Flight in America

Author: Roger E. Bilstein
Publisher: Resources for the Future
ISBN: 0801866855
Release Date: 2001-06-26
Genre: History

Roger E. Bilstein's Flight in America has won acclaim as the foremost history of one of the twentieth century's landmark achievements—human flight. In this revised and expanded third edition, Bilstein chronicles changes in military, commercial, and space aviation in the 1990s. He offers a glimpse of the developments one might expect in the new millennium.

The Right Stuff

Author: Tom Wolfe
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429961325
Release Date: 2008-03-04
Genre: History

From "America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review) Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.

American Women and Flight since 1940

Author: Deborah G. Douglas
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813148298
Release Date: 2015-01-13
Genre: Social Science

Women run wind tunnel experiments, direct air traffic, and fabricate airplanes. American women have been involved with flight from the beginning, but until 1940, most people believed women could not fly, that Amelia Earhart was an exception to the rule. World War II changed everything. "It is on the record thatwomen can fly as well as men," stated General Henry H. Arnold, commanding general of the Army Air Forces. The question became "Should women fly?" Deborah G. Douglas tells the story of this ongoing debate and its impact on American history. From Jackie Cochran, whose perseverance led to the formation of the Women's Army Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II to the recent achievements of Jeannie Flynn, the Air Force's first woman fighter pilot and Eileen Collins, NASA's first woman shuttle commander, Douglas introduces a host of determined women who overcame prejudice and became military fliers, airline pilots, and air and space engineers. Not forgotten are stories of flight attendants, air traffic controllers, and mechanics. American Women and Flight since 1940 is a revised and expanded edition of a Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum reference work. Long considered the single best reference work in the field, this new edition contains extensive new illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography.

Testing Aircraft Exploring Space

Author: Roger E. Bilstein
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801871581
Release Date: 2003
Genre: History

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics—forerunner of today's NASA—emerged in 1915, when airplanes were curiosities made of wood and canvas and held together with yards of baling wire. At the time an unusual example of government intrusion (and foresight, given the importance of aviation to national military concerns), the committee oversaw the development of wind tunnels, metal fabrication, propeller design, and powerful new high-speed aircraft during the 1920s and '30s. In this richly illustrated account, acclaimed historian of aviation Roger E. Bilstein combines the story of NACA and NASA to provide a fresh look at the agencies, the problems they faced, and the hard work as well as inventive genius of the men and women who found the solutions. NACA research during World War II led to critical advances in U.S. fighter and bomber design and, Bilstein explains, contributed to engineering standards for helicopters. After 1945 the agency's test pilots experimented with jet-powered aircraft, testing both human and technical limits in trying to break the so-called "sound barrier." In October 1958, when the launch of the Soviet Sputnik signaled the beginning of the space race, NACA formed the nucleus of the new National Aeronautics and Space Agency. The new agency's efforts to meet President Kennedy's challenge—safely landing a man on the Moon and returning him to Earth before the end of the 1960s—is one of the great adventure stories of all time. Bilstein goes on to describe NASA's recent planetary and extraplanetary exploration, as well as its less well-known research into the future of aeronautical design.

Space and the American Imagination

Author: Howard E. McCurdy
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801898686
Release Date: 2011-01-24
Genre: History

People dreamed of cosmic exploration—winged spaceships and lunar voyages; space stations and robot astronauts—long before it actually happened. Space and the American Imagination traces the emergence of space travel in the popular mind, its expression in science fiction, and its influence on national space programs. Space exploration dramatically illustrates the power of imagination. Howard E. McCurdy shows how that power inspired people to attempt what they once deemed impossible. In a mere half-century since the launch of the first Earth-orbiting satellite in 1957, humans achieved much of what they had once only read about in the fiction of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells and the nonfiction of Willy Ley. Reaching these goals, however, required broad-based support, and McCurdy examines how advocates employed familiar metaphors to excite interest (promising, for example, that space exploration would recreate the American frontier experience) and prepare the public for daring missions into space. When unexpected realities and harsh obstacles threatened their progress, the space community intensified efforts to make their wildest dreams come true. This lively and important work remains relevant given contemporary questions about future plans at NASA. Fully revised and updated since its original publication in 1997, Space and the American Imagination includes a reworked introduction and conclusion and new chapters on robotics and space commerce.

Visions of a Flying Machine

Author: Peter L. Jakab
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 9781588344380
Release Date: 2014-12-02
Genre: History

This acclaimed book on the Wright Brothers takes the reader straight to the heart of their remarkable achievement, focusing on the technology and offering a clear, concise chronicle of precisely what they accomplished and how they did it. This book deals with the process of the invention of the airplane and how the brothers identified and resolved a range of technical puzzles that others had attempted to solve for a century. Step by step, the book details the path of invention (including the important wind tunnel experiments of 1901) which culminated in the momentous flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, the first major milestone in aviation history. Enhanced by original photos, designs, drawings, notebooks, letters and diaries of the Wright Brothers, Visions of a Flying Machine is a fascinating book that will be of interest to engineers, historians, enthusiasts, or anyone interested in the process of invention.

Selecting the Mercury Seven

Author: Colin Burgess
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441984050
Release Date: 2011-08-17
Genre: Science

The names of the seven Mercury astronauts were announced in April 1959 amid a flurry of publicity and patriotism. This work provides biographical details of all thirty-two finalists for the seven coveted places as America's pioneering astronauts. All of the candidates were among the nation's elite pilots involved in testing new supersonic aircraft capabilities. Most had served as wartime fighter and bomber pilots; some were test pilots on top secret and sophisticated aviation projects, while others were fleet admirals, prisoners of war, and proposed pilots for spaceflight programs such as the Dyna-Soar (X-20). The names of all 32 finalists have been kept secret until very recently. "Selecting the Mercury Seven" also relates the history and difficulties behind the initial choice of candidates. The lives, motivations, military careers, and achievements of the unsuccessful twenty-five finalists are explored first in fully authorized biographies. Test pilots for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, each man has a fascinating and very different story to tell. All thirty-two men had to endure meticulous, demeaning, and brutal week-long medical examinations at the Lovelace Clinic in New Mexico. This was followed by another torturous week at the Wright Aeromedical Laboratory in Ohio, where they were subjected to extreme fitness and physiological testing, the sole purpose of which was to sort out the Supermen from the near-supermen. The final part of the book examines the accomplishments and spaceflights of the seven successful candidates, bringing their amazing stories right up to date.

The Wright Brothers

Author: David McCullough
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476728766
Release Date: 2015-05-05
Genre: History

The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly—Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers—bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio—changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot. Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed. In this “enjoyable, fast-paced tale” (The Economist), master historian David McCullough “shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly” (The Washington Post) and “captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished” (The Wall Street Journal). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is “a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency…about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished…The Wright Brothers soars” (The New York Times Book Review).

Endurance

Author: Scott Kelly
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 9781524731601
Release Date: 2017-10-17
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station--a candid account of his remarkable voyage, of the journeys off the planet that preceded it, and of his colorful formative years. The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both life-threatening and mundane: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home--an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on a previous mission, his twin brother's wife, American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space. Kelly's humanity, compassion, humor, and determination resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career, and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging, step in spaceflight. A natural storyteller and modern-day hero, Kelly has a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come. Here, in his personal story, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the infinite wonder of the galaxy.

Right Stuff Wrong Sex

Author: Margaret A. Weitekamp
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801883946
Release Date: 2005-10-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Margaret Weitekamp traces the rise and fall of the Lovelace Woman in Space program within the context of the cold war and the thriving women's aviation culture of the 1950s, showing how the Lovelace trainees challenged prevailing attitudes about women's roles and capabilities. In examining the experiences of the would-be Lady Astronauts, this study documents the achievements and frustrated hopes of a remarkable group of women.

Ask the Astronaut

Author: Tom Jones
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 9781588345370
Release Date: 2016
Genre: JUVENILE NONFICTION

Ever wondered what space is really like? Thanks to his 25 years of training for, flying in, consulting on, and writing and speaking about space, astronaut and spacewalker Tom Jones can answer that question and many others. What do you feel on liftoff? What is weightlessness? Where do you sleep in space? Can you see the Great Wall of China? Jones answers every question you have ever had about space in Ask the Astronaut. His entertaining blend of wit, personal experience, and technical expertise shines in each answer, and together all the answers illuminate the true space experience from start to finish. His engaging and informative responses remind readers of historic space achievements, acquaint them with exciting new ambitions, make them feel like they have experienced space firsthand, and even inspire an urge to explore space themselves. Jones covers everything from the training process for new astronaut candidates and the physical sensations and challenges of rocketing into orbit to what it's like to live, work, and walk in space. Jones also explores the future of spaceflight, both professional and commercial, in the years to come. Ask the Astronaut is a delight for all readers, especially "armchair astronauts" and younger, 21st century space explorers.

Future

Author: Lawrence R. Samuel
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 9780292774773
Release Date: 2009-12-03
Genre: History

The future is not a fixed idea but a highly variable one that reflects the values of those who are imagining it. By studying the ways that visionaries imagined the future—particularly that of America—in the past century, much can be learned about the cultural dynamics of the time. In this social history, Lawrence R. Samuel examines the future visions of intellectuals, artists, scientists, businesspeople, and others to tell a chronological story about the history of the future in the past century. He defines six separate eras of future narratives from 1920 to the present day, and argues that the milestones reached during these years—especially related to air and space travel, atomic and nuclear weapons, the women's and civil rights movements, and the advent of biological and genetic engineering—sparked the possibilities of tomorrow in the public's imagination, and helped make the twentieth century the first century to be significantly more about the future than the past. The idea of the future grew both in volume and importance as it rode the technological wave into the new millennium, and the author tracks the process by which most people, to some degree, have now become futurists as the need to anticipate tomorrow accelerates.

The Smithsonian Book of Air Space Trivia

Author: Smithsonian Institution
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 9781588344625
Release Date: 2014-05-20
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

Who was the first person to dine in space? How long was the Wright brothers's first successful flight? What famous aircraft was named after a grape-flavored soft drink? What toy based on an animated film accompanied astronauts on a shuttle mission in 2000? These questions and many more are answered in The Smithsonian Book of Air & Space Trivia. In addition to the canon of space and aviation information, the pages are illustrated with more than 125 objects from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collections.

Who Was Sally Ride

Author: Megan Stine
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698151307
Release Date: 2013-05-16
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

In 1978, Sally Ride, a PhD candidate at Standford University, responded to a newspaper ad to join the US astronaut program. She was accepted and became the first American woman astronaut to fly in space! Among her other accomplishments, she played tennis like a professional, was an astrophysicist who helped develop a robotic arm for space shuttles, and later, through Sally Ride Science, worked to make science cool and accessible for girls. Sally Ride, who died on July 23, 2012, will continue to inspire young children.