Pub. Date:
Springer International Publishing
NASA Spaceflight: A History of Innovation

NASA Spaceflight: A History of Innovation

by Roger D. Launius, Howard E. McCurdy
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This book presents the first comprehensive history of innovation at NASA, bringing together experts in the field to illuminate how public-private and international partnerships have fueled new ways of exploring space since the beginning of space travel itself. Twelve case studies trace the messy, risky history of such partnerships, exploring the role of AT&T in the early development of satellite technology, the connections between the Apollo program and Silicon Valley, the rise of SpaceX, and more. Some of these projects have succeeded, and some have failed; all have challenged conventional methods of doing the public’s business in space. Together, these essays offer new insights into how innovation happens, with invaluable lessons for policymakers, investors, economists, and members of the space community.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783319601120
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 10/13/2017
Series: Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
Edition description: 1st ed. 2018
Pages: 402
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Roger D. Launius has written or edited more than thirty books on aerospace history, most recently Historical Analogs for the Stimulation of Space Commerce (2014), and Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned (2013).

Howard E. McCurdy is Professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University, USA. He is the author of numerous works on the national space program, including Inside NASA (1993), Faster, Better, Cheaper (2001), and Space and the American Imagination (rev. ed. 2011).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Partnerships for Innovation.

2. The Origins and Flagship Project of NASA's International Program—The Ariel Case Study

3. Global Instantaneous Telecommunications and the Development of Satellite Technology

4. The Other Side of Moore's Law—The Apollo Guidance Computer, the Integrated Circuit, and the Mircoelectronics Revolution, 1962–1975

5. NASA's Mission Control Center—The Space Program's Capitol as Innovative Capital

6. Lessons of Landsat—From Experimental Program to Commercial Land Imaging, 1969–1989

7. Selling the Space Shuttle—Early Developments

8. Something Borrowed, Something Blue—Re-purposing NASA's Spacecraft

9. Encouraging New Space Firms

10. The Discovery Program—Competition, Innovation, and Risk in Planetary Exploration

11. Partnerships for Innovation—The X-33/VentureStar

12. Microgravity, Macro Investment—Overcoming International Space Station Utilization Challenges through Managerial Innovation

12. NASA, Industry, and the Commercial Crew Development Program—The Politics of Partnership

13. Conclusion—What Matters?

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This book offers an amazingly comprehensive, exquisitely detailed history of our space program, told in a series of programmatic vignettes. Launius and McCrudy have done a masterful job of pulling together a narrative that touches on technology milestones and decision points that shaped our nation’s past and pending future in space. It is especially noteworthy in that key technology developments are discussed in the broader context of national policy, highlighting not only the engineering considerations, but also the sometimes larger-than-life personalities behind some of our space program’s greatest accomplishments. It should be required reading for all students of aerospace history and space policy.” (Mark J. Lewis, Director of the Science and Technology Policy Institute, Institute for Defense Analyses, USA)

“This book is a virtual singularity. Launius and McCurdy are the gold standard of space history and space policy scholarship, and they have assembled a notable group of historians and policy analysts to trace NASA’s role in the development of high technology. They offer fascinating commentary on what has been done to date, as well as an indispensable reference for managers, administrators, and practitioners planning the next stage in America’s space enterprise. Pointing to future trends in aerospace policy and scholarship, it will be an authority for decades to come.” (Richard P. Hallion, Florida Polytechnic University, USA)

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