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Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Part I: The Golden Age 1957-1982 (Springer Praxis Books) 2007th Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0387493268
ISBN-10: 0387493263
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  • Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Part I: The Golden Age 1957-1982 (Springer Praxis Books)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

"This book … presents the accomplishments of robotic exploration of the major planets and their moons from Mercury to Neptune. Ulivi and Harland do a splendid job describing observations made using these … ‘robots’ to take pictures and explore the infrared and radio emissions, aurora, magnetic fields, and magnetospheres of these planets, their satellites, and the interplanetary medium. … More than 46 pages of references, further readings, excellent photographs and extensive illustrations, full author list, 6-page glossary, and 10-page index. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels." (W. E. Howard, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (8), 2008)

"Robotic Exploration of the Solar System would address events that had happened over the period from 1957 up to the present day. … this is a fantastic book – there is much in it that I, as a devotee of the subject for longer than either of the authors, can draw from it. It really is encyclopaedic in its coverage and is a wonderful work for old timers … and for students, new to the field, to consult to get up to speed." (Colin Pillinger, The Observatory, Vol. 128 (1203), 2008)

"The best book I read so far on space exploration. ...The combination of Harland the historian, and Ulivi the astronomer ... make this an outstanding contribution. First, this book describes the state of the knowledge of the solar system just before space exploration begins. Second, this book is comprehensive, in that it includes US, European and Soviet/Russian contributions. ... An excellent basis for those who are looking for a global view of this part of the history of science." (Patrick Haubrechts, amazon.com)

 

 

About the Author

The Second World War left among its many and painful heritages a new technology, ballistic missiles, that was to change the world, providing a way to carry into space instruments, satellites and probes that revolutionized science and technology.

Prior to launching artificial satellites, both the then Soviet Union and the United States developed more powerful intercontinental missiles with a range of thousands of miles. In the 1950s, the Soviets designed the huge 8K71 "Semiorka" (little seven, after the military designator R 7), a single staged rocket equipped with four large boosters and able to carry an heavy thermonuclear warhead to the continental US. In the USA, competition between the different armed forces prevailed, and the Army developed the medium range Redstone and Jupiter missiles, whilst the Air Force developed the Thor and two different ICBMs, Atlas and Titan and the Navy developed the Polaris submarine launched missiles.

The potential of all of these rockets to boost spacecraft were huge, but while in the Soviet Union it was decided to modify an 8K71 to carry a scientific payload into space, the United States decided that the Navy would develop a tiny new rocket called Vanguard, specifically designed for the task. This decision was to have grave repercussions: on 4 October 1957 the Soviet Union launched its PS-1 satellite, better known as Sputnik, which rocked the USA. This was compounded a month later by the launch of the PS-2, carrying the dog Laika. Following the explosion of the first Vanguard on December 6, the US Army then had the task to restore the American confidence by successfully carrying Explorer 1 into space on 1 February 1958 using the modified Redstone rocket called Juno 1. During the same year, the superpowers started working on new versions of their missiles able to carry small payloads to the Moon and, potentially, to the near planets. The space race had begun.

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Product Details

  • Series: Springer Praxis Books
  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Praxis; 2007 edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387493263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387493268
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Trevor Hand on June 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed reading this book, it is written in a very clear and detailed style that is very easy to understand. The authors point out cases where something may have been done on one mission that had an effect on decisions made on future ones, like hardening future exploration of Jupiter after the scale of the radiation belts had been established.

It presents a chronology of all of the missions, even the ones that were eventually cancelled and gives a great insight into some of the missions that were imagined, but never eventuated, and how some evolved from an initial concept to the actual mission flown. The book is a great reference for anyone interested in the exploration of space.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Robotic Exploration of the Solar System. Part 1.

The best book I read so far on space exploration.

The combination of Harlan the historian, and Ulivi the astronomer, which had already produced the excellent `lunar exploration' book made this an outstanding contribution.

First, this book describes the state of the kwowledge of the solar system just before space exploration beggins. Second, this book is comprehensive, in that it includes us, european and soviet/russian contributions.

They are many detailed descriptions, including all phases of a given mission, even those which were never realized, from planning, launch and the follow-up on results. All aspects are described, financial, political and technical.

The book contains many readeable line drawings, figures, good pictures, some of them quite rare, as well as many little known facts for the average reader, it is an excellent basis for those who are looking for a global view of this part of the history of science.

P. Haubrechts
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Format: Paperback
This book is rich in the most minute details and yet also enormously readable. It and its companion volumes are hands down the definitive history of mankind's robotic exploration of the solar system. Highly recommended.
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