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"Project Mercury:  A Chronology"

James M. Grimwood, 
Historical Branch, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

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....     Actual size is 11 x 8.5-inches

Project Mercury:  A Chronology

James M. Grimwood, 
Historical Branch, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center

The official, complete and comprehensive NASA history of America's first manned space program.

The culmination of decades of research and development of aerodynamics, rocket propulsion, celestial mechanics, aerospace medicine, and electronics, Project Mercury took man beyond the atmosphere into space orbit.  This thick, heavy volume documents in great detail this great step in the history of flight technology.

Depicts not only the roots of this incredible challenge--from the first NACA proposal for a jet-propelled transonic research airplane, in 1944--but also the early evolution of Projects Gemini and Apollo. 

This exceptional book chronicles the three major phases of the Mercury program--conception, research and development, and operation.  It begins in March 1944, with the major events leading to Project Mercury, and continues through the end of the operational phase, in May 1962.

Day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, you'll read the fascinating details of how a 1946 report entitled "Preliminary Design of an Experimental World Circling Space Ship" grew into the orbital flights of Alan Shepard and Virgil Grissom.  There are conversations and meetings with Dr. Wernher von Braun, Dr. Fred L. Whipple, and the activation of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal is described.  Launch of the Soviet Sputnik I is revealed, along with meetings of President Eisenhower and the American Rocket Society.  Then you'll read every detail of the establishment of NASA in 1958.

Captain "Chuck" Yeager's X-1 rocket plane flight is described, as are the first plans for development of earth satellites by USAF General Hoyt Vandenberg.  German V-2 rocket flights from White Sands, New Mexico--carrying monkeys--are detailed.  The history and development of many of America's key rockets, missiles, and spacecraft are also included:

  • Convair MX-774 Atlas
  • Aerojet Aerobee
  • X-2 and X-15 rocket planes
  • Redstone and Explorer
  • Viking and Vanguard
  • Discoverer
  • Jupiter-C
  • X-20 Dyna Soar
  • Little Joe
  • Polaris
  • Titan
  • Recruit
  • Minuteman
  • Jumbo
  • Pollux
  • And many, many others
68 historic photos are included, plus dozens of tables and charts.  Appendices to this grand work include rare documentation of:
  • Project test objectives
  • Project flight data summaries
  • Activities at the Cape Canaveral and Wallops Island launch sites
  • Project budget summary
  • Location of Mercury spacecraft and exhibits
  • Launch vehicle deliveries to Cape Canaveral (Cape Kennedy)
  • Lists of key management personnel
  • Lists of contractors and subcontractors supporting the project
  • Government organizations supporting the project
Each and every dated chronological entry is footnoted with a detailed reference, showing exactly where you can find more information.  And, of course, each and every test flight--and recovery operation--is described in in complete detail!


Typical illustrations from the book (smaller than actual size)

Hard to find and now out-of-print, this new limited edition has been republished by the Rocket Science Institute.  It's printed with a high-resolution laser printer (not photocopied) on high-quality, bright-white, acid-free paper for years of reference use.  222 pages, large and easy-to-read 11" x 8-1/2" size.  $29.95

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