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The Development of Propulsion Technology for U.S. Space-Launch Vehicles, 1926-1991 (Centennial of Flight Series) Hardcover – July 12, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1585445882 ISBN-10: 1585445886 Edition: 1St Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Centennial of Flight Series (Book 17)
  • Hardcover: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; 1St Edition edition (July 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585445886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585445882
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,222,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This meticulously researched work will inform scholars and engineers interested in the history of technology and innovation and those specializing in the history of spaceflight. . . There is much to praise and little to criticize in these two fine volumes on the history of US rocket technology."--Quest
(Quest 2008-02-01)

“It fills what is unquestionably a tremendous gap in the literature of space access . . . does a superb job of tracing the main lines of development of the major rocket technologies. . . This work is a benchmark in the process of the invention of spaceflight and its evolution over time.”--Roger Launius, Smithsonian Institution; Chair, Division of Space History, NASA
(Roger Launius, Smithsonian Institution; Chair, Division of Space History, NASA)

“In his excellent book . . . veteran air and space historian, J. D. Hunley argues that it’s wrong because there is no such thing as rocket science. His effort is the most comprehensive general history of the growth of American rocketry we’re likely to see. Hunley’s book is very valuable to those who currently work in rocket development because it allows them to understand the past and perform more effectively in the future. The Development of Propulsion Technology made me proud to be an engineer.”—Air and Space Power Journal
(Capt. Brent D. Ziarnick, USAFR Air and Space Power Journal 2013-03-22)

About the Author

J. D. HUNLEY’s career as a historian has focused on the history of aerospace technology. He was named a Ramsey Fellow at the National Air and Space Museum for 2001–2002 after serving in history programs for both NASA and the U.S. Air Force. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Now semiretired, he continues to write about the history of America’s space program.

More About the Author

J.D. Hunley, known to his friends as Dill, was chief historian for NASA Dryden Flight Research Center before his retirement in 2001. A Ramsey Fellow at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in 2001-2002, he has written widely about German history, the life and thought of Friedrich Engels, and aerospace history. Among other prizes, he was the winner of the 2006 History Manuscript Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for what became "The Development of Propulsion Technology for U.S. Space-Launch Vehicles, 1926-1991," published by Texas A&M University Press and now available as an e-book at http://books.google.com/ebooks?as_brr=5&q=J.+D.+Hunley&as_sub=. He received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 2010 Gardner-Lasser Aerospace History Literature Award for his two volume set: "Preludes To U.S. Space-Launch Vehicle Technology: Goddard Rockets to Minutemen III" and "U. S. Space-Launch Vehicle Technology: Viking to Space Shuttle," published by the University Press of Florida.
These three books about missiles and rockets not only explain the development of the technologies used in space-launch vehicles and missiles but also contain numerous anecdotes and sketches about the engineers who created the technologies and about the processes they used. For example, in developing the huge F-1 engine for the Saturn space-launch vehicle, with its 1.522 million pounds of thrust, engineers encountered major problems with what was called combustion instability (oscillations in the combustion chamber that could and did destroy the engine). Some 50 engineers and technicians from engine contractor Rocketdyne, NASA, universities, and the Air Force were assigned to a team to solve the problem. They included, among other experts, Rocketdyne's Dan Klute, who "had a special talent for the half-science, half-art of combustion chamber design." They knew from earlier rocket engines that the cause of the problem lay in the injectors for the propellants (kerosene and liquid oxygen), which had to mix precisely for smooth combustion. They tried perhaps 40 or 50 modifications of the design before they found a combination of features that worked, but they were never certain that the problem would not recur. Nevertheless, they went ahead with development, solving other problems as they occurred. The five F-1s in the Saturn first stage performed admirably in the July 16 to July 24, 1969, Apollo 11 mission that placed the first two astronauts on the Moon, a feat that had seemed impossible less than 10 years before that.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on December 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Every few years a benchmark study appears on some aspect of space history that reinterprets our understanding of the subject. J.D. Hunley, whom I freely admit is a longtime friend and colleague, has published--along with two additional volumes on the history of rocket technology in the United States, "Preludes to U.S. Space-Launch Vehicle Technology: Goddard to Minuteman III" and "U.S. Space-Launch Vehicle Technology: Viking to Space Shuttle"--a major study of the history of U.S. rocketry. "The Development of Propulsion Technology for U.S. Space-Launch Vehicles, 1926-1991" is Hunley's magnum opus and will hereafter provide the starting point for studying this subject.

This book accomplishes three critically important tasks exceptionally well. First, it fills what is unquestionably a tremendous gap in the literature of space launch. There is no single book or even a small collection of books where anyone may find a comprehensive history of rocket technology. Most of what is available is superficial, such as Frank Winter's "Rockets into Space" (Harvard, 1990), or concentrates on specific launch systems, such as David Stumpf's excellent book, "Titan II: A History of a Cold War Missile Program" (Arkansas, 2000). Hunley's work is a cohesive whole that analyzes that story much more even-handedly and effectively. It will undoubtedly become the standard resource on this subject.

Second, it does a superb job of tracing the main lines of development of the major rocket technologies.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The book reads as smoothly as an action novel. It brings the reader along step by step in a cohesive review that makes me feel like I am working next to interesting scientists. Slosh baffles, Teflon coated valves for liquid hydrogen upper stages. Super!
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