Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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ILLUSTRATIONS

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pp. vii-viii

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PREFACE

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pp. ix-xvi

This book attempts to fill a gap in the literature about space-launch vehicles (and in the process, strategic missiles, from which launch vehicles borrowed much technology). There are many excellent books about rocketry. (The Note on Sources discusses many of them.) But none covers the ways in which the technology in the United States...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-6

Although rockets burning black powder had existed for centuries, only in 1926 did Robert H. Goddard, an American physicist and rocket developer, launch the fi rst known liquidpropellant rocket. It then took the United States until the mid- 1950s to begin spending signifi cant sums...

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CHAPTER 1. German and U.S. Missiles andRockets, 1926-66

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pp. 7-47

Space-launch-vehicle technology evolved from the development of early rockets and missiles. The earliest of these rockets that led to work on launch vehicles themselves was Robert Goddard's in 1926, generally regarded as the first...

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CHAPTER 2. U.S. Space-Launch Vehicles,1958-91

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pp. 48-100

Launch vehicles frequently used missiles as first stages, but these required many modifications, particularly when they had to boost humans into space. Even for satellite and spacecraft launches, technology...

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CHAPTER 3. Propulsion with Alcohol and Kerosene Fuels,1932-72

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pp. 101-144

Arguably, the propulsion system constitutes the most basic component of a missile or launch vehicle. Each rocket required a strong, light structure to fly very high or far, and it needed a guidance/control system to reach its intended destination. But without an adequate propulsion system, its structure and guidance...

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CHAPTER 4. Propulsion with Storable Fuels and Oxidizers,1942-91

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pp. 145-172

In the last years of World War II, a substantial part of von Braun's staff at Peenemünde (1,116 people in Au gust 1944) was engaged in development of the antiaircraft missile, Wasserfall, which used hypergolic propellants (nitric acid and vinyl ethyl ether plus additives)...

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CHAPTER 5. Propulsion with Liquid Hydrogen and Oxygen,1954-91

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pp. 173-221

Although rocket developers had used the cryogenic liquid oxygen as a propellant for a long time, the first operational rocket to use the even colder liquid hydrogen as a fuel was the Centaur upper stage...

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CHAPTER 6. Solid Propulsion: JATOs to Minuteman III,1939-70

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pp. 222-258

Solid-propellant rocketry has a much longer history than its liquid counterpart, but the longexisting “powder” rockets used for fi reworks and other purposes had such low specific impulses that they could not serve to propel launch vehicles. Development of more powerful...

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CHAPTER 7. Titan and Shuttle Boosters, Other Solid Propulsion,1958-91

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pp. 259-287

In solid-propellant technology following the Polaris and Minuteman breakthroughs, the most notable developments were the huge solidrocket motors on the Titan launch vehicles and the still larger solid-rocket boosters on the shuttle. Both derived significantly from Polaris and Minuteman. But there were also important...

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CHAPTER 8. Conclusions and Epilogue

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pp. 288-298

During the last 45 years, launch vehicles have propelled countless spacecraft and satellites into space, in the process revolutionizing life on planet Earth. Americans have become dependent upon satellites for everything from what they watch on television to how they wage war...

NOTES

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pp. 299-362

A NOTE ON SOURCES

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pp. 363-370

Index

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pp. 371-383