By Rod Pyle
Award-winning technology author and documentarian Rod Pyle provides an insider's standpoint at the most unique and peculiar area missions ever devised inside and out of NASA. The fantastic initiatives defined the following weren't purely flights of fancy dreamed up by means of house lovers, yet genuine missions deliberate through major aeronautical engineers. a few have been designed yet no longer outfitted; others have been equipped yet no longer flown; and some have been flown to failure yet little reported:
A titanic rocket that might use atomic bombs as propulsion (never brain the fallout), army bases at the moon which could goal enemies on the earth with nuclear guns, a scheme to spray-paint the lenses of Soviet undercover agent satellites in house, the rushed Soyuz 1 spacecraft that ended with the dying of its pilot, the near-disaster of the Apollo eleven moon touchdown, the mysterious Russian house go back and forth that flew just once and used to be then scrapped--these are only a few of the unimaginable stories that Pyle has present in as soon as top-secret files in addition to bills that have been easily misplaced for plenty of decades.
These tales, complimented by means of many rarely-seen photographs and illustrations, inform of a time whilst not anything used to be too off-the-wall to be taken heavily, and the race to the moon and the hazard from the Soviet Union trumped all different concerns. Readers could be involved, amused, and infrequently chilled.
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Additional info for Amazing Stories of the Space Age: True Tales of Nazis in Orbit, Soldiers on the Moon, Orphaned Martian Robots, and Other Fascinating Accounts from the Annals of Spaceflight
The situation is reversed if hostile forces are permitted to arrive first. ” Science also got its due, and with some prescience: “The scientific advantages are equally difficult to predict but are highly promising. Study of the universe, of the moon, and of the space environment will all be aided by scientific effort on the moon. Perhaps the most promising scientific advantage is the usefulness of a moon base for further explorations into space. ”12 The whole enterprise depended on von Braun's designs for the Saturn family of rockets.
The alloy used to construct the X-15 more than a decade later was just being developed in England in the 1940s, and turned out to be challenging to fabricate into complex shapes. Welding was particularly difficult, as the alloy, called Inconel, tended to crack during the process. All these challenges were overcome in time, but time was something that Germany had little of by 1944. Alternatively, they might have developed ceramic heat-resistant tiles such as the ones used to insulate the hull of the space shuttle, but even in the 1970s perfecting those tiles was a long and difficult process that continued to be an issue throughout the program—they were delicate, easily damaged, and each one was custom made to fit.
Up to sixty-four more launches were estimated to be necessary for the first year of operations, moving another 133 tons of cargo. Finally, sixteen Saturns would be kept on standby for “emergency” purposes (a number nearly as large as the total actually launched by 1975). The budget for this undertaking was estimated at about $6 billion. Since the Apollo program, which was a vastly less complex and smaller undertaking, cost over $20 billion by the time it was complete,15 it's clear that the scope of development costs for Horizon were vastly underestimated.