"provide a general overview of these space missions
to the average reader, not just those fluent in aerospace
geek speak. "
Wades Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mark Wade created this enormous encyclopedia of space
information including lots of historical data on both
NASA and Soviet programs, rockets, and spacecraft. Sections
by Robert H. Goddard , available at Dover
Publications, "comprised of two papers written
by Robert Goddard for the Smithsonian Institution:
"A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes" and "Liquid
Propellant Rocket Development." Two of the most significant
publications in the history of rockets and jet propulsion,
these reports--the first published in 1919 and the
second in 1936--were issued at a time when little
was known about rockets and jet propulsion."
Jack Parsons: Sex and Rockets
A Salon.com article,
unfortunately no longer accessible on line, discussed
the amazing life of JPL co-founder and occultist Jack
Parsons. Considered one of the fathers of American rocketry,
Parsons led a bizarre double life that eventually led
to his tragic downfall.
This museum in the city of Kaluga, Russia is dedicated
to Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), considered by
many to be the father of astronautics. While working as
a high school teacher, he developed the basic theories
of multi-stage rockets, liquid fuel rockets, gyroscope
attitude control, and many other techniques for space
travel. [The links for this site are dead but I will keep
this entry in hopes that the site can be found at another
Colliers Magazine - 8 issues of the magazine
between 1952-1954 included articles by Dr. Wernher
von Braun, Willy Ley and other space visionaries and
included wonderful artwork by Chesley Bonestell, Fred
Freeman and Rolf Klep. The articles had a big impact
on public perceptions in the US on the feasibility
of space travel.
An engineer at NACA
credited with many contributions there who later became
an important earlier leader of NASA. He was NASA's first
Director of Space Flight operations. Led planning of
Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. He also was the
one who came up with the Mercury and Apollo program
He promoted the use of liquid hydrogen/oxygen propellants
and took over leadership of the development of the Centaur
RL10 when it was suffering many problems and is credited
with making it a success.
There are many strong and interesting personalities
in the entrepreneurial New
Space arena. Here are articles about people current
and past who have contributed to the New Space industry
Lowell Wood & Space Exploration - Lowell Wood
is a famous star warrior at Lawrence Livermore Lab
who originated many concepts for the SDI program.
After the Challenger disaster, he came up with some
detailed plans for space exploration that involved
"We've spent between thirty-five
and forty billion dollars on space...but if nothing
else had come from that program except the knowledge
that we get from our satellite photography, it would
be worth ten times to us what the whole program has
cost. Because tonight I know how many missiles the
enemy has and...our guesses were way off. And we were
doing things that we didn't need to do. We were building
things that we didn't need to build. We were harboring
fears that we didn't need to have." - President
Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967
We Had A Rocket - on line video documentary
about the British Black
Arrow rocket program, which managed to put
a satellite (Prospero) into orbit in 1971 a few
months after the program was canceled.
Shuttle Costs - R. Pielke Jr., - Feb.10.05
- Roger Pielke Jr. calculates the average cost
of a Shuttle flight, taking into account the cumulative
inflation corrected cost for the life of the program
since 1971, to be in the $1B-$1.3B range.
Civilian Rocketry - Astronautix - history
of non-military rocketry, especially the fervent period
of the 1920s and early 30's when rocket enthusiasts
and clubs were developing many rockets.
Canceled Space Projects
Projects Review - This site specializes in
reports on the many promising aerospace projects that
never made it to the production line or even the drawing
by Dan Roam- Beautiful 3-D displays of several
planned spacecraft that never reached the hardware
stages such as DynaSoar and the Manned Orbiting Laboratory.
History - includes resources about a number
of canceled space transport projects
Disney & Space
Walt Disney great;u influenced public opinion about
space in the 1950s and early 1960s by broadcasting several
special episodes of his weekly show made in collaboration
with Wernher von Braun. Disneyland, and later DisneyWorld,
also featured various space related exhibits and rides.
The Omega Watch company provides a large on
line museum dedicated to the use of their watches
by astronauts and cosmonauts. NASA endorsed the
watch in 1965 and it became the standard watch
for the astronauts.
The Bulova Accutron introduced in 1961 was the
first successful transistorized watch. It was
not worn by the astronauts but the same mechanism
was used in numerous timing devices in the capsules
and also in satellites and scientific devices.
Legacy Foundation - this group advocates the "historical
integrity and educational use of a reasonable portion
of the NASA/Boeing site in Downey, which is being
acquired by the City of Downey."