Kennedy Space Center: Gateway to Space

Overview

Praise for the hardcover edition:

"Extremely practical and enjoyable."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[Will be] devoured by history or space enthusiasts from eight to eighty."
— VOYA

"The foreword grabbed me, and by the prologue I ...

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Overview

Praise for the hardcover edition:

"Extremely practical and enjoyable."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[Will be] devoured by history or space enthusiasts from eight to eighty."
— VOYA

"The foreword grabbed me, and by the prologue I was hooked."
— The Science Teacher

NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center set the stage for the American adventure into space and went on to host a succession of rocket launches that have helped to form our understanding of the nature of the universe.

The Kennedy Space Center is a major tourist attraction in Florida, but most of its doors remain locked to the public. This abundantly illustrated book is an insider's history of the heart of America's space program, including detailed information on:

  • The earliest development of rockets in the United States and Germany
  • The development of rockets and their launch facilities
  • The missile race and the U.S.-Soviet rivalry to be first in space
  • The great Apollo program and the race to the moon
  • The shuttle program, the Space Station and the Hubble Telescope
  • The future of space exploration

Kennedy Space Center is clearly written, meticulously researched and packed with more than 150 spectacular images — the one and only complete history of this important site.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Unbiased introductory history of the US space program... enjoyable to read... clear, captioned, high-quality color and black-and-white photographs.
— M.S. McCullough
The Midwest Book Review
It's the only complete history of the Center and provides armchair readers with a complete tour of Center history, operations and launch efforts. The mission-by-mission coverage leaves out nothing.
Science Books and Films
The large color photographs of rocket launches and space travel are beautiful and inspiring.
— Denise A. Brush, Rowan University
Booklist
Profusely illustrated history of America's spaceport... an appealing portrait of the physical installations behind the drama of ignition and lift-off.
— Gilbert Taylor
Globe and Mail
[Globe and Mail Christmas 2006 Gift Book selection] Combining authoritative text with more than 150 photos, the book provides a good glimpse into the day-to-day operations of the famous spaceport.
Air and Space
A meditation on the excitement of reaching for the stars... [uses] incisive text and more than 150 images... especially informative.
— Roger D. Launius
American Profile
A story of derring-do, scientific how-to and dreams, it makes for one spectacular rocket ride of a book.
— Neil Pond
Tampa Tribune
Reynolds takes readers on a narrative ride through the center -- its people and machines, triumphs and tragedies.
— Kurt Loft
Halifax Chronicle Herald
This visual feast traces the development of the centre... [and] may be the next best thing to actually visiting.
— Jodi DeLong
Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin
Packed with more than 150 spectacular images, Kennedy Space Center is the only complete history of this important site.
The Science Teacher
This readable, remarkable volume has the depth of an all-encompassing historical timeline... The foreword grabbed me, and by the prologue I ws hooked.
Science Books and Films - Denise A. Brush
The large color photographs of rocket launches and space travel are beautiful and inspiring.... This book does contain many details that would help students writing reports. This title is an optional purchase for libraries or teachers who need to update their materials on the space program.
Choice - M.S. McCullough
An unbiased introductory history of the US space program in a style that educates and is enjoyable to read... Over a hundred clear, captioned, high-quality color and black-and-white photographs of various sizes creates a visually appealing book that works as a research tool and for displays.... Summing Up: Recommended.
Booklist - Gilbert Taylor
Profusely illustrated history of America's spaceport... an appealing portrait of the physical installations behind the drama of ignition and lift-off.
Air and Space - Roger D. Launius
Kennedy Space Center: Gateway to Space offers a meditation on the excitement of reaching for the stars... Reynolds tell the story for a general audience, using incisive text and more than 150 images... especially informative... a fine introduction to the history of the Kennedy Space Center. [Roger D. Launius, Chairman, Department of Space History, National Air and Space Museum]
American Profile - Neil Pond
The epic story of the men and machines who put America into space — and the amazing, 140,000-acre site in Florida that became our nation's crucial stepping stone to an era of unparalleled, out-of-this-world exploration. A story of derring-do, scientific how-to and dreams, it makes for one spectacular rocket ride of a book.
Tampa Tribune - Kurt Loft
Reynolds takes readers on a narrative ride through the center — its people and machines, triumphs and tragedies.
Halifax Chronicle Herald - Jodi DeLong
This visual feast traces the development of the centre... [and] may be the next best thing to actually visiting.
Four Corners Business Journal (Farmington, NM) - Michael Janairo
A testament to human potential and the reality that geeks, at long last, deserve their own coffee-table books.
VOYA - Rachel Wadham
Containing an extremely meticulous overview of the space program from the view of the facilities that launched the missions and the people who made it happen, Reynolds's work is full of elegant descriptions and compelling details that highlight the vast technology and the indomitable human spirit. Beginning with the German development of rockets during World War II and ending with modern developments in space exploration, the text discusses the success as well as the crushing defeats. The author handles even the most controversial issues well, although biases are apparent especially in the discussion of the twentieth century's space shuttle disasters. Technical explanations of the Center's facilities as well as the rockets and space shuttles are detailed enough for science buffs yet simple enough for everyone. Interspersed with the technology is an extraordinary view of the real people involved in the program. The insider's view of the hard work and dedication of all the people involved gives the text energy and depth. Illustrated entirely with exceptional color photographs, the complete picture gives the reader a wonderful understanding of the power and grandeur of the program. Marred only by the few jumps in the time line that are jarring, the overall package is outstanding. Although it is too large and heavy for recreational reading, this work will find a great home in any reference collection where it can be used heavily for research and devoured by history or space enthusiasts from eight to eighty.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554070398
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/12/2006
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

David West Reynolds is the author of 10 books, and combined they have sold over two million copies in nine languages. He has a PhD from the University of Michigan and is an expert in space exploration and its history. He has made numerous television appearances and his writings, diagrams, illustrations and photographs have appeared in scientific journals, books, magazines and other publications, including National Geographic's best-selling Epic Rivalry: The Inside Story of the Soviet and American Space Race.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Prologue

Section One: Gateway to Space

  • Rocketland
  • Countdown
Section Two: Road to the Cape
  • Prototype
  • Location
Section Three: Race for the Heavens
  • The Challenge
  • Mercury
  • Gemini
Section Four: Journey to the Moon
  • Saturn
  • Moonshot
  • Skylab and Soyuz
Section Five: The Shuttle
  • Vision Quest
  • The Space Shuttle
Section Six: Beyond the Shuttle
  • Probes and
    Satellites
  • Gateway to the Future

KSC Timeline
Recommended Reading
Index

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Preface

Prologue The mission objectives are decided elsewhere. The spacecraft are designed and built elsewhere. Today the astronauts are trained elsewhere, and their mission is controlled elsewhere. But the gateway to space lies here. All the elements of America's space program come together at Cape Canaveral's Kennedy Space Center.

After everyone else in the vast NASA spaceflight organization has done his or her job, the Kennedy Space Center team bears the tremendous responsibility of being the last ones to make sure that all the work has been done right and that every component of a spacecraft will function properly. There will be no one after them to check their work or catch any mistakes.

Space rockets require extremely elaborate preparations. Each rocket type must have a specialized launch pad tailored to its precise needs. Without painstaking preparatory operations and supporting equipment to match, a rocket is useless. The most sophisticated rockets in the world require the most sophisticated launch facilities, and the finest are found at the legendary places known as Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center.

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Introduction

Prologue

The mission objectives are decided elsewhere. The spacecraft are designed and built elsewhere. Today the astronauts are trained elsewhere, and their mission is controlled elsewhere. But the gateway to space lies here. All the elements of America's space program come together at Cape Canaveral's Kennedy Space Center.

After everyone else in the vast NASA spaceflight organization has done his or her job, the Kennedy Space Center team bears the tremendous responsibility of being the last ones to make sure that all the work has been done right and that every component of a spacecraft will function properly. There will be no one after them to check their work or catch any mistakes.

Space rockets require extremely elaborate preparations. Each rocket type must have a specialized launch pad tailored to its precise needs. Without painstaking preparatory operations and supporting equipment to match, a rocket is useless. The most sophisticated rockets in the world require the most sophisticated launch facilities, and the finest are found at the legendary places known as Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2006

    Good photos, but...

    I worked as an engineer on the Gemini and Apollo projects, as Pad Leader on Geminis 9 through 12 with McDonnell in St. Louis, and at Kennedy, working for Boeing on Apollos 8 through 13. I am an avid reader of space history, and feel qualified to comment. While there are some very good photos in the book, I was quite disappointed in the large number of errors I noticed which even the most basic proofreading should have corrected. I found a similar number of errors in Mr. Reynold's previous book, Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon. Pg. 90 The photo clearly shows 'Friendship 7' painted on the side of the spacecraft, yet the caption identifies it as Freedom 7.... Pg. 105 'Frank' Lovell should be 'James' Lovell.... Pg. 145 caption: Apollo 11 launched in 1969, not 1965 as stated.... Pg. 148 caption: Apollo 7 did not launch on a Saturn V as stated, it launched on a Saturn IB.... Pg. 190 Text states that the Shuttle's external tank carries liquid nitrogen for fuel. This is ridiculous nitrogen is not a fuel, it is used to put fires out. The fuel was liquid hydrogen.... Pg. 197 The Shuttle never reaches 159,670 mph as stated, considering that orbital velocity is only about 1/9 of that. The fastest man has ever traveled has been approx. 25,000 mph during the Apollo lunar flights.... Pg. 230 Vanguard did not 'launch' before Explorer I (unless you consider a Vanguard flight of several inches followed by a massive explosion a 'launch'.)....

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