To a Distant Day

9780803245211: Paperback
Release Date: 1st July 2013

29 photographs, 1 illustration

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 264

Series Outward Odyssey: A People's History of Spaceflight

UNP - Nebraska

To a Distant Day

The Rocket Pioneers

Written by
Chris Gainor
,
Foreword by
Alfred Worden
Paperback / £18.99

“Insightful, instructive, and definitely worth the read.”—Greg Andres, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

“As someone who has been teaching a course on space exploration for many years and has visited most of NASA’s space centers, I have found plenty of new and valuable material in To a Distant Day. . . . I recommend the book to all who wish to know more about the conditions, people, and discoveries between 1890 and 1960 that led to the space age.”—Pangratios Papacosta, Physics Today

Although the dream of flying is as old as the human imagination, the notion of rocketing into space may have originated with Chinese gunpowder experiments during the Middle Ages. Rockets as both weapons and entertainment are examined in this engaging history of how human beings acquired the ability to catapult themselves into space.
Chris Gainor’s irresistible narrative introduces us to pioneers such as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Goddard, and Hermann Oberth, who pointed the way to the cosmos by generating the earliest wave of international enthusiasm for space exploration. It shows us German engineer Wernher von Braun creating the V-2, the first large rocket, which, though opening the door to space, failed utterly as the “wonder weapon” it was meant to be. From there Gainor follows the space race to the Soviet Union and the United States, giving us a close look at the competitive hysteria that led to Sputnik, satellites, space probes, and—finally—human flight into space in 1961.
As much a story of cultural ambition and personal destiny as of scientific progress and technological history, To a Distant Day offers a complete and thoroughly compelling account of humanity’s determined efforts—sometimes poignant, sometimes amazing, sometimes mad—to leave the earth behind.

Acknowledgements

Foreword from Col. Alfred Worden

Acronyms

Chapter 1 Space Dreams and War Drums

Chapter 2 Tsiolkovsky and the Birth of Soviet Astronautics

Chapter 3 Robert Goddard’s Solitary Trail

Chapter 4 Hermann Oberth and Early German Rocketry

Chapter 5 Von Braun, Dornberger and World War II

Chapter 6 Rockets, Balloons and the Right Stuff

Chapter 7 Korolev and the First ICBM

Chapter 8 The Military Industrial Complex

Chapter 9 Sputniks and Muttniks

Chapter 10 The Birth of NASA

Chapter 11 Man In Space Soonest

Epilog: July 6, 1969

Sources

Index

Chris Gainor, a historian of technology, is the author of Arrows to the Moon: Avro’s Engineers and the Space Race, Who Killed the Avro Arrow?, and Canada in Space: The People and Stories behind Canada’s Role in the Exploration of Space. Alfred Worden was an Apollo 15 astronaut.

“Let us hope for as good a companion volume taking the story to the shuttle and space-station era and the emergence of space powers other than Russia and the U.S.”—Roland Green, Booklist

Roland Green
Booklist

“As much a story of cultural ambition and personal destiny as of scientific progress and technological history, To a Distant Day offers a thoroughly compelling account of humankind’s determined efforts—sometimes poignant, sometimes amazing, sometimes mad—to leave Earth behind.”—Quest

Quest

"As someone who has been teaching a course on space exploration for many years and has visited most of NASA's space centers, I have found plenty of new and valuable material in To a Distant Day. . . . I recommend the book to all who wish to know more about the conditions, people, and discoveries between 1890 and 1960 that led to the space age."—Pangratios Papacosta, Physics Today

Pangratios Papacosta
Physics Today

"To a Distant Day is not simply about scientific and technical developments. It provides insight into the social and political context of the early rocket pioneers and how progress emerged amidst competing egos, political pressures, and technical challenges. . . . Insightful, instructive, and definitely worth the read."—Greg Andres, Journal of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Greg Andres
Journal of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

"Since the dawn of time, mankind has looked skyward and longed to travel the heavens, to feel the glow of distant stars, to explore the celestial bodies of our galactic neighborhood, and to venture beyond this earthly cradle. Chris Gainor's work, To a Distant Day, tells of the engineers, the scientists, and the explorers who realized the ancient dream and ventured from Earth."—David R. Self, Technology and Culture

David R. Self
Technology and Culture

"Chris Gainor's new book, To a Distant Day, recreates the colorful history of how rocketry came to be."—David Reneke, davidreneke.com

David Reneke
davidreneke.com