Breaking the Chains of Gravity

Breaking the Chains of Gravity

The Story of Spaceflight Before NASA

Book - 2015
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NASA's history is a familiar story, culminating with the agency successfully landing men on the moon in 1969, but its prehistory is an important and rarely told tale. America's space agency drew together some of the best minds the non-Soviet world had to offer. At the end of World War II, Wernher von Braun escaped Nazi Germany and came to America where he began developing missiles for the United States Army. The engineer behind the V-2 rocket, von Braun dreamt of sending rockets into space. Ten years later his Jupiter rocket was the only one capable of launching a satellite into orbit.

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and the U.S. Air Force, meanwhile, brought rocket technology into the world of manned flight. NACA test pilots like Neil Armstrong flew cutting-edge aircraft in the thin upper atmosphere while Air Force pilots rode to the fringes of space in balloons to see how humans handled radiation at high altitude.

Breaking the Chains of Gravity looks at the evolving roots of America's space program--the scientific advances, the personalities, and the rivalries between the various arms of the United States military. After the Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957, getting a man in space suddenly became a national imperative, leading President Dwight D. Eisenhower to pull various pieces together to create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Publisher: London :, Bloomsbury Sigma,, 2015.
ISBN: 9781472911179
1472911172
Branch Call Number: 629.47 Teitel 01/2016
Characteristics: 304 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations (some color) ;,22 cm

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Bookstalker5
Feb 09, 2017

This is a recommended reading for anyone interested in the history of what the technology of space flight, rockets, and satellites were like before the existence of NASA. A key point in example would be that NASA was first called NACA. Amy Shira Teitel really conducted her research most accurately prior to writing this book. The bibliography is just tremendous. She also provides insight on what happened when the USA made its first launch of its first satellite and of the first senior director of NASA. In order to finish this book, one would have to read at least twenty pages a day.

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