Lunar Exploration: Human Pioneers and Robotic Surveyors

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Springer Science & Business Media, Apr 6, 2004 - Science - 363 pages
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Paolo Ulivi provides a well-paced, rapidly moving, balanced, even-handed account of lunar exploration as a popular history. He covers the unmanned programmes, e.g. Ranger, and other American probes in the late ‘50s and in the later chapters he looks at recent lunar exploration and future plans for the same. It’s a book that will be perfect for an enthusiast or someone coming to the story for the first time, as it does not include excessive technical depth. Uniquely drawing on recently declassified documents, detail of Chinese lunar exploration projects is provided, as well as nuclear lunar weapons of the ‘50s developed by the super powers, Soviet Russia and the United States.
 

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Contents

196069
33
AMERICA WINS THE RACE
91
HOW THE SOVIET UNION LOST THE RACE
193
THE END OF THE RACE
217
A SMALL INVASION
251
THE FUTURE
279
Appendix A Soviet launcher nomenclature
311
Chronology
317
Bibliography
335
Index
353
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

The Second World War left among its many and painful heritages a new technology, ballistic missiles, that was to change the world, providing a way to carry into space instruments, satellites and probes that revolutionized science and technology.

Prior to launching artificial satellites, both the then Soviet Union and the United States developed more powerful intercontinental missiles with a range of thousands of miles. In the 1950s, the Soviets designed the huge 8K71 "Semiorka" (little seven, after the military designator R 7), a single staged rocket equipped with four large boosters and able to carry an heavy thermonuclear warhead to the continental US. In the USA, competition between the different armed forces prevailed, and the Army developed the medium range Redstone and Jupiter missiles, whilst the Air Force developed the Thor and two different ICBMs, Atlas and Titan and the Navy developed the Polaris submarine launched missiles.

The potential of all of these rockets to boost spacecraft were huge, but while in the Soviet Union it was decided to modify an 8K71 to carry a scientific payload into space, the United States decided that the Navy would develop a tiny new rocket called Vanguard, specifically designed for the task. This decision was to have grave repercussions: on 4 October 1957 the Soviet Union launched its PS-1 satellite, better known as Sputnik, which rocked the USA. This was compounded a month later by the launch of the PS-2, carrying the dog Laika. Following the explosion of the first Vanguard on December 6, the US Army then had the task to restore the American confidence by successfully carrying Explorer 1 into space on 1 February 1958 using themodified Redstone rocket called Juno 1. During the same year, the superpowers started working on new versions of their missiles able to carry small payloads to the Moon and, potentially, to the near planets. The space race had begun.

Saturn, the a ~ringed planeta (TM), was first inspected close-up by NASAa (TM)s Pioneer 11 space probe in 1979. The two Voyager spacecraft followed up in 1980 and in 1981, but as a ~fly-bysa (TM) these craft had only a limited time to study the planet, its rings and its many moons. Now, after a seven-year interplanetary voyage, the Cassini-Huygens mission, which is a joint venture by NASA and Europe, is due to enter orbit around Saturn in July 2004 to make an in depth survey. In December it will release the Huygens probe, which will dive into the clouds of Saturna (TM)s largest and most enigmatic moon, Titan, and land on its surface, a month later.

The authora (TM)s highly successful first book on this topic, a ~MISSION TO SATURN a" Cassini and the Huygens probea (TM) presented a review of our state of knowledge and looked forward to the arrival of the new spacecraft. Published in September 2002, this book has sold to date 1,090 copies worldwide (726 USA, 364 ROW).

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