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Walter Sierra

Beyond the Saga of Rocket Science is an integrated book series provides an amply-illustrated, overarching perspective to a broad, non-technical audience of the entire panorama surrounding the development of rockets, missiles, and space vehicles as we know them today and the exciting possibilities for the future. This panorama includes fascinating personalities, personal feelings and vignettes, political events, the ambiance and perspective of countries possessing rocket power. The books blend fact–based dialogue among key, real characters with enthralling vignettes and vivid on–scene descriptions of the successes, the traumas, the failures and disasters, and triumphs encountered during the roller coaster ride of rocket development. They describe what really happened when the dreams of rocket pioneers were fulfilled, or when they perished in disaster and flames. You’ll understand in lurid detail exactly what went wrong during catastrophic failures, and what went right when rocket engineers and scientists experienced the euphoria of success.

The Dawn of the Space Age takes you on a fascinating journey into our space past. You’ll experience what rocket pioneers had to go through to develop today’s rockets, missiles, and space vehicles. In bringing to life the drama and complex interplay among scientists, engineers, and politicians that gave birth to the launch vehicles and spacecraft we take for granted today, The Dawn of the Space Age harnesses surrounding events as never before: political maneuvering, the drama of spies and counterspies, the feelings that key characters–all of whom are real–experienced, the society and political structure, life-changing crises, and more. You’ll be taken behind the scenes and come away with an understanding underlying what happened, what caused it to happen, and what nearly happened. This highly informative book begins with exciting tales of the earliest developers of rudimentary rockets and the deadly battles they fought in China between 200 and 1600 A.D. A historical fiction approach brings long-ago characters and events to life. The tremendous achievements of the Wright Brothers – Wilbur and Orville – in the early 1900s serve as a useful backdrop for showcasing the difficulties involved in developing completely new technologies for practical use. The ingenious Dr. Robert Goddard, widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern rocket, developed a sound theory in the 1910s and conducted pioneering flight tests in the 1920s and 1930s, while overcoming many failures. World War II gave the biggest impetus ever to advancing rocket science and related technologies. The book describes how the German V2, Soviet Soyuz, and American Corporal rockets paved the way for the design, fabrication, and operation of more refined, sophisticated second and third-generation missile systems that followed. In the ensuing decades many unsung space heroes on both sides of the Iron Curtain matured the field to where it is today. Led by the indomitable Sergei Korolyov, the Soviet Union captured an early lead over their archrival superpower during the Cold War, and achieved an embarrassing (for the United States) plethora of civilian space firsts. In the U.S., Dr. Wernher von Braun led the American space program during the crucial decades of the 1950s-1960s. He did more than anyone else in America to advance missiles, rockets, spaceflight; and make manned landings on the moon possible.

Avoiding Armageddon describes the herculean efforts expended by the United States and the Soviet Union to best each other in rocketry during the Cold War years, interspersed with attention–grabbing accounts of the engaging personalities involved. Both countries stood on a precarious knife-edge as each sought supremacy in nuclear weapons, waiting for the other to strike before mounting a devastating counterstrike. The book clearly explains the weaponry developed by both superpowers during an escalating nuclear arms race, how the Soviets managed to pull ahead at first, and how they overcame unbelievable handicaps and heart-rending space disasters to come within a hair’s breadth of winning the Space Race against their implacable foe.

In Space To Stay describes the enormously expensive aerospace systems developed on both sides of the Iron Curtain as the Cold War against the Soviet Union progressed. On the military side, these included little-publicized competing military space stations, a plethora of space planes, and dual-use military/civilian space launch systems and space shuttles-notably the U.S. Space Shuttle and its twin brother the Soviet Union’s Buran. The book provides an enthralling behind-the-scenes look at the Moon Race, this time from the United States point of view. In the decades since, both Russia and the U.S. have continued building many space systems, including todays permanently inhabited International Space Station. This book also describes the difficulties that plague rocket development––not just the technical aspects, but the politics, pernicious federal budgeting and funding, the lack of vision and consensus, and public apathy that stymied the post-Apollo space program.

The Never-Ending Frontier culminates the Beyond the Saga of Rocket Science series by taking you on a journey from the present to the future. The Soviet Union steadily matured its Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Submarine–Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), civilian launch vehicles, and tactical missiles across a broad front to reach approximate parity with the United States, only to see it all crumble with the Soviet empire’s collapse in late 1991. The book explains how Russia resurrected its space programs and maintains a respectable presence in space today.

This book takes you inside today’s burgeoning commercial space efforts (mostly in the United States) and the latest government space programs and launch vehicles worldwide. You’ll learn why the “death” of rocket science as we know it today is not that far away, and what is most likely to replace rockets as we known them. You’ll be taken way beyond rocket science with thought-provoking and well-researched chapters on superintelligent computers; far-out propulsion systems that are technically feasible; the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (where are they?); humanity’s accelerating evolution (where is it going, and how long will it take?); cosmology (how many universes are there?; is space infinite?); physics (is a theory of everything possible?); the long-neglected spiritual evolution of our race that scientists fail to mention, but that will play a dominant role in where we’re going in the future; and finally what awaits us in the afterlife. Read this book if you seek answers to perplexing questions: Does God really exist? Why are we here? Why does evil seem more powerful than good if God’s all-powerful? What happens after we die?

SS-18 Satan (USSR)

Tsar Bomba ( USSR,1961 )

Nuclear test on Fangataufa atoll,
French polynesia, July 1970

Minuteman III (USA)

Little Boy (USA, 1945)

Fat Man (USA, 1945)

Salyut (USSR 1971 - 1992)

Skylab (USA 1973 - 1979 )

International Space Station (1998 - Present)

International Space Station (1998 - Present)

Mir (USSR/Russia 1986 - 2001 )

United Launch Alliance Delta IV
Heavy and Atlas V launch vehicles

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Heavy launch vehicle

SpaceX’s Dragon and Boeing’s CST- 100 Starliner will carry astronauts to the International Space Station starting in 2019

Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser spacecraft atop Atlas V

Northrop Grumman’s Antares launch vehicle and Cygnus spacecraft

Blue Origin’s New Glenn launch vehicle and New Shepard spacecraft

Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft and SpaceShipTwo spacecraft