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Rocketdyne: Powering Humans into Space
by Robert S. Kraemer
with major contributions by Vince Wheelock
This is a very good and well written book. I actually found it while looking for a book on a similar subject. I was able to borrow it from my local library consortium in eastern MA.
I had never heard of Mr. Kraemer or Mr. Wheelock in connection with our space and missile programs. The book traces the history of Rocketdyne from the very beginnings of American rocket propulsion development at North American Aviation in the 1940s. It has a very good blend of technical and non-technical info with a lot of emphasis on the people an NAA/Rocketdyne that led the developments. I always thought of rocket engines as very complex devices (and from my stand point they always will be) but Mr. Kraemer emphasizes that in Rockedyne's pursuit of reliability for man-rated engines they strove for ultimate simplicity. It wasn't until the development of the SSME and its performance requirements that they needed to make their designs much more complex. Mr. Kraemers emphasis on the pride and 'can do' attitude which the people at Rocketdyne took in the development and manufacture of these engines is commendable.
If you are a rocket/missile/space buff of any kind - technical or historical - I would highly recommend this book.
- Hardcover: 275 pages
- Publisher: AIAA (November 30, 2005)
- ISBN-10: 1563477548
- ISBN-13: 978-1563477546