facts and figures for each of the missions.
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.
Highlighting men and women across the globe who have dedicated themselves to pushing the limits of space exploration, this book surveys the programs, technological advancements, medical equipment, and automated systems that have made space travel possible.Beginning with the invention of balloons that lifted early explorers into the stratosphere, 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. Spitzmiller shows the impact of space flight on human history and speculates on the future of exploration beyond our current understandings of physics and the known boundaries of time and space.
On July 20, 1969 the whole world stopped. It was a day in which a man who grew up on a farm without electricity would announce, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." In this, the first ever biography of Neil Armstrong, Leon Wagener explores the man whose walk on the moon is still compared to humankind's progenitor's crawl out of the primordial ooze. And whose retreat back to a farm in his native Ohio soon after the last ticker tape confetti fell, has left him looked upon as a reclusive hermit ever since. This is the true story of a national hero, whose life long quest to walk on the moon truely mirrors our best selves, an American who braved incredible danger daily over a long career, finally achieving what seemed impossible, and broke free of the Earth's surly bonds proving forever that man can reach for the stars, and succeed. Relying on hundreds of interviews with family and friends of the astronaut, plus generous access to the NASA files, Leon Wagener explores the life of one of America's true heroes, in a book filled with extraordianry adventure, and even greater achievement.