James Van Allen

James Van Allen

by Abigail Foerstner
Pub. Date:
University of Iowa Press
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James Van Allen

Astrophysicist and space pioneer James Van Allen (1914-2006), for whom the Van Allen radiation belts were named, was among the principal scientific investigators for twenty-four space missions, including Explorer I in 1958, the first successful U.S. satellite; Mariner 2's 1962 flyby of Venus, the first successful mission to another planer; and the 1970's Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, missions that surveyed Jupiter and Saturn. Drawing on Van Allen's correspondence and publications, years of interviews with him as well as with more than a hundred other scientists, and declassified documents from such archives as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Kennedy Space Center, and the Applied Physics Laboratory. Often called the father of space science, Van Allen led the way to mapping a new solar system based on the solar wind, massive solar storms, and cosmic rays. Foerstner's compelling biography charts the eventful life and times of this trailblazing physicist.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780877459996
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Publication date: 11/15/2007
Pages: 396
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xv
Abbreviations and Acronyms     xix
Frontier Roots     1
Heartland Boyhood     16
The Making of a Scientist     35
Physicists to the War Effort     50
Enter Abigail Fithian Halsey     67
The Dawn of Space Exploration     75
The Mighty Little Aerobee     93
It's a Rocket! It's a Balloon! It's a Rockoon!     106
Sputnik and the Space Race     122
Countdown to Explorer I     142
Celebrity Scientist and the Birth of NASA     161
Discovery of the Radiation Belts     175
Space Shield for the Cold War     187
Space as a Cottage Industry     200
The Mariners     213
Pioneers to the Outer Planets     229
Space Politics     248
Journey to the Edge of the Solar System     265
Notes     277
Selected Bibliography     295
Index     301

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