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This review is written from the viewpoint of a 40-something year old model rocketeer. I am fascinated by the Saturn 1 and 1B boosters and their unique styling. I enjoy building and flying model rockets, including models of the Saturn boosters.
In all fairness to the author, I have not read his similar treatment of the Saturn V booster. If I had, or at least had read some reviews of that book, I might have been better prepared for what I was buying.
Not knowing the true nature of the contents of this book, I purchased it hoping to find more detailed information about the physical characteristics of the subject launch vehicles. What I found inside was exactly what the title page declares: The Complete Manufacturing and Test Records. Numerous photos pertaining to the manufacturing facilities (and current photos showing the decay of facilities no longer used); details on the engine manufacturing processes; a complete listing of all H-1 engines built for the programs and where individual serial numbered engines were mounted on each rocket; construction and testing of the rockets, yadda yadda yadda. I hope I'll better appreciate this information once I set aside some time and give the book its proper due.
If you're looking for physical specifications and details on the Saturn 1/1B boosters and attached components, look elsewhere. While this book is chock full of manufacturing and test records for each Saturn 1 and 1B built, it contains little information on the physical attributes of the rockets. In other words, if you're interesting in increasing the accuracy of your models then this book is of little use.
Many of the same black and white photographs of the rockets are available online for free and in larger size.Read more ›
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Alan Laurie is my hero. I love his books. He has saved our Apollo records. I am an aerospace engineer on the Saturn V. The public has absolutely no clue of what he has done. Sorry, modelers--stay away.I have been chased by them, too. :) Alan has compiled very IMPORTANT records that would have been thrown away. When Apollo ended, some terrible things happened. I am very aware of them.
This book is VERY important and should be a part of our Smithsonian's records. I know you have no clue but if you are an engineer, this should delight you. It is easy to read and very well organized. All of his books are like that. I salute him for a job well done. He includes some delightful perks with this book. The book has excellent easy-to-understand diagrams and photographs. How he obtaihned these is a mystery. During Apollo, NASA was nasty about any photos. I will not tell you their nickname. :) I highly recommend this book (except for those who complain over everything).
Sara Howard, Author of "Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon" and "The Greatest Explosions in the Universe."
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