Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Reading for Space Geeks

From Atomic Rockets, by Winchell Chung.
I've been receiving quite a bit of positive feedback from my June 13th, 2011 post titled "A "Gulliver's Travel's" Overview of Current US Space Policy Advocates" with it's focus on the people, the organizations and the tools being used to help define our next great space future.

However, as first mentioned way back in my July 3rd, 2009 post "Historical Accounts and Comparisons of Our Present Space Age with Other Era's" it's also useful to be aware of relevant history and related antecedents to insure that we don't just end up making the same mistakes as the people who came before us.

So here are seven interesting articles, websites and publications which provide a bit of context to the current space debates happening here and elsewhere:
From Beyond Apollo.
  • Canada's Fifty Years in Space: The COSPAR Anniversary -  By Gordon Sheppard and Agnes Kruchio is a book on the history of Canadian ground based science activity, how that activity placed Canada in the forefront of nations with knowledge of space in 1958 and what Canada ended up doing with those skills over the next fifty years. Of note is the fact that the book finishes up in 2008, just before Canadian corporate space icon MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) attempted, unsuccessfully to sell it's space focused assets to US based Alliant Techsystems (ATK). This single action essentially transformed Canadian space activities from being primarily science focused into a mostly political activity.

Future Wars in Space by paleofuture
  • Space Mission Analysis and Design - By James R Wertz and Wiley Larson and known as SMAD in the astronautics trade. If you've got $200 dollars for some beach reading, this is the book the pro's use. It's a textbook quality publication and if it's technical and related to space activities but not in here, then it just doesn't matter from an engineering standpoint.
    With a little luck, this summer we may each get the chance to enjoy something as uplifting and as amazing as the original A Trip to the Moon, (seen below) which utilized innovative animation plus special effects (including the iconic shot of the rocket ship landing in the moon's eye) and incorporated enough scientific accuracy (for the time period, at least) to become what is generally perceived of as being the very first science fiction film.


    From: Dan Linehan (http://www.dslinehan.com/).

    Hey Chuck,

    Here's another book you might consider for summertime reading. I'm the author of "SpaceShipOne: An Illustrated History." My new book just came out called "Burt Rutan's Race to Space." I've got some cool blurbs and reviews already. Here's something from Paul Allen and Hoot Gibson:
    "With Burt Rutan’s Race to Space, Dan Linehan tells the dramatic story of Burt Rutan’s pioneering aviation work that has included building a racing biplane, the X Prize-winning SpaceShipOne and Voyager, the first airplane to fly around the world.

    "Linehan gives Rutan the credit he is due as one of the architects of twenty-first century private space travel. As he did with his earlier book, SpaceShipOne: An Illustrated History, Linehan also shows himself to be an engaging writer who combines scientific know-how with behind-the-scenes reporting that makes Rutan’s Race read like an adventure story." -- Paul Allen.
    "Dan has done a fabulous job of describing the incredible journey of one of the most accomplished aircraft designers of all time, Burt Rutan. If you weren’t impressed by Burt before now, you certainly will be after reading this absolutely fascinating story of the incredible journey of Burt Rutan—from a young model airplane champion to legendary aircraft designer among the ranks of Douglas, Heinemann, Lockheed, and Kelly Johnson.

    "I personally read it from one end to the other and loved it. This is a book you will read from cover to cover without being able to put it down. What a fascinating story of the aircraft designer of our time, Burt Rutan. His accomplishments as an aircraft designer and builder revolutionized the way airplanes are made.

    "Way to go Dan Linehan for creating a mesmerizing collection of stories!" -- Hoot Gibson
    Please feel free to check out my website listed above for more info. Best wishes,


    Editors Note: I'm still having trouble posting comments but if there is something you'd like to comment on, I'm posting comments manually so don't be shy. Send your questions, queries, concerns and comments to mr.chuck.black@gmail.com.

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