Space Systems Failures: Disasters and Rescues of Satellites, Rocket and Space Probes / Edition 1

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The very first book on space systems failures written from an engineering perspective.

Focuses on the causes of the failures and discusses how the engineering knowledge base has been enhanced by the lessons learned.

Discusses non-fatal anomalies which do not affect the ultimate success of a mission, but which are failures nevertheless.

Describes engineering aspects of the spacecraft, making this a valuable complementary reference work to conventional engineering texts.

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Editorial Reviews

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"Harland (space historian) and Lorenz (Univ. of Arizona, Tucson), using occasional flashes of humor, explore in depth the wide variety of causes of failure of space systems … . The material is very practical, punchy, and straightforward, presented in a refreshing writing style. The book contains many … illustrations, extensive references at the end of each chapter and a full 14-page index. … it is a must for scientists and engineers engaged in or planning a career in space systems. Summing Up: Recommended." (W. E. Howard, CHOICE, November, 2005)

"This book is the literary equivalent of the ‘tell-all’ TV documentary and should meet most of its readers’ vicarious interests in what can go wrong in – or on the way to –space. … The book is pretty well encyclopaedic … . The book is illustrated with black-and-white photos and diagrams … . On balance, this book is well researched and referenced … . Anyone involved in the design, manufacturing and operation of spacecraft and launch vehicles should read this book … and learn." (, May/June, 2007)

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Launch vehicles.- The missiles.- The Shuttle.- Back to expendables.- Heavyweights.- Lightweights.- Boom and bust.- The Chinese experience.- The current crop.- Satellites and space probes.- Failure and redundancy.- Propulsion system failures.- Attitude control system failures.- Electrical failures.- Environmental failures.- Structural failures.- Failures on the ground.- Operator and software errors.- Conclusions.

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