Space: A History of Space Exploration in Photographs

Overview


"The photographs in this book capture a vision of the Heavens and our Earth with a crystal clarity which we are lucky enough to see with our own eyes."

- Tom Hanks

"The immensity... the beauty... the challenge... the triumph and the ...

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Overview


"The photographs in this book capture a vision of the Heavens and our Earth with a crystal clarity which we are lucky enough to see with our own eyes."

- Tom Hanks

"The immensity... the beauty... the challenge... the triumph and the tragedies... are captured in Andy Chaikin's elegant photo history."

- Neil Armstrong


Evocative, dramatic and fascinating, Space is a brilliant collection of more than 300 images that pay tribute to and trace the history of space exploration.

This book covers fifty years of this immense human endeavor that started in earnest during the Cold War:

  • Early theories on space travel
  • Pioneering flights by the Soviets
  • NASA's earliest missions
  • Apollo moon landings
  • The space shuttle
  • Space probes and space stations
  • The future of space exploration.

The images -- some very rare -- have been painstakingly researched from American, Russian and other space programs. As a result, this book is both a historical record of this astonishing era and a portfolio of the most stunning scenes ever photographed.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Chaikin, as he did in his previous A Man in the Moon series (Time-Life, 1999), deftly increases the reader's knowledge of space and the history of space exploration. Large, full-color photographs make up the majority of this incredible book. Photos of manned moon landings and shuttles and interior space-station shots give insight into manned exploration. Readers can see the evolution of manned space travel via the photos of various astronauts. The changes in the astronauts' attire and their crafts are obvious. Photographs from missions to various planets light years away aptly illustrate man's quest to know what is above the horizon. Many photos are from the Mars missions, showing the landscape and haunting colors found on this planet. The Hubble telescope photos are exquisite, allowing readers to view things never seen before at the very end of the universe. This book is proof that scientific photos not only can educate but also can be admired for their beauty. Text explains the intriguing photos and helps introduce each chapter. Photos, however, dominate the book, and text is kept to a minimum. Students will use this book for information but also to just browse. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004 (orig. 2002), Firefly, 256p.; Index. Photos., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 18.
—Susan Allen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847320780
  • Publisher: Carlton Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,159,772

Meet the Author

Andrew Chaikin served on the Viking Mars missions and was a researcher at the Smithsonian's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies. He is the author of A Man on the Moon, the basis for the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon. He is a regular commentator on NPR's Morning Edition.

Captain James A. Lovell flew on the Gemini 7 and Gemini 12 missions, navigated Apollo 8 and commanded Apollo 13.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 8
Author's Preface 12
Introduction: Dreams of Space 14
Chapter 1 Leaving the Cradle 24
Chapter 2 The Race for the Moon 46
Chapter 3 Changing Horizons 98
Chapter 4 Space Shuttles and Space Stations 166
Chapter 5 Through Rugged Ways to the Stars 198
Chapter 6 The Twenty-First Century 230
Acknowledgments and Index 253
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Preface


Introduction

Dreams of Space


We live in an age when space exploration is an everyday occurrence. Men and women are living and working in space for months at a time aboard an International Space Station that circles the Earth some 250 miles (400 kilometers) up. Space probes send back stunning images of distant worlds in our own solar system, while in Earth orbit the Hubble Space Telescope peers even farther out into space, probing the mysteries of the cosmos. At times it seems as if it has always been this way.

The reality is quite different. It wasn't so long ago -- the mid-1950s -- that the very idea of sending humans into space seemed so fantastic that most people doubted it would happen in their lifetimes. No one could have guessed that Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin would become the first human to orbit the Earth in 1961, or that American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin would leave mankind's first footprints on the Moon just eight years later. Even in retrospect, the advent of the space age is among the most extraordinary events in human history. But while its causes were largely unforeseen, it didn't happen by accident. Its origins lie not only in the insights of some of history's greatest scientists and the efforst of the twentieth-century's space pioneers, but in the geopolitics of the Cold War.

Nobody knows when humans first dreamed of exploring the realms beyond Earth, but there are stores of space travel going back as far as the second century A.D., when Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist, described a sailing ship lifted from the ocean and carried to the Moon by a violent whirlwind. Some 1,400 years later, in 1649,the celebrated French philosopher and playwright Cyrano de Bergerac penned his own fanciful lunar journey in Voyage dans la Lune (Voyage to the Moon) followed by a sequel, Histoire Comique des Etats et Empires du Soleil (Comic History of States and Empires of the Sun). De Bergerac, while acquainted with the scientific theories of the day, let his imagination run wild.

However, it was a Russian mathematics teacher named Konstantin Tsiolkovsky who laid the groundwork for space travel. Largely self-educated, Tsiolkovsky had been profoundly deaf from childhood; in his brilliant writings and forecasts, written between 1892 and his death in 1935, he devised plans for multi-stage rockets, living and working in weightlessness and even spacewalking.

As innovative as Tsiolkovsky's rocket designs were, they made use of a principle first stated in the seventeenth century by the English scientist Sir Isaac Newfon -- for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In a rocket, hot gases racing out of the engine nozzle (the "action") create a force that propels the rocket upward (the "reaction"). Although Tsiolkovsky never actually built a rocket himself, his ideas fuelled generations of space pioneers to come, His 1911 statement, now a mantra for advocates of space exploration, boldly stated humanity's imperative to leave its home planet: "The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but we cannot live forever in a cradle."

By the time of Tsiolkovsky's death, the technology for making his visions come true was already developing. In the United States a solitary inventor named Robert Goddard was developing the world's first liquid-fuelled rockets, Goddard knew that a rocket that burned liquid propellants would produce far more energy than one powered by solid fuel (for example, the black gunpowder used in fireworks). In addition, liquid-fuelled rockets can be turned off and re-started; they can also be throttled (that is, the flow of fuel can be controlled) -- great advantages for a space vehicle. While Goddard's rockets were small, they were actually the direct ancestors of the mighty boosters that would one day send astronauts into space. However, no single person could solve the problems of large-scale rockets, and, ultimately, Goddard's main contribution to the history of rocket science was as an inspiration to those who followed him.

It took warfare to give rocketry the boost it needed. Just as aviation advanced during the First World War, so did rocket technology during the Second. In Nazi Germany, a program to develop a missile capable of striking targets in England and other Allied nations began under the leadership of a young engineer named Wernher von Braun. Inspired by German space visionary Hermann Oberth, von Braun had become obsessed with the idea of sending humans to the Moon and beyond. With the support of the Third Reich, von Braun and his team built what was at the time the largest and most powerful rocket in history, the V-2 "Vengeance" missile.

Standing 46 feet (14 meters) tall, the V-2 was powered by an engine that burned a mixture of alcohol and water with liquid oxygen to produce an awesome 56,000 pounds (250,000 newtons) of thrust. To make it work, von Braun and his team had to solve a host of technical problems, from creating a guidance system that would steer the missiles to their targets, to working with super-cold liquid oxygen, which exists at a temperature of -298deg Fahrenheit (-183deg Celsius). After numerous failures, they scored their first successful launch of the V-2 in October 1942, Travelling at five times the speed of sound, V-2s reached heights of up to 60 miles (96,5 kilometers), the first man-made objects to enter space. Ultimately, however, the V-2's greatest legacy was not as a weapon -- though they were responsible for much death and destruction, many of the missiles failed to reach their targets and they failed also to frighten Great Britain out of the war -- but as a forerunner of the rockets that launched some of the first satellites and astronauts into space.

Still, as the Second World War ended, the most important role for rockets was not in exploring space but as a means of engaging in a new kind of conflict, In the growing postwar tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States, world war gave way to cold war, Both sides studied the feasibility of developing the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), which could inflict nuclear destruction on an enemy a vast distance away in a matter of minutes by following a long ballistic arc that stretched into space and then descended toward its target. By any standard, the ICBM would be the ultimate weapon, so terrible that even its designers hoped it would never have to be used.

It would take a rocket many times more powerful than the V-2 to hurl a nuclear weapon weighing several tons over such distances. This meant developing more powerful engines and better guidance systems than those used in the V-2. Engineers also had to find a way to protect the warhead from the intense heat of its high-speed re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. The difficulties of complex rocket engines and super-cold propellants were also present, but on a larger scale than any previous rocket effort. Most daunting of all was the need to counteract the irresistible pull of Earth's gravity to send the missiles from their launch sites to their distant targets. This meant that the ICBM had to be as lightweight as possible, without sacrificing power.

Few, however, doubted the importance of solving these problems. The Cold War was heating up, thanks both to the outbreak of the conflict in Korea in 1950 and the development of the hydrogen bomb by the two superpowers a few years later. In both countries, the pace of work intensified. By 1954 U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower had made the American ICBM, named Atlas, the nation's top defense priority.

Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union, a brilliant engineer named Sergei Korolëv was leading his own nation's ICBM project. Like Wernher von Braun, Korolëv dreamt of launching expeditions to the Moon and Mars. He had nurtured these dreams even as he toiled in Stalin's labor camps, where he was a political prisoner between 1938 and 1944. It was his work on wartime rocketry projects that won him his freedom. Had it not been for the Cold War, Korolëv's dreams of exploring space might have languished for decades; the Kremlin had no interest in his wild schemes. What mattered was the development of the ICBM -- and Korolëv succeeded. His team produced the R-7 rocket, known to its creators by the Russian nickname Semyorka ("Little Seven").

Semyorka was designed to fire a hydrogen warhead at targets in North America, but Korolëv realized that an artificial satellite could hitch a ride on this military machine -- and so could the space age. Both the Soviet Union and the United States had each planned to launch a satellite during the International Geophysical Year that began in mid-1957, however, it was Korolëv's R-7, tested for the first time in August, that gave the Soviet Union a chance to make history.

On the night of October 4, 1957, an R-7 stood ready for launch at a secret location on the steppes of Kazakhstan some 1,300 miles (2,000 kilometers) southeast of Moscow, At the nose of the R-7, concealed under a protective shroud, was a 22.8-inch (58-centimetre) sphere of polished aluminum containing a radio transmitter, If all went well, Semyorka would place this 184-pound (84-kilogram) creation into orbit around the Earth as the planet's first artificial satellite. While his launch team made their final preparations, Korolëv waited in a command bunker, trying to conceal his anxiety. He later told a colleague that he had been waiting for this day for most of his life.

Half an hour past midnight, brilliant flames erupted from the engines of the R-7. Moments later the great rocket rose into the night, lighting the steppes like an artificial sunrise. Apart from a couple of minor glitches, Semyorka functioned as designed, propelling Korolëv's satellite, called Sputnik (from the Russian meaning "fellow traveler"), beyond the atmosphere and into orbit around the Earth at a speed of 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometers) per hour. When the "beep-beep" of Sputnik's transmitter was received at tracking stations, Korolëv knew he had been successful. The space age had begun.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction
Dreams of Space

We live in an age when space exploration is an everyday occurrence. Men and women are living and working in space for months at a time aboard an International Space Station that circles the Earth some 250 miles (400 kilometers) up. Space probes send back stunning images of distant worlds in our own solar system, while in Earth orbit the Hubble Space Telescope peers even farther out into space, probing the mysteries of the cosmos. At times it seems as if it has always been this way.

The reality is quite different. It wasn't so long ago -- the mid-1950s -- that the very idea of sending humans into space seemed so fantastic that most people doubted it would happen in their lifetimes. No one could have guessed that Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin would become the first human to orbit the Earth in 1961, or that American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin would leave mankind's first footprints on the Moon just eight years later. Even in retrospect, the advent of the space age is among the most extraordinary events in human history. But while its causes were largely unforeseen, it didn't happen by accident. Its origins lie not only in the insights of some of history's greatest scientists and the efforst of the twentieth-century's space pioneers, but in the geopolitics of the Cold War.

Nobody knows when humans first dreamed of exploring the realms beyond Earth, but there are stores of space travel going back as far as the second century A.D., when Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist, described a sailing ship lifted from the ocean and carried to the Moon by a violent whirlwind. Some 1,400 years later, in 1649, the celebratedFrench philosopher and playwright Cyrano de Bergerac penned his own fanciful lunar journey in Voyage dans la Lune (Voyage to the Moon) followed by a sequel, Histoire Comique des Etats et Empires du Soleil (Comic History of States and Empires of the Sun). De Bergerac, while acquainted with the scientific theories of the day, let his imagination run wild.

However, it was a Russian mathematics teacher named Konstantin Tsiolkovsky who laid the groundwork for space travel. Largely self-educated, Tsiolkovsky had been profoundly deaf from childhood; in his brilliant writings and forecasts, written between 1892 and his death in 1935, he devised plans for multi-stage rockets, living and working in weightlessness and even spacewalking.

As innovative as Tsiolkovsky's rocket designs were, they made use of a principle first stated in the seventeenth century by the English scientist Sir Isaac Newfon -- for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In a rocket, hot gases racing out of the engine nozzle (the "action") create a force that propels the rocket upward (the "reaction"). Although Tsiolkovsky never actually built a rocket himself, his ideas fuelled generations of space pioneers to come, His 1911 statement, now a mantra for advocates of space exploration, boldly stated humanity's imperative to leave its home planet: "The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but we cannot live forever in a cradle."

By the time of Tsiolkovsky's death, the technology for making his visions come true was already developing. In the United States a solitary inventor named Robert Goddard was developing the world's first liquid-fuelled rockets, Goddard knew that a rocket that burned liquid propellants would produce far more energy than one powered by solid fuel (for example, the black gunpowder used in fireworks). In addition, liquid-fuelled rockets can be turned off and re-started; they can also be throttled (that is, the flow of fuel can be controlled) -- great advantages for a space vehicle. While Goddard's rockets were small, they were actually the direct ancestors of the mighty boosters that would one day send astronauts into space. However, no single person could solve the problems of large-scale rockets, and, ultimately, Goddard's main contribution to the history of rocket science was as an inspiration to those who followed him.

It took warfare to give rocketry the boost it needed. Just as aviation advanced during the First World War, so did rocket technology during the Second. In Nazi Germany, a program to develop a missile capable of striking targets in England and other Allied nations began under the leadership of a young engineer named Wernher von Braun. Inspired by German space visionary Hermann Oberth, von Braun had become obsessed with the idea of sending humans to the Moon and beyond. With the support of the Third Reich, von Braun and his team built what was at the time the largest and most powerful rocket in history, the V-2 "Vengeance" missile.

Standing 46 feet (14 meters) tall, the V-2 was powered by an engine that burned a mixture of alcohol and water with liquid oxygen to produce an awesome 56,000 pounds (250,000 newtons) of thrust. To make it work, von Braun and his team had to solve a host of technical problems, from creating a guidance system that would steer the missiles to their targets, to working with super-cold liquid oxygen, which exists at a temperature of -298deg Fahrenheit (-183deg Celsius). After numerous failures, they scored their first successful launch of the V-2 in October 1942, Travelling at five times the speed of sound, V-2s reached heights of up to 60 miles (96,5 kilometers), the first man-made objects to enter space. Ultimately, however, the V-2's greatest legacy was not as a weapon -- though they were responsible for much death and destruction, many of the missiles failed to reach their targets and they failed also to frighten Great Britain out of the war -- but as a forerunner of the rockets that launched some of the first satellites and astronauts into space.

Still, as the Second World War ended, the most important role for rockets was not in exploring space but as a means of engaging in a new kind of conflict, In the growing postwar tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States, world war gave way to cold war, Both sides studied the feasibility of developing the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), which could inflict nuclear destruction on an enemy a vast distance away in a matter of minutes by following a long ballistic arc that stretched into space and then descended toward its target. By any standard, the ICBM would be the ultimate weapon, so terrible that even its designers hoped it would never have to be used.

It would take a rocket many times more powerful than the V-2 to hurl a nuclear weapon weighing several tons over such distances. This meant developing more powerful engines and better guidance systems than those used in the V-2. Engineers also had to find a way to protect the warhead from the intense heat of its high-speed re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. The difficulties of complex rocket engines and super-cold propellants were also present, but on a larger scale than any previous rocket effort. Most daunting of all was the need to counteract the irresistible pull of Earth's gravity to send the missiles from their launch sites to their distant targets. This meant that the ICBM had to be as lightweight as possible, without sacrificing power.

Few, however, doubted the importance of solving these problems. The Cold War was heating up, thanks both to the outbreak of the conflict in Korea in 1950 and the development of the hydrogen bomb by the two superpowers a few years later. In both countries, the pace of work intensified. By 1954 U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower had made the American ICBM, named Atlas, the nation's top defense priority.

Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union, a brilliant engineer named Sergei Korolëv was leading his own nation's ICBM project. Like Wernher von Braun, Korolëv dreamt of launching expeditions to the Moon and Mars. He had nurtured these dreams even as he toiled in Stalin's labor camps, where he was a political prisoner between 1938 and 1944. It was his work on wartime rocketry projects that won him his freedom. Had it not been for the Cold War, Korolëv's dreams of exploring space might have languished for decades; the Kremlin had no interest in his wild schemes. What mattered was the development of the ICBM -- and Korolëv succeeded. His team produced the R-7 rocket, known to its creators by the Russian nickname Semyorka ("Little Seven").

Semyorka was designed to fire a hydrogen warhead at targets in North America, but Korolëv realized that an artificial satellite could hitch a ride on this military machine -- and so could the space age. Both the Soviet Union and the United States had each planned to launch a satellite during the International Geophysical Year that began in mid-1957, however, it was Korolëv's R-7, tested for the first time in August, that gave the Soviet Union a chance to make history.

On the night of October 4, 1957, an R-7 stood ready for launch at a secret location on the steppes of Kazakhstan some 1,300 miles (2,000 kilometers) southeast of Moscow, At the nose of the R-7, concealed under a protective shroud, was a 22.8-inch (58-centimetre) sphere of polished aluminum containing a radio transmitter, If all went well, Semyorka would place this 184-pound (84-kilogram) creation into orbit around the Earth as the planet's first artificial satellite. While his launch team made their final preparations, Korolëv waited in a command bunker, trying to conceal his anxiety. He later told a colleague that he had been waiting for this day for most of his life.

Half an hour past midnight, brilliant flames erupted from the engines of the R-7. Moments later the great rocket rose into the night, lighting the steppes like an artificial sunrise. Apart from a couple of minor glitches, Semyorka functioned as designed, propelling Korolëv's satellite, called Sputnik (from the Russian meaning "fellow traveler"), beyond the atmosphere and into orbit around the Earth at a speed of 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometers) per hour. When the "beep-beep" of Sputnik's transmitter was received at tracking stations, Korolëv knew he had been successful. The space age had begun.

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