Rocket Science Institute


General Rocket Science & Engineering Books

Your first resource for unusual, hard-to-find, out-of-print, and historic information
about rockets, missiles, propulsion, space, pyrotechnics, and explosives safety


Rocket science made (more) simple.


 

Updated & New Books Listed:  17 February 2013


These particular books are especially useful to the amateur rocket scientist.  They are practical texts for hands-on learning, and we consider them essential for successful propulsion experiments. 

Some of these books have long served as classic reference resources for rocket scientists, engineers, and technicians. Realizing that many of these books are costly, we sometimes also offer used editions and reprints of many important publications. Often these are long out-of-print and quite hard to find. And, in most cases, the older editions contain almost all of the same material, and "do the job" if you're on a budget.

Sales of our books help fund the Rocket Science Institute, Inc., a non-profit scientific and educational foundation in support of "amateur" experimental rocket science, engineering, and technology.





Amateur Rocket Motor Construction.  David Sleeter, TeleFlite Corporation, 2004.  The single best and most-complete book in print for practical how-to instructions on making black powder propellants and rocket motors of various sizes, from common materials and with simple tools and hardware you can make yourself.  A comprehensive, well-illustrated and accurate reference that's loaded with detailed engineering drawings, motor-building plans, propellant formulas, technical data, performance graphs, and much, much more.  With this book in hand, you can reproduce the performance of Estes-type motors at a fraction of the cost.  Well-written and handsomely produced.  528 pages, ISBN 0-930387-04-X   Book reviewed here  $29.95.

A Safety Manual for Experimental and Amateur Rocket Scientists:  Solid Propellant Engineering Series, Vol 1.  Edward Jones, Ph.D.  Third edition.  Las Vegas: Rocket Science Books, 2005.  Our best seller for several years, and a must for experimenters.  Covers making and handling propellants, pyrotechnics, explosives. This book could save your life!  91 pages.  ISBN 1-878628-00-3.  Book reviewed here.  $19.95.

Liquid-Propellant Rocket Development.  Robert H. Goddard, Ph.D.   Covers the professor's ambitious tests in the open skies near Roswell, New Mexico.  This remarkable, decade-long program of tests that resulted in flights of large, variable thrust, liquid-fueled rockets to heights of up to 2,300 m and speeds of over 800 km/hr.  Some of his results are summarized in this classic text.  At Roswell, Dr. Goddard developed the first gyro-stabilization apparatus for rockets (1932), and first used deflector vanes in the blast of the rocket motor to stabilize and guide the rockets.  By 1935, Goddard was testing 15-ft long liquid rockets, and on 8 March was the first to launch a supersonic liquid-propellant rocket.  One of this tests reached an altitude of 7500 feet.  On 16 March 1936, the Smithsonian Institution published this document, as Volume 95 (Number 3) of the “Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections.”  This important document covers the rocket development carried out in Roswell, New Mexico and contains his general plan for the developing a sounding rocket.  The book includes the first public mention of Goddard's historic 1926 liquid-fueled rocket launch.  With more than 20 photographs showing the rocket-launching site at Roswell, as well as equipment, rockets being launched, and more.  30 pages, $9.95 

Robert H. Goddard: Accomplishments of the Roswell Years (1930-1941).  F.C. Durant III, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 1973.  A comprehensive, well-illustrated technical history of Dr. Goddard's most advanced and exciting rocket experiments in New Mexico.  Specifications, dimensions, performance data, and rare photos show how simple gyroscopes (and adjustable vanes in the exhaust flow) steered his rockets--and much, much more.   Near Roswell, Goddard conducted a remarkable, decade-long program of tests that resulted in flights of large, variable thrust, liquid-fueled rockets to heights of up to 2,300 m and speeds of over 800 km/hr.  He developed systems for steering a rocket in flight by using a rudder-like device to deflect the gaseous exhaust, with gyroscopes to keep the rocket headed in the proper direction.  At Roswell, Dr. Goddard developed the first gyro-stabilization apparatus for rockets (1932), and first used deflector vanes in the blast of the rocket motor to stabilize and guide the rockets.  By 1935, Goddard was testing 15-ft long liquid rockets, and on 8 March was the first to launch a supersonic liquid-propellant rocket.  One of this tests reached an altitude of 7500 feet.  The culmination of this effort was a successful launch of a rocket to an altitude of 9,000 feet in 1941.   This is the best available (and best illustrated) technical history of Dr. Goddard's most important experiments.  108 pages, $19.95
The Rocket Motor.  Maurice J. Zucrow, Ph.D.  A comprehensive reference handbook, providing a handy and useful compilation of key theory and data on virtually all types of rocket propulsion systems.  Highly-detailed, with a wealth of material on rocket nozzle theory and design, gas velocities, thermodynamics, thrust and thrust coefficient, exhaust velocity, specific impulse, characteristic velocity, cooling, propulsion efficiency, vertical flight, propellants, and JATO design.  Includes numerous examples for calculations of every aspect of motor performance.  Discusses estimating and predicting rocket engine performance from theoretical data.  Explanations include deriving throat area, chamber pressure, mixture ratio and flow rate.  Thermochemical calculations are explained, covering characteristic velocity at various pressures; combustion gas velocity for various nozzle ratios; and various nozzle pressure ratios.  All essential algebraic formulae and equations are included, working with a variety of fuel-oxidizer combinations.  72 pages, ISBN 1-878628-15-1.  $19.95.

Introduction to Rocket Missile Propulsion.  Rocketdyne Training Department, 1958.   Originally a classroom instruction book, this was one of the key texts that was used to train rocket engineers and technicians for static testing the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo propulsion systems.  A jewel of a book, from the time when slide rules, blue lines drawings, and salvaged German V-2s were paving the way into space.  An excellent, comprehensive, and detailed text that's ideal for the "learn it yourself" rocket scientist.  From Newton’s Second Law to designing rocket engine control systems, this complete and comprehensive handbook was the training manual for thousands of North American Aviation engineers, way back in the 1950s.  Very nicely illustrated.  ISBN 1-878628-NEW, 131 pages.  $19.95 

Air Force Guided Missiles Fundamentals: USAF Technical Training Manual AFM 52-31M.  The "bible" that trained thousands of men and women who operated the Titan and Minuteman missile systems.  Two thick, heavy documents that are comprehensive and complete, covering every aspect of the guided missiles of the 1960s and 70s.  Provides both theory (with detailed examples) and practical information, intended for hands-on USAF missile technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  heavy with the electronics circuits, devices, and processes of rockets and missiles, especially controls, guidance, and instrumentation.  A complete education in the electronics of 1960s and 70s ICBMs!  Profusely illustrated with hundreds of detailed tables and charts, drawings and photos, graphs and diagrams.  Full of esoteric and hard-to-find data.  An exceptional reference resource for the "amateur" rocket experimenter and builder of model rockets.  ISBN 1-878628-NEW, 2 volumes, 589 pages.  $59.95

Missile Aerodynamics.   Extracted from USAF Technical Training Manual AFM 52-31M (above).  Provides both theory (with detailed examples) and practical information, intended for hands-on USAF missile technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  A complete education in the aerodynamic design principles of 1960s and 70s ICBMs!  Illustrated with detailed tables and charts, drawings and photos, graphs and diagrams.  Full of esoteric and hard-to-find data.  An exceptional reference resource for the "amateur" rocket experimenter and builder of model rockets.  41 pages, $19.95  

Propulsion of Guided Missiles.  Extracted from USAF Technical Training Manual AFM 52-31M (above).  Provides both theory (with detailed examples) and practical propulsion and engine design information, intended for hands-on USAF missile technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  A complete education in the aerodynamic design principles of 1960s and 70s ICBMs!  Illustrated with detailed tables and charts, drawings and photos, graphs and diagrams.  Full of esoteric and hard-to-find data.  An exceptional reference resource for the "amateur" rocket experimenter and builder of model rockets.  48 pages, $19.95  

Physics Involved in Guided Missile Design.  Extracted from USAF Technical Training Manual AFM 52-31M.  Provides both physics theory (with detailed examples) and practical information, intended for hands-on USAF missile technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  A complete education in the aerodynamic design principles of 1960s and 70s ICBMs!  Illustrated with detailed tables and charts, drawings and photos, graphs and diagrams.  Full of esoteric and hard-to-find data.  An exceptional reference resource for the "amateur" rocket experimenter and builder of model rockets.  80 pages, $19.95 

Guidance Systems and Guidance System Components.  Extracted from USAF Technical Training Manual AFM 52-31M.  Provides both guidance system theory (with detailed examples) and practical information, intended for hands-on USAF missile technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  A complete education in the aerodynamic design principles of 1960s and 70s ICBMs!  Illustrated with detailed tables and charts, drawings and photos, graphs and diagrams.  Full of esoteric and hard-to-find data.  An exceptional reference resource for the "amateur" rocket experimenter and builder of model rockets.  115 pages, $24.95  

Guided Missile Control Systems and Control System Components
.  Extracted fromUSAF Technical Training Manual AFM 52-31M.  Provides both control system theory (with detailed examples) and practical information, intended for hands-on USAF missile technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  A complete education in the aerodynamic design principles of 1960s and 70s ICBMs!  Illustrated with detailed tables and charts, drawings and photos, graphs and diagrams.  Full of esoteric and hard-to-find data.  An exceptional reference resource for the "amateur" rocket experimenter and builder of model rockets.  115 pages, $24.95 

Guided Missile Operations, Trajectory Considerations, Principles of Lasers, and Instrumentation.   Extracted from USAF Technical Training Manual AFM 52-31M. Provides both theory (with detailed examples) and practical information, intended for hands-on USAF missile technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  A complete education in the aerodynamic design principles of 1960s and 70s ICBMs!  Illustrated with detailed tables and charts, drawings and photos, graphs and diagrams.  Full of esoteric and hard-to-find data.  An exceptional reference resource for the "amateur" rocket experimenter and builder of model rockets.  110 pages, $24.95

Design of Aerodynamically Stabilized Free Rockets
: Department of Defense Military Design Handbook.  Our biggest, thickest rocket science book--716 pages, in two heavy volumes--a real gem!  This is how the U.S. Army designs its rockets--it's a comprehensive and complete textbook by some of the world's best rocket scientists, written especially to teach other rocket scientists, engineers, technicians, and designers.  Covers almost every aspect of solid-propellant tactical rocket design engineering, complete with the math and detailed explanations for how to use it.  A "bible" of state-of-the-art information and hard-to-find data for rocket scientists, engineers, technicians, and designers, covering both military and research rocket systems.  Exceptionally useful for the "amateur" rocket experimenter who wants to get the very best flights possible from their scale model rockets and missiles.  If your model rockets are large, advanced, or have high-power propulsion, you'll learn a lot from this huge document.  ISBN 1-878628-NEW, 2 volumes, 716 pages.  $59.95

A Guide to Amateur Rocketry.  U.S. Army Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  A rare and classic handbook for designing, building, testing, and flying successful home-built rockets.  One of the first--perhaps THE first, and one of the most useful--handbooks for amateur rocketry.  Apparently first published in the late 1960s, it's one of the few documents anywhere showing early military support for this hobby.  An excellent guide for everyone interested in getting started making their own experimental rockets, showing how it's done with common materials and chemicals.  Provides detailed information and data for solid propellants made from ordinary zinc dust mixed with sulfur (the so-called "micrograin" formulas).  52 pages, $19.95.  

Rocket Basics: Thiokol Guide to Solid Propellant Rocketry.  A comprehensive and complete introduction to the science and engineering of solid propellant propulsion, from one of the world's largest and most respected rocket companies.  36 pages, $19.95. 

NASA Sounding Rocket Program Handbook.  This new NASA Handbook--a jewel of a publication--describes the rockets, guidance systems, payloads, test procedures, launch operations, telemetry systems, launch ranges, and data processing for all of NASA's suborbital rocket projects.  220 pages, $26.95.  

LEO [Low-Earth-Orbit] On The Cheap: Methods for Achieving Drastic Reductions in Space Launch Costs.  Air Force Lt. Col. John R. London III, U.S. Air University (Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama).  The classic research treatise on how to launch rockets into space at low cost, for everyone enthused about getting off the planet, and getting into space--"on the cheap."  237 pages, $26.95. 

A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes:  Robert Hutchings Goddard.   Smithsonian Miscellaneous Publication No. 2540 (January 1920) and Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 71, No. 2, 1919.  Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1919.  Dr. Goddard is widely regarded as "the father of modern rocketry," and this book is generally regarded as his most important work.   It's clearly the most influential book ever written about rocket science.  The text describes how rockets can be used to explore the upper atmosphere--and why they function perfectly in the vacuum of outer space.  The texts explains that at a velocity of 6.95 miles per second (11.2 kps), without air resistance, an object can escape Earth's gravity and head into infinity, or toward other celestial bodies.  This speed became known as the Earth's "escape velocity."  In "A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes" Goddard points out that humans could reach the Moon using these techniques.  82 pages, $19.95. 

Navy Guided Missiles and Nuclear Weapons.  Technical Training Manual NavPers 10784-A (second edition: 1966).  "The bible" that trained thousands of men and women in Navy ROTC, Navy ROS, and OCS classes for operating the Polaris and other Navy missile systems.  (Unfortuately, more modern versions remain highly classified.)  A thick, heavy document that's comprehensive and complete, covering every aspect of the Navy guided missiles of the 1960s and 70s.  Intended for hands-on reference by Navy missile technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  Provides the basic principles and theories needed for understanding guided missile flight and control, and basic nuclear weapon information  The fundamentals of the different kinds of missile guidance are also discussed.  Considerable detail is given on the effects of nuclear weapons.  370 pages, softbound, $34.95. 

Weapons Systems Fundamentals:  United States Navy Technical Training Manual NavWeps OP 3000 (1960).  Complete 3-volume set, 1,002 pages, profusely illustrated.   Introduces and explains naval weapons and weapons systems from a hardware approach.  Exceptionally well-illustrated, and produced with great attention to graphics, layout, and educational perspective.  Mainly written for university-level post-graduate students.  Heavy on math, electronics, physics, the entire spectrum of technologies.  Even goes into nuclear physics and weapons. Filled with self-testing problems in every chapter, a genuine help in mastering this technical material.  Comprehensive and complete, covering every aspect of the Navy weapons systems of the 1960s.  Provides both theory (with detailed examples) and practical information, intended for hands-on reference by Navy weapons technicians, mechanics, engineers, and scientists.  11 x 8.5-inches, 3-volumes, 1,002 pages, quality bound.  $49.95. 

Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning, 1950-2000.  David S. F. Portree, NASA History Division.  A complete and detailed chronicle of space planning for a "Men to Mars" mission.  Covers the range of plans from those of Wernher von Braun in the 1950s to the Space Exploration Initiative of 1989, from ambitious flotilla-style expeditions to much leaner plans. Provides historians, space policy practitioners, and other readers with a very valuable overview of how much planning has already been done.  If humans do go to Mars any time in the near future, it is quite likely that their mission profile will resemble one of the plans described here.  157 pages, $24.95.  

NASA Design-Development Testing: McDonnell Douglas, Grumman Aircraft Engineering, Ling-Temco-Vought, Lockheed Missiles & Space, General Dynamics, Chrysler, Hughes Aircraft, The Boeing Company, Wyle Laboratories, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, and the NASA Langley Research Center.  Presents the state-of-the-art criteria and recommended practices for rocket and spacecraft testing.  It covers test conditions and specimen, data and instrumentation, test plans and reports, and similar topics.  Originally written for designers and analysts to confirm the feasibility of a structural design approach, demonstrating the advantage of one design over another, identifying failure modes, confirming analytical methods, and generating essential design data. 35 pages, $19.95.

NASA Flight Separation Mechanisms:  TRW Systems Group/TRW, McDonnell Douglas, The Boeing Company, The Aerospace Corporation, Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, General Dynamics, North American Rockwell, LTV Aerospace, and NASA Langley Research Center.  Covers mechanisms that are used during flight to jettison stages and components that are no longer needed, to uncover equipment, or to deploy payloads.  It includes state-of-the-art release devices, separation-impulse devices, and auxiliary devices.  39 pages, $19.95.  

Space Vehicle Accelerometer Applications.  Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, MIT, Bell Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, Hughes Aircraft, and NASA.  Deals with the application of accelerometers for navigation, guidance, and control of space vehicles.  Covers the general characteristics of accelerometers, and the specific details of recent space vehicle applications.  Discusses the factors that are important in the application of accelerometers to space vehicles.  Provides extensive background and informative material, and serves as a guide to sound engineering and design practices.  Explains the physics of accelerometer applications, together with the math and necessary equations.  89 pages, 20 illustrations, $19.95. 

NASA Entry Vehicle Control.  NASA Electronics Research Center, Kaman AviDne, McDonnell Douglas, Honeywell, Sperry Rand, and Prof. A.E. Bryson (Stanford University).  Describes in detail how to design entry control systems for all kinds of entry vehicles that used aerodynamic forces for deceleration.  Covers systems to orient the vehicle for entry into the atmosphere and guide it to deployment of the terminal-landing device.  Discusses design and operation of the entry control systems used by Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, X-15, ASSET, PRIME, and other important spacecraft.  Includes flight and mission experience analysis.  Contains functional diagrams, entry-control jet configurations, vehicle trim conditions, critical trajectories, and other key engineering information.  31 pages, $19.95. 

Introduction to Rocket Aircraft Performance:  H. Reese Ivey, Edward N. Bowen, Jr., and Lester F. Oborny  Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), predecessor to NASA.  This historical book investigates the performance possibilities of rocket-powered aircraft performance.  It reviews and summarizes all previous studies, and covers the future of rocket planes.  47 pages, $19.95.  

NASA Computer Program for Complex Chemical Equilibrium:  Sanford Gordon and Bonnie J. McBride  NASA Lewis Research Center.  Presents the latest of the NASA chemical equilibrium and applications programs, developed over more than 40 years.  This program includes additional features and improved calculation techniques, to take advantage of improved computer capabilities.  The text presents in detail mathematical analyses and techniques for obtaining chemical equilibrium; formulas for obtaining thermodynamic and transport mixture properties and thermodynamic derivatives; criteria for inclusion of condensed phases; calculations at a triple point; inclusion of ionized species; and various applications, such as constant-pressure or constant-volume combustion, rocket performance based on either a finite- or infinite-chamber-area model, shock wave calculations, and Chapman-Jouguet detonations.  76 pages, $19.95.  

NASA Glossary of Terms and Table of Conversion Factors Used in Design of Chemical Propulsion Systems:  Compiled by Russell B. Keller, Jr., NASA Lewis Research Center.  Official NASA guidebook for chemical propulsion design, with definitions covering all the terms commonly used in rocket, missile, and spacecraft propulsion design.  Has conversion factors for converting U.S. customary units to the International System of Units, plus definitions for the symbols and abbreviations used.  An important reference book for every rocket scientist, engineer, technician, and experimenter.  101 pages, $14.95. 

Unit of Instructions for Test Facility Systems.  Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation, Inc.  A digitally-restored copy of the rare (1964) Rocketdyne liquid rocket engine test facility systems training manual.  This one of the key books that was used to train rocket engineers and technicians for static testing the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo propulsion systems.  Comprehensive and highly-technical, this unusual "working document" describes in great detail the complete static test facilities systems, equipment, plumbing, tanks, valves, instrumentation, wiring, and fire extinguishing apparatus.  You can use it to learn how liquid oxygen is made, handled, piped, stored, and controlled.  It also covers working with liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen, high-pressure helium, and other exotic chemicals, as well as the usual rocket fuels of that era.  You can also use it to design your own rocket test systems!  A perfect addition to the library of every serious rocket scientist, engineer, technician, experimenter, or space historian.  106 pages, $24.95. 

Advanced Composite Structures:  McDonnell Douglas, Rockwell International, General Dynamics, Grumman Aerospace, The Boeing Company, Lockheed-Georgia, and NASA Langley.  A comprehensive handbook that presents military and aerospace design practices for the use of composite materials in rockets, missiles, and spacecraft.  Include details about designing, fabricating, and testing various composite structures.  ISBN 1-878628-21-6, 108 pages.  $24.95  

Polymer Matrix Composites Handbook:  Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration.  The official reference resource, approved for use by all Departments and Agencies of the Department of Defense.  Three heavy volumes describing engineering methods and providing detailed accurate guidelines, information, data, and material properties for the development and testing of advanced polymer (organic) matrix composite materials.  Comprehensive, complete, and hard-to-find!  Developed from state-of-the-art information from materials producers, industry, reports on Government sponsored research, the open literature, and by contact with research laboratories, coordinated with the U S Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, and the Federal Aviation Administration prior to publication.  An exceptional handbook of military and aerospace design practices for the use of composite materials in rockets, missiles, and spacecraft.  Many details about designing, fabricating, and testing various composite structures.  ISBN 1-878628-NEW, 1,311 pages. Special Offer:  $79.95 

Rocket Propellant Thermochemistry and Combustion.  S.S. Penner, Ph.D.  The author was Professor of Jet Propulsion, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Center at the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). This is a highly-technical and detailed investigation of liquid and solid rocket propellants and their combustion processes.  Investigates and reports on propellant materials (monopropellants, bipropellants, water-reactive, and composites), including many exotics (boron and fluorine compounds); chemical compounds used as propellants, and the chemical qualities to look for; performance of chemical propellants for rocket engines; theoretical performance evaluation for chemical propellants; preparation and properties of representative propellants.  ISBN 1-878628-NEW, 83 pages.  $16.95

Entry Vehicle Control:  NASA Electronics Research Center.  Describes in detail how to design entry control systems for all kinds of entry vehicles that used aerodynamic forces for deceleration.  Covers systems to orient the vehicle for entry into the atmosphere and guide it to deployment of the terminal-landing device.  Discusses design and operation of the entry control systems used by Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, X-15, ASSET, PRIME, and other important spacecraft.  Includes flight and mission experience analysis.  Contains functional diagrams, entry-control jet configurations, vehicle trim conditions, critical trajectories, and other key engineering information.  31 pages, large and easy-to-read 11" x 8-1/2" size.  $19.95.  

NASA Spaceborne Digital Computer Systems:  Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Aerospace Systems Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Intermetrics Inc., and Aerospace Systems, Inc.  Explains and discusses system architecture, computational capability (precision, speed, throughput, memory capacity, input/output capability, instruction repertoir), adaptability (expandability, flexibility, compatibility), provisions for interface with other components, software (support, applications programs, ease of programming), cost (money, power, weight, volume, time), reliability (fault tolerance, failure rate, redundancy, easy of checkout), environment (temperature, shock and vibration, electromagnetic and nuclear radiation, noise, power flucutations), packaging and cabling design.  An exceptional resource for hard-to-find specifications and data on early NASA computer systems.  Originally published in March 1971.  83 pages, 11 illustrations, 11 x 8-1/2" size, quality bound.  $16.85. 

NASA Spacecraft Thermal Control.  Exotech Inc., General Electric, TRW Systems, Jet Propulsion Laboratgory, Hughes Aircraft, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA Ames Research Center.   This handbook provides guidance for assessment and control of spacecraft temperatures.  It covers the many ways engineers can control temperatures in a hostile and changing environment.  The text includes considerable mathematical formulae and equations, all necessary for calculating thermal factors.  There are also abundant graphs and illustrations that make each concept clear.  50 pages, $19.95.

NASA Spacecraft Solar Cell Arrays.  NASA Office of Advanced Research and Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), ComSat Labs, TRW Systems Group, The Boeing Company, Heliotek, and RCA.  Covers "State of the Art," design criteria, and recommended practices, presenting existing successful design techniques and practices then used in the majority of flight programs.  Chronicles the use of solar cells in spacecraft, beginning with Vanguard 1 and Explorer 6.  Explains solar cell output as a function of time, and tells how solar cells are fabricated from raw materials and made into interconnected units.  Covers the process of energy conversion by solar cells, effects of light wavelength, electrical output, and the effects of cell thickness and area.  Goes into the many effects of space environment: intensity of illumination, effect of temperature, effects of energetic particles.  Then investigates solar cell protective covers and coatings, and various adhesives and their best application (RTVs, Sylgard, and others).  Explains the best ways to mount solar cells, construction of solar paddles, orienting solar cell arrays in space, interconnections, and electrical characteristics of arrays.  Compares (in technical tables) the specifications and performance of many satellite and space systems arrays.  Loaded with excellent technical drawings, charts, graphs, and illustrations.  54 pages, $19.95. 
 
Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning, 1950-2000.  David S. F. Portree, NASA History Division.  A complete and detailed chronicle of space planning for a "Men to Mars" mission.  Covers the range of plans from those of Wernher von Braun in the 1950s to the Space Exploration Initiative of 1989, from ambitious flotilla-style expeditions to much leaner plans. Provides historians, space policy practitioners, and other readers with a very valuable overview of how much planning has already been done.  If humans do go to Mars any time in the near future, it is quite likely that their mission profile will resemble one of the plans described here.  157 pages, $24.95.
 





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Other books categories:

Solid Propellant Engineering

Solid Propulsion Rocket Systems Design

Liquid Propellant Engineering

Liquid Propulsion Rocket Systems Design

Pyrotechnics & Explosives Safety

Microjet Propulsion

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Your first resource for unusual, hard-to-find, out-of-print, and historic Goddard, NASA, JPL, GALCIT, USAF, NACA, military, industrial, educational, and "how-to" books, documents, and patents about aerospace, astronauts, and astronautics; the space shuttle, satellites, spacecraft; rocketry propulsion systems; liquid fuel and solid propellant engines; reaction motors; and missile testing. Plus unique reference books on chemistry, engineering, and safety with rocket fuels, oxidizers, and propellants; igniters, pyrotechnics, pyro devices, fireworks, and explosives; rocket and pulsejet-propelled model airplanes with Dyna-Jet and Jetex.