The Rocketmakers

Harry Wulforst, Author Crown Publishing Group (NY) $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56586-5
In an informative and entertaining history of rocketry, from Robert Goddard's experiments in the 1920s to President Kennedy's 1961 decision to launch the manned lunar program, Wulforst ( Breakthrough to the Computer Age ) covers a lot of territory in a nontechnical style. He describes Wernher von Braun's work on the V-1 and V-2 ``buzz bombs'' and his postwar career in the U.S. missile program; the contributions of Theodore von Karmann and his proteges at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Lab, Frank Malina and Hsue-Shen Tsien (the former quit in protest over the increasingly military application of missile technology, the latter ran afoul of McCarthyite hysteria); and infuses the story of the mating of rocketry and nuclear weapons with a dramatic account of the rivalry between the Army and the Air Force over dominance of rocket research and development. This is a first-class popular history about the dreamers, tinkerers, scientists and engineers who struggled against great odds to break through the space barrier. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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