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U.S. Space Launch-Vehicle Technology: Viking to Space Shuttle 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813031781
ISBN-10: 0813031788
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hunley makes the connection between military and civil space vehicles by informing readers that NASA's launchers were originally long-range military ballistic missiles." - Jacob Neufeld, editor in chief, Air Power History "These two volumes tell the compelling story of the events, people, and technology that evolved from the missile programs to the U.S. space boosters that impact every aspect of our daily lives. They also delineate the successful management techniques that produced some of the most expensive and complex systems ever developed." - Robert L. Geisler, Air Force Propulsion Laboratory (retired)"

Book Description

A two-volume overview of U.S. missile and rocket technology
 
"Hunley makes the connection between military and civil space vehicles by informing readers that NASA's launchers were originally long-range military ballistic missiles."--Jacob Neufeld, editor in chief, Air Power History
 
"These two volumes tell the compelling story of the events, people, and technology that evolved from the missile programs to the U.S. space boosters that impact every aspect of our daily lives. They also delineate the successful management techniques that produced some of the most expensive and complex systems ever developed."--Robert L. Geisler, Air Force Propulsion Laboratory (retired)
 
For nearly fifty years, a wide range of missiles and rockets has propelled U.S. satellites and spacecraft into the sky. J. D. Hunley's two-volume work traces the evolution of this technology, from Robert Goddard's research in the 1920s through the development of the Titan missiles and launch vehicles in the 1960s to the refinement of the space shuttle in the 1980s.
 
With the first book devoted primarily to military hardware and the second to launch vehicle hardware, Hunley offers a sweeping overview of these impressive engineering innovations as well as insights into the dynamic personalities responsible for them. Together, the two volumes offer a unique, invaluable history of rocketry that should appeal to a wide range of scholars and space buffs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (April 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813031788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813031781
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,568,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By W Boudville HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
From an already incomplete record of documents and people's memories, Hunley explains the rocketry developed by the US during the space race. As the subtitle says, from Viking to the Space Shuttle.

The book shows signs of extensive research. Fully the last quarter of the book consists of footnotes, that often refer to original NASA publications. But even with this work, at several places in the text, it refers to incomplete information about earlier projects. No doubt many of the original engineers had retired and died by the time this study was done. Some of the expert knowledge was never put on paper.

The coverage of the shuttle is not bad. But you could probably find more extensive writeups elsewhere. As the most recent project in the book, it benefited from the most complete records, as well as perhaps the greatest public interest.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent two volumes book. It is one of the best about space technology, versus fundamental science.
It uses the story of rocket development to outline what modern engineering is all about. The author's choice to divide his subject in two volumes, space launchers versus military missiles, is a good choice, allowing to highlight differences and similarities.

The narrative and chronological style used in both volumes best shows the development of each technology over time. The author gives due credit to the extraordinary contribution to V. Braun, a bit too much to Goddard.

The book's organization by chapters, each describing a launcher family, makes any specialized or focused research easier.
The scope also extends about organizational and managerial influence on the development of a given technology, only when relevant, avoiding `old boys' futile personal career narratives.

My only regret is the lack of data recapitulation tables, by chapter, providing an exhaustive data presentation for the chapter.

It was worth bying.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent work. I'm old enough to remember parts of it when it was happening but I certainly didn't have the understanding of events that this book brings. Dill has really pulled the pieces together for me and some of it was a real revelation.

I have to admit to some personal bias here. Dill and I worked together at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center for years, he as the Center Historian and I as a senior aerospace research engineer. I've read a lot of his work and uniformly admired it.
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