By Rod Pyle
Award-winning technology author and documentarian Rod Pyle provides an insider's point of view at the most unique and weird house missions ever devised inside and out of NASA. The significant tasks defined the following weren't basically flights of fancy dreamed up through house fans, yet real missions deliberate by way of prime aeronautical engineers. a few have been designed yet now not outfitted; others have been outfitted yet now not flown; and some have been flown to failure yet little reported:
A large rocket that may use atomic bombs as propulsion (never brain the fallout), army bases at the moon which could aim enemies in the world 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 demise of its pilot, the near-disaster of the Apollo eleven moon touchdown, the mysterious Russian area go back and forth that flew just once and used to be then scrapped--these are only a few of the incredible stories that Pyle has present in as soon as top-secret records in addition to debts that have been easily misplaced for lots of decades.
These tales, complimented through many rarely-seen pictures and illustrations, inform of a time whilst not anything was once too off-the-wall to be taken heavily, and the race to the moon and the possibility from the Soviet Union trumped all different concerns. Readers might be interested, amused, and occasionally chilled.
Read or Download 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 PDF
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Additional resources 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 bomb bay is not shown, but the bulk of the rocket bomber is comprised of fuel tanks. This illustration is from a postwar US Army report. Image from DOD/US Army. The rocket-powered bomber would be a ten-ton winged craft (100 tons when fueled), the development of which, even in the limited program—calculations, schematics, and wind tunnel tests—would pioneer ideas and technological developments that would later find their place in the future of spaceflight. For starters, the rocket engine, enclosed in the rear of the fuselage, was to be regeneratively cooled, using rocket fuel circulated through the rocket engine's nozzle to prevent it from being melted by the hot exhaust plume.
1 Fig. 1. Aeronautical engineer Eugen Sanger and his future wife, mathematician Irene Bredt, work on the Silbervogel (Silverbird) rocket bomber early in WWII. Sanger joined a group of brilliant young German engineers, the VfR or “Society for Space Travel,” that had begun experimenting with rockets. Other nations had their own devotees of rocket propulsion—notably the US and USSR—but the German amateur rocketeers were well organized and made swift progress through the 1930s. As a group they followed the ideas of Oberth, and Sanger and von Braun became enthusiastic devotees.
In other words, a glancing explosion at the surface of a city would cause a huge, destructive shock wave. The psychological impact of either kind of bombing would have been immense. 9 That nation had thought itself safe from Allied attack on home soil, and the relatively small number of Doolittle's bombs that succeeded in hitting their targets had left a huge mental scar. 10 A sign of the optimism that seemed to infect Sanger through 1944 can be seen in his targeting suggestions, for which he wrote, “From the characteristics given for the rocket bomber it follows that this is not the development of an improved military craft, which will gradually replace present types, but rather that a problem has been solved for which no solution existed up to now, namely, bombardment and bombing over distances of 1,000 to 20,000 km.