"Celebrates a bold era when voyaging beyond the Earth was deemed crucial to national security and pride."
-The Wall Street Journal
Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph, this is award-winning historian Craig Nelson's definitive and thrilling story of man's first trip to the moon. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Rocket Men presents a vivid narrative of the moon mission, taking readers on the journey to one of the last frontiers of the human imagination.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
With the end of the Cold War it is now possible to reveal its generation of secrets and cover-ups, bringing an historical opportunity: the unmasking of the true heroes and villains behind the race to be the first to conquer space.
This is one of the greatest stories in history, beginning in the throes of the Second World War and spanning through to the moon landings. With the US and Russia pitched against one another during the Cold War, it was the race to create the most powerful rocket and dominate the world, culminating in 1969's 'giant leap for mankind'. The most pioneering and high-risk experiments ever undertaken cost untold millions – and hundreds of lives, as mistakes were made, some too horrific to be made public.
It is a tale that plays out against a backdrop of communism and espionage. Buried within this multi-million-dollar battle between nations, are the dramatic accounts of the individuals who seek to be the winners at any cost. With ex-Nazi Wernher von Braun on the American side pitted against the enigmatic Sergei Korolev on the Soviet side, this revealing new history shows the extent to which politics and personal ambition combined to create an explosive race for the glory of victory.
Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.
As astronaut Donald K. Slayton notes in his Foreword, this chronicle emphasizes the cooperation of "humans on space and on the ground. It realistically balances the role of the highly visible astronaut with the mammoth supporting team." An official NASA publication, Suddenly, Tomorrow Came is profusely illustrated with forty-four figures and tables, plus sixty-three photographs. Historian Paul Dickson brings the narrative up to date with an informative new Introduction.
Focusing on Simpson's scientific contributions, Laporte provides chapters on Simpson's earliest paleontological research through his distinguished Alexander Agassiz professorship at Harvard and his extensive fieldwork for the American Museum of Natural History, where he developed the core themes set forth in his most prestigious work, Tempo and Mode in Evolution (Columbia University Press, 1944). Simpson was arguably the first evolutionary paleontologist to combine descriptive taxonomy with the modern approaches of genetics and statistical analysis.
Despite his brilliance Simpson was a difficult person to know; Laporte addresses the nature of Simpson's interpersonal problems with colleagues during his life. An introductory overview provides the biographical context of Simpson's career and provides the framework for his major paleontological and evolutionary contributions.