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Manned Spacecraft (The Pocket Encyclopedia of Spaceflight in Color) Hardcover – 1976

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 2nd edition (1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0025428209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0025428201
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,898,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By David Christhilf on January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an aerospace engineer, I have bought several books over the years that cover the development of manned space flight capabilities from Mercury to Apollo/Soyuz, and none of the other books have been what I was looking for. Some books deal in detail with a particular vehicle, or the manufacturing and testing of a class of vehicles. Others record the dedication and commitment of the flight crews and program managers who were instrumental in making things happen. As an engineer I wanted to know the layout and operational capabilities of the various space vehicles, and the objectives and accomplishments of each of the missions that led to the successful landing on the moon, the launch of Skylab and the joint Apollo/Soyuz mission.

The book that I received is the Second Revision (3rd Edition) published in 1976. The 1st Edition was published in 1967, prior to the first moon landing, so the First and Second Revisions include events that happened after the original publication. There is also material that looks forward to the construction of the Space Shuttle. The book includes layout, operational capabilities and mission histories for the Soviet space vehicles as well as those of the US. Pages 17 to 96 are color images that depict operations, schematics, and photographs.

I got the book because of the description of the Gemini 11 mission that rendezvoused with the Agena target vehicle, attached a 100 ft tether, and spun at a rate to generate artificial gravity of 0.00015 g's (pp. 180-182). There is a color photo of the Agena target vehicle in a downward orientation, and adjoining tether, on page 49. (The tether was also tested as a means of stabilizing the Gemini/Agena system in a vertical orientation by means of the Earth gravity gradient.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although somewhat outdated nowadays (last printed in 1975), this is a great book for anyone wanting an introduction to the first 15 years of manned spaceflight. The illustraions most in full color are exceptional showing cut away drawings and photos of all major manned craft. The text is well wriiten brief without being too simplified. It also serves as a guide to how progress in manned spaceflight has been held back over the last 40 years by budget cuts and a lack of vision.
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