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To Reach The High Frontier [Launius and Jenkins, 2002] (hardcover)
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"Access—no single word better describes the primary concern of the exploration and development of space. Every participant in space activities—civil, military, scientific, or commercial—needs affordable, reliable, frequent, flexible access to space. To Reach the High Frontier: A History of U.S. Launch Vehicles details the histories of the various space access vehicles developed in the United States since the birth of the space age in 1957.
Even with four decades of public and private effort, access to space remains problematic. The core of the U.S.’s present launch capability, the Atlas, Titan, and Delta launchers, though much evolved, originated as military ballistic missiles in the 1950s. In fact, all U.S. launchers, including NASA’s Saturn and Space Shuttle systems, have involved significant government input, as well as the efforts of private contractors. The technical challenge of reaching space with chemical rockets, the high costs associated with space launch, the long lead times necessary for scheduling flights, and the poor reliability of the rockets themselves show launch vehicles to be the space program’s most difficult challenge.
This book presents case studies in the history of all the major rockets built by the United States. Each study has been written by a specialist knowledgeable about the vehicle described and well able to place each system in the larger context of the history of spaceflight."
Table of Contents
Ch. 1: Rocketry and the Origins of Space Flight
Ch. 2: Stage-and-a-half: The Atlas Launch Vehicle
Ch. 3: Delta: The Ultimate Thor
Ch. 4: Titan: Some Heavy Lifting Required
Ch. 5: History and Development of U.S. Small Launch Vehicles
Ch. 6: Minuteman and the Development of Solid Rocket Launch Technology
Ch. 7: The Biggest of Them All: Reconsidering the Saturn V
Ch. 8: Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Saga
Ch. 9: Broken in Midstride: Space Shuttle as a Launch Vehicle
Ch. 10: Eclipsed by Tragedy: The Fated Mating of the Shuttle and Centaur
Ch. 11: The Quest for Reusability
Ch. 12: Epilogue