Hardback
October 22, 2003
9780801873386
English
288
6 b&w illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
$51.00 USD, £37.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
December 1, 2004
9780801881343
9780801873386
English
288
6
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$51.00 USD, £37.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Single Stage to Orbit

Politics, Space Technology, and the Quest for Reusable Rocketry

While the glories and tragedies of the space shuttle make headlines and move the nation, the story of the shuttle forms an inseparabe part of a lesser-known but no less important drama—the search for a reusable single-stage-to-orbit rocket. Here an award-winning student of space science, Andrew J. Butrica, examines the long and tangled history of this ambitious concept, from it first glimmerings in the 1920s, when technicians dismissed it as unfeasible, to its highly expensive heyday in the midst of the Cold War, when conservative-backed government programs struggled to produce an operational flight vehicle.

Butrica finds a blending of far-sighted engineering and heavy-handed politics. To the first and oldest idea—that of the reusable rocket-powered single-stage-to-orbit vehicle—planners who belonged to what President Eisenhower referred to as the military-industrial complex.added experimental ("X"), "aircraft-like" capabilties and, eventually, a "faster, cheaper, smaller" managerial approach. Single Stage to Orbit traces the interplay of technology, corporate interest, and politics, a combination that well served the conservative space agenda and ultimately triumphed—not in the realization of inexpensive, reliable space transport—but in a vision of space militarization and commercialization that would appear settled United States policy in the early twenty-first century.

About the Author

Andrew J. Butrica, a historical consultant, is the author of, among other works, To See the Unseen: A History of Planetary Radar Astronomy, which won the 1998 Richard W. Leopold Prize awarded by the Organization of American Historians.

Reviews

"A history of one particular aspect of US space history—the attempt to develop a single-stage-to-orbit launcher . . . it is a story of muddle and waste . . . Butrica provides a competent and readable account of this debacle, which concentrates on the small research vehicle, DC-X."—D. M. Ashford, Times Literary Supplement

"The 'holy grail' of the spaceship movement has been the development of a vehicle that could accomplish single stage to orbit (SSTO) flight. This study describes the evolution of this concept from the 1920s to the present, revealing a conservative space agenda that has not yet been the subject of historical analysis. As such, it makes an important contribution to space history literature."—Roger D. Launius, The Smithsonian Institution

9780801873386 : single-stage-to-orbit-butrica
Hardback
288 Pages
$51.00 USD
9780801881343 : single-stage-to-orbit-butrica
Electronic book text
288 Pages
$51.00 USD

Other Titles from New Series in NASA History

Exploration and Engineering

Erik M. Conway
Jul 2016 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$34.95 USD - Hardback
$32.95 USD - Electronic book text
$32.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Why Mars

W. Henry Lambright
Jun 2014 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text

To Touch the Face of God

Kendrick Oliver
Dec 2012 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$42.95 USD - Hardback
$42.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in SCIENCE / History

Engineering Rules

JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy
Mar 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text
$39.95 USD - book

Havoc and Reform

James P. Kraft
Mar 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - book
$54.95 USD - ebook

Imagination and Science in Romanticism

Richard C. Sha
Mar 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$59.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - book

Other Titles in History of science

Engineering Rules

JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy
Mar 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text
$39.95 USD - book

Havoc and Reform

James P. Kraft
Mar 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - book
$54.95 USD - ebook

Imagination and Science in Romanticism

Richard C. Sha
Mar 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$59.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - book