Astronautics - by Ted Spitzmiller

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Book 1 - Dawn of the Space Age chronicles the initial discoveries, inventions, and engineering innovations that became the foundation of rocket technology. It follows the events that shaped the initial thrust into space as represented by the first Soviet Sputniks and the shocked response by the Americans. The engineering requirements of the first manned spacecraft ,Vostok and Mercury, and the selection and experiences of the first spacefarers are all related in detail. Book 2 - To the Moon and Towards the Future, examines the commitment by the American President John Kennedy to land a man on the Moon within the decade of the 1960s. It details the Gemini, Voskhod, Soyuz and Apollo programs . It reviews the development of the most complex machine devised by man-the Space Shuttle-and follows the evolution of the space station. It highlights the effort to find extraterrestrial life and the exploration of the outer planets. This second volume also examines advanced propulsion technologies and speculates on what might lie ahead in space exploration.