By: W.David Woods
Out of the technological battlefield of World War II came a team of gifted German engineers and designers who developed the vengeance weapon, the V-2, which evolved into the peaceful, powerful Saturn V rocket to take men to the Moon. David Woods tells the exciting story, starting from America's post war astronautical research facilities, that used the V-2 for the development of the robust, resilient and reliable Saturn V launcher. He describes the initial launches through manned orbital spaceflights, comprehensively detailing each step, including computer configuration, the role of ground control, trajectory planning, lunar orbiting, separation of the lander, walking and working on the Moon, retrieval of the lunar astronauts and returning to Earth in this massive technical accomplishment.
Apollo's birth.- Saturn cometh.- Launch -- a fiery departure.- Earth orbit.- Translunar injection.- Retrieving the lander.- Navigating to the moon.- Coasting to the moon.- Entering lunar orbit - the LOI manoeuvre.- Next stop -- the Moon.- Orbital sojourn -- doing science from a spacecraft.- Rendezvous and docking.- Heading for home -- the TEI manoeuvre.
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Apollo arose from the depths of America's post war aeronautical research facilities and was originally conceived as a general purpose spacecraft. Between 1968 and 1972, demonstrating sheer daring, twenty four men journeyed from the Earth to the Moon in the mid-twentieth century. The techniques and procedures developed for what was seen as a political decision by President John F Kennedy, was subsequently recognised as a supreme example of human exploration at its greatest, demonstrating an apparent peak of technological excellence.
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