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The superpower space race : an explosive rivalry through the solar system

Author: Robert Reeves
Publisher: New York : Plenum Press, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
When the U.S.S.R. launched the first satellite into Earth orbit on October 4, 1957, a wave of fear and awe shook the world. In the heart of the Cold War, this first satellite was a threatening show of power and the decisive event that led to the infamous space rivalry between the U.S.S.R. and the United States. Launching missile after missile skyward, each superpower goaded its rival with impressive feats in space,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Robert Reeves
ISBN: 0306447681 9780306447686
OCLC Number: 30734900
Description: xiv, 437 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Responsibility: Robert Reeves.
More information:

Abstract:

When the U.S.S.R. launched the first satellite into Earth orbit on October 4, 1957, a wave of fear and awe shook the world. In the heart of the Cold War, this first satellite was a threatening show of power and the decisive event that led to the infamous space rivalry between the U.S.S.R. and the United States. Launching missile after missile skyward, each superpower goaded its rival with impressive feats in space, each determined to prove to the world its technological superiority. As this engrossing work so clearly shows, it was in this pressure cooker of competition that each country achieved undreamed-of advances, stretching the boundaries of humankind's domain and giving us the first thrilling close-ups of the heavenly bodies in our solar system. The Space Age proved to be a rare instance in history, an era when two nations managed to call on their best and brightest to work single-mindedly toward a goal. Funded by millions of dollars and employing the talents of the top scientists and engineers from universities, the military, and, in the United States, the private sector, the space programs on each side of the Iron Curtain worked with determination and genius to build the incredible craft that would take us to the Moon and beyond. Robert Reeves, a respected historian of the Space Age and contributor to Astronomy, Amateur Astronomy, and Deep Sky Journal, describes the massive power and capabilities of these spaceships. Designed to overcome staggering obstacles, our spaceships accomplished what was once deemed impossible. Both the Soviets and the Americans succeeded in landing craft with amazing precision on the nearly airless surface of the Moon. American space probes touched down on the rocky surface of Mars, while the Soviets succeeded in building probes that could withstand the hellish heat and deadly pressure of the Venusian surface, transmitting photographs and readings that were inaccessible from Earth. Scientists today are still analyzing this invaluable information, deducing the story of our solar system by studying the craters on the Moon, the mysterious channels on Mars, and the nightmarish surface of Venus. Reeves illuminates the brilliant achievements and bitter tragedies of conquering the inner solar system. Fueled by pride and national honor, funded by politicians, and designed by the leading engineers of the world, each hard-earned mission was at once a political triumph for each nation and a scientific triumph for humankind. Reeves traces this most exciting history from its extraordinary genesis to the present and looks toward future cooperative ventures which will, with funding, luck, and united effort, yield knowledge and adventure beyond our wildest dreams.

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