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Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of…
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Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA (edição: 2016)

de Amy Shira Teitel (Autor)

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The incredible story of spaceflight before the establishment of NASA. NASA's history is a familiar story, one that typically peaks with Neil Armstrong taking his small step on the Moon in 1969. But America's space agency wasn't created in a vacuum. It was assembled from pre-existing parts, drawing together some of the best minds the non-Soviet world had to offer. In the 1930s, rockets were all the rage in Germany, the focus both of scientists hoping to fly into space and of the German armed forces, looking to circumvent the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. One of the key figures in this period was Wernher von Braun, an engineer who designed the rockets that became the devastating V-2. As the war came to its chaotic conclusion, von Braun escaped from the ruins of Nazi Germany, and was taken to America where he began developing missiles for the US Army. Meanwhile, the US Air Force was looking ahead to a time when men would fly in space, and test pilots like Neil Armstrong were flying cutting-edge, rocket-powered aircraft in the thin upper atmosphere. Breaking the Chains of Gravity tells the story of America's nascent space program, its scientific advances, its personalities and the rivalries it caused between the various arms of the US military. At this point getting a man in space became a national imperative, leading to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA.… (mais)
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Título:Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA
Autores:Amy Shira Teitel (Autor)
Informação:Bloomsbury Sigma (2016), Edition: Third Printing, 304 pages
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Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA de Amy Shira Teitel

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Exibindo 3 de 3
An interesting book that felt a little incomplete. It could have benefited from stronger editing however it is readable and worthwhile. ( )
  Whiskey3pa | Sep 26, 2017 |
In Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight Before NASA, Amy Shira Teitel synthesizes the histories of rocketry and early upper atmosphere/space exploration in a streamlined volume. By her own admission, "The complete, unedited story would be a tome that only die-hard space fans would have the patience to sift through" (pg. 9). With this caveat in mind, Teitel does a remarkable job handling all of the elements she covers beginning in the 1930s and ending in 1958 with the creation of NASA. Teitel begins her examination with a focus on German rocketry in the interwar years, culminating in the A-4 and V-2 projects under Wernher von Braun. With the end of World War II, Teitel follows von Braun and the other scientists from Peenemünde to the United States, where they worked with various branches of the U.S. military to develop American rocketry. Teitel makes it clear that the military's objective was not space, but rather the advanced weaponry necessary for the coming Cold War. This weaponry and technology took the form of missiles, but also supersonic and hypersonic data for planes and other weaponry. Teitel effortlessly transitions between the various U.S. military branches' plans and the events and politics that shaped them while providing necessary background and explanation in a manner that does not interrupt her overall narrative. Her work recalls (and could serve as a prelude to) Tom Wolfe's 1979 book, The Right Stuff. This history of spaceflight and technology should be required reading for those interested in the subject and her notes section will encourage them to delve deeper in their own research. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jun 5, 2017 |
I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

I was very excited when I discovered this book. I am a huge fan of the history of spaceflight, and I’ve read dozens and dozens of books on the subject. I think the early years of spaceflight and rocket development are extremely cool and should have more written about them. These years usually get a chapter or two in other works before moving on to Project Mercury. A book dedicated to those early years would be a welcome addition to any space fan’s library. This book falls short.

This book covers a few of the major bullet points that have to be told to accurately cover this age. The first third of the book is dedicated to the German rocket scientists, including Wernher Von Braun, who developed the V-2 missile during WWII. The story follows them from the early days of rocket tests, to their arrival at Fort Bliss and the V-2 launches from White Sands. The book also covers the rivalry between the Vanguard and Redstone rockets to launch the first US satellite.

These parts of the book were nicely written and interesting, full of good details. I did take issue with some of the other topics the author covered. A good deal of the book was spent discussing the X-1 flights to break the sound barrier, the development of the X-15 rocket plane and Project Manhigh. This really frustrated me because I do not feel that so much of the book should have been dedicated to these projects. While you could loosely consider the X-15 and Project Manhigh to be “spaceflight,” I don’t believe the section on these should have been so long. I wouldn’t have minded these sections being in the book if the author hadn’t excluded so much actual spaceflight history and rocket research. I had hoped this book would at least touch on a few of the important people, places and events. She did not.

By the end, I was very disappointed. Some of the most interesting parts of spaceflight history before NASA occurred at the various research centers and contractors across the country. The author excludes a great deal that I consider to be more relevant to the history of spaceflight than the X-1 or Project Manhigh. While your average reader would probably learn a great deal from this book, they will be missing a lot of really cool history.

Also, please understand that there is no such missile as a Navajo. The Navajo are a Native American Tribe. The Navaho is a missile composed of a pilotless airplane attached to a rocket booster, built by North American Aviation. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Mixing up the two is a very lazy, amateur mistake. ( )
  LISandKL | Nov 12, 2015 |
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The incredible story of spaceflight before the establishment of NASA. NASA's history is a familiar story, one that typically peaks with Neil Armstrong taking his small step on the Moon in 1969. But America's space agency wasn't created in a vacuum. It was assembled from pre-existing parts, drawing together some of the best minds the non-Soviet world had to offer. In the 1930s, rockets were all the rage in Germany, the focus both of scientists hoping to fly into space and of the German armed forces, looking to circumvent the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. One of the key figures in this period was Wernher von Braun, an engineer who designed the rockets that became the devastating V-2. As the war came to its chaotic conclusion, von Braun escaped from the ruins of Nazi Germany, and was taken to America where he began developing missiles for the US Army. Meanwhile, the US Air Force was looking ahead to a time when men would fly in space, and test pilots like Neil Armstrong were flying cutting-edge, rocket-powered aircraft in the thin upper atmosphere. Breaking the Chains of Gravity tells the story of America's nascent space program, its scientific advances, its personalities and the rivalries it caused between the various arms of the US military. At this point getting a man in space became a national imperative, leading to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA.

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