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Spaceship Handbook: Rocket and Spacecraft Designs of the 20th Century, Fictional, Factual, and Fantasy de J. Hagerty & J.C. Rogers

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Spaceship Handbook: Rocket and Spacecraft Designs of the 20th Century, Fictional, Factual, and Fantasy

Book Description Spaceship Handbook's subject is the historical development of the Spaceship during the 20th Century. Arranged in three Sections, "The Theoreticians," "The Entertainers," and "The Real Stuff," it presents an amazing collection of 75 designs and their stories - from Tsiolkovsky and Oberth's engineering papers, through the golden age of movie science fiction, up to the present day's Lockheed "VentureStar" and Rotary Rocket "Roton." Spaceflight historian Hagerty delves into the background story behind each design, examining the motivations of the designers in the context of the times in which they lived. The book's selection of these historically important Spaceships has a twist; none of these Spacecraft ever flew! However, from the information presented, we can see their importance to the development of Spaceships that did fly, and also on the world we live in. Each entry has a wealth of background information. For example, in the "The Theoreticians" section, we see illustrator Chesley Bonestell's wonderful artwork that appeared in Willy Ley's Conquest of Space, a book that accurately predicted space flight years ahead of its time. Plate XLI from this book, shows the Arizona Meteor Crater superimposed over Manhattan Island (with the crater centered roughly on Times Square). Today, it bears a disconcerting similarity to the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, Bonestell's illustration was done over 50 years ago to show the danger of Earth-crossing asteroids. In "The Entertainers," section, the 1930's comic strips and movie serials of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon get their just due. Not only did they affect a whole generation of future NASA engineers, the influence of streamlined design began with these ships. The baby boomer crowd will find that Captain Video, Space Patrol, Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, and others from 1950's live TV space opera shows are included. Also from that era, George Pal's great science fiction films "Destination Moon,"

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