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SCIENCE SERVICE BOOKLETS : MAN IN SPACE (1962)

SCIENCE SERVICE COVER MAN IN SPACE

Copyright, 1960, 1962, by Nelson Doubleday, Inc.


DISCUSSION

MAN IN SPACE, published by Nelson Doubleday, Inc. in 1962 summarized the space program of the very early 1960s. Included among the topics discussed were the X-15 Program, the Mercury Program, space medicine, and astronauts.

The cover of MAN IN SPACE is especially intriguing from a historical point of view. The military proposed a vehicle called Dynasoar. It was a type of space shuttle with the ability to perform as a space craft and aircraft. The small reusable manned vehicle was to have performed strategic reconnissance and satellite inspection. The name Dynasoar meant "dynamic soaring." Unfortunately, it came to represent an aerospace "dinosaur" since it was cancelled in 1963.

Though never built, ideas studied during its consideration found their fulfillment in NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Like the modern space shuttle it was to be launched into space (on a Titan III booster), return through Earth's atmosphere, and glide to a landing.

The artist's conception of Dynasoar is a bit exaggerated. The altitude appears to be near geosychronous orbit ( approximately 23000 miles) rather than low earth orbit (LEO). American rockety during the early 1960s could not have boosted Dynasoar to such altitudes.

Even more interesting is MAN IN SPACE's discussion of the APOLLO manned lunar landing program. A sketch is shown (in the booklet) of the "Apollo Circumlunar Configuration." The vehicle is the Apollo Command Module and its Service Module. The narrative speaks of an "all-in-one-shot" rocket called Nova. The rocket, according to MAN IN SPACE, will stand 555 feet tall and put forth 12.5 million "tons" (???) of thrust. The author must have meant 12.5 million "pounds" of thrust. The Saturn 5 which eventually did launch men on a trip to the moon put forth 7.5 million pounds of thrust. The Nova class rocket was not required as a result of the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous technique which included a lunar landing vehicle called LM (Lunar Module).

MAN IN SPACE describes a manned lunar landing but fails to dsecribe or mention how astronauts will land on the Moon. Obviously, the pictured Command Module cannot do the job since it has no landing gear, footpads, etc. However, if the described NOVA boost rocket had put forth 12.5 million TONS of thrust, the astronauts could have journeyed to Pluto or beyond skipping a trip to the Moon.


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