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SCIENCE SERVICE BOOKLETS : MAN IN SPACE (1969)

SCIENCE SERVICE COVER MAN IN SPACE (1969)

Copyright, 1969, Nelson Doubleday, Inc.


DISCUSSION

MAN IN SPACE, published by Nelson Doubleday, Inc., copyright 1969, summarized the space program of the late 1960s. Included among the topics discussed were manned programs and projects of the 1960s. The earlier version of MAN IN SPACE, published in 1962, did not have the benefit of the exciting manned lunar landing accomplishments.

The cover of MAN IN SPACE (1969) has some errors despite the benefit of the lunar landing experience. Note the cloudless Earth and the improper positioning of the Earth's terminator as vertical instead of horizontal. If the artist had simply turned to page 57's photo made from Apollo 10, the proper orientation of Earth's terminator would have been seen. Additionally, page 58's diagram of Apollo's reentry is not correct. The figure shows the space capsule entering into a polar Earth orbit rather than a path horizontal to the equator. If the artist had examined the figure on page 40 entitled "APOLLO LUNAR LANDING MISSION PROFILE," the error would have been corrected. With such an erroneous reentry, Apollo might easily have entered over the north or south pole should reentry systems have malfunctioned.

Page 42 has the topic "Weightless in Space" described incorrectly. The text explains that the weightless state results because..."the horizontal velocity of the ship and the vertical pull of earth"s graity have the effect of cancelling each other out." It is actually the balance of the forces of (inward pulling) gravity and the centrifugal (outward pulling) force of rotation which establishes weightlessness.

Finally, the same narrative states: "A spaceship on its way to the moon is continually weightless ONCE IT HAS GONE BEYOND THE SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE PULL OF THE EARTH'S FIELD OF GRAVITATION (???) and that requires an "escape velocity" of about 25,000 miles an hour." This is an error. Once the craft ceases to accelerate having reached orbit, weightlessness is achieved regardless of "being beyond the significant part of the pull of the earth's field of gravitation."


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