Dyna-Soar: Hypersonic Strategic Weapons System: Apogee Books Space Series 35 Pap/DVD Edition

17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1896522951
ISBN-10: 1896522955
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Robert Godwin has created an unparalleled look at this oft-forgotten program..." -- collectspace.com, September, 2003

"Robert Godwin's evocative compendium does superb justice to one of aerospace history's great "what ifs"." -- hyperscale.com, August, 2003

"Thanks for a great account of one of the most fascinating space projects that never flew." -- Andrew Chaikin, author of

"an encyclopedic look at an aircraft that could have changed the whole tenor of the Cold War space race..." -- Space.com, September, 2003

"treasure trove of material that provides the closest thing anyone today can get to an inside view of the project" -- IEEE Spectrum, September, 2003

From the Author

The Dyna-Soar story is a tale of high-stakes and high technology involving the leading players in the world of politics and aerospace. Some of the best-known heroes of the American space program played a hand in that story.

This book looks at the story of Dyna-Soar through the official documentation that flowed between the Air Force, NASA and the contractors. There are a few interesting additions such as an article written by Dornberger years after Dyna-Soar was cancelled making a case for the validity of the aerospace plane concept and there is a copy of the bibliography that Sanger used when he prepared his original report. The details of the political machinations can be partially divined from reading these documents but the real narrative is still waiting to be told.

This book however is just one chapter in an enormous story that is still being written.

In the end we can only imagine how the geopolitical climate might be different today had the X-20 Dyna-Soar flown in space.

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Product Details

  • Series: Apogee Books Space Series
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc.; Pap/DVD edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896522955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896522951
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on November 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Way back in my college days, I first read of the Dyna-Soar project. Dyna-Soar was being pushed then as a Fractional Orbit Bombardment System (FOBS). It was to be launched by a massive booster, go into orbit, reach its target and drop an atomic bomb on it. Then the program got cancelled.

In this book it appears that the program had no real direction. It was a space plane, it was a research vehicle, it was recon vehicle, it was a shuttle, it was part of the Apollo program. The opinion is expressed that Robert McNamara cancelled the program because no one could tell him what he was getting for the money being spent. I suspect this is true, but I also expect that this was only part of the story. At the time there was a little thing going on called the Viet Nam war that was beginning to suck up a lot of money. The Apollo program was going strong, also expensive. President Johnson wanted money for his War on Poverty. Finally, one of the Anti Missile Treaties signed by the US and the USSR prohibited FOBS.

This book covers the Dyna-Soar program through reprinting the official documentation that flowed between the Air Force, NASA and the Contractors. There is very little analysis of what happened. As a collection of documents, this is the raw material that gives the unvarnished truth.

There's room here for another book that would give more of the political aspects. Could we have built it then? Could we build it now? Maybe we should give the project to Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites - The Dyna-Soar bird looked a lot like their Space Ship One.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Our friends at Apogee books continue to peel the cobwebs away from the history of the space program and provide us all with unique insights into the workings of these pivotal programs and vehicles.
The X-20 was one of the more interesting "might have beens" in the early days of the space race and that it was never built has more to say about the inability of the Air Force and the US government to agree upon its actual role than anything inadequate about the vehicle itself. Because it was never completed and, thus, never flew, information on the Dyna Soar has always been hard to come by with only small articles and snippets of information surfacing from time to time. Here in one book is a vast compendium of copied primary source material relating to this program. Copies of reports, drawings, photographs and even, on the DVD, movie film relating to the development of this intreguing vehicle.
Those who have seen and enjoyed other titles in the Apogee line of "NASA Mission Reports" will find the same format here. If you are looking for an analytical history of the program with learned discussions of the reasonings behind the political changes that ultimately killed the program, this is not the book for you. This book is really a collection of archival papers with no modern analysis added. In many ways this is the purest way to view history as it allows the reader to make up their own mind, at least regarding the material presented.
Very highly recommended to all space and technical history fans.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Our friends at Apogee books continue to peel the cobwebs away from the history of the space program and provide us all with unique insights into the workings of these pivotal programs and vehicles.
The X-20 was one of the more interesting "might have beens" in the early days of the space race and that it was never built has more to say about the inability of the Air Force and the US government to agree upon its actual role than anything inadequate about the vehicle itself. Because it was never completed and, thus, never flew, information on the Dyna Soar has always been hard to come by with only small articles and snippets of information surfacing from time to time. Here in one book is a vast compendium of copied primary source material relating to this program. Copies of reports, drawings, photographs and even, on the DVD, movie film relating to the development of this intreguing vehicle.
Those who have seen and enjoyed other titles in the Apogee line of "NASA Mission Reports" will find the same format here. If you are looking for an analytical history of the program with learned discussions of the reasonings behind the political changes that ultimately killed the program, this is not the book for you. This book is really a collection of archival papers with no modern analysis added. In many ways this is the purest way to view history as it allows the reader to make up their own mind, at least regarding the material presented.
Very highly recommended to all space and technical history fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W. Smith on August 27, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, as usual this Apogee Book is in line with the other products. This one includes a DVD which has some very interesting not to mention rare film of the cancelled Dyna soar project. Also interesting is the de-classified reports which the Nasa mission reports does not have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. R. S. Godwin on August 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Being an absolute space nut in the nicest possible way, I am extremely pleased that my brother decided to spend as much time as he did on this book. The work and research that went in to it was at least three times more than any of our other Mission reports series. It has been a labour of love for Rob since last summer. I am personally going to ensure that copies of this book land on the desks of the Hon. Sean O'Keefe and the Hon. Donald Rumsfeld as I think they might be very interested in the contents. "Hey guys look what we could do back in the '60's. Cool huh?"
There is some amazing very clear video on the DVD of Neil Armstrong, Wally Schirra and Gus Grissom trying out simulators of the X-20. Stuff that I bet you haven't seen before. I know I'm biased, but this is one not to miss.
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