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ThermionicScott 01-20-2017 01:38 PM

For fans of rocket science history...
At potential risk to my mental health, I spent a little time reading threads in the Unicorn Corral this morning, and it occurred to me to pass along a book recommendation. "Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants" by John D. Clark was published in 1972 or thereabouts and is a fascinating book. It chronicles the rapid R&D into liquid-fueled rockets from their beginning, and covers the crazy chemistry and experiments that went into advancing the state of the art for ICBMs and the space program. Really, some bonkers stuff at times, and hilariously written. I get engrossed every time I open it, and it seems like something that more than a few EcoModders might get a kick out of as well.

Unfortunately, the book is out of print, but is easily available as a pdf. Here's a current link:

- Scott

oil pan 4 01-20-2017 02:12 PM

It's also to point out we pretty much just continued the nazi program but with less genocidal delusions of superiority and world domination in mind.
The whole idea was to take the thing we were going to drop on Japan and make a faster more reliable delivery system that is impossible to shoot down.

Tuzil 03-27-2017 06:02 AM

Thank you!

freebeard 04-10-2017 12:04 AM

Thank who for what?

freebeard 04-10-2017 03:29 PM


Originally Posted by oil pan 4
It's also to point out we pretty much just continued the nazi program but with less genocidal delusions of superiority and world domination in mind.

It was more like Operation Paperclip imported the genocidal delusions of superiority and world domination, and was stabbed in the back on the rockets. The rocketeers in New Mexico were in contact with their counterparts on the other side and threw the first 'first' to the Soviets. Remember the rockets pin-wheeling off the launch pad at Vandenburg AFB?

It was John Kennedy paying Marshal Tito a few billion for the Hungarian space program, that allowed him to propose the Apollo program a few months later.

Fingie 04-10-2017 03:50 PM

The US, or should i say the ones with money are not always the heroes.

freebeard 04-10-2017 10:09 PM

Your comment, while technically true (the best kind), doesn't touch the high strangeness (as Robert Anton Wilson would have put it) of Aliester Crowely or Marshal Tito being involved.

ThermionicScott 04-11-2017 11:06 AM

Sheesh, and I was just hoping you guys might be interested in the engineering challenges/solutions. :rolleyes:

freebeard 04-11-2017 12:28 PM

It was that pesky word 'history'. But you can steer your own thread. Behold:

So — aerospike engine for single stage to orbit, and submarine launch to reduce the launch facility's cost.

ThermionicScott 04-11-2017 12:59 PM

Yeah, and I know threads take on a life of their own. It's the chemistry and dangerously-explody stuff that I found fun. (The history of the Nazi and Soviet programs do get some time in the book, naturally.) :)

freebeard 04-11-2017 01:53 PM

OP — They left out the Hungarians! Study it out. :)

When I was in high school they taught me chemistry. I asked for a few chemicals to experiment with and they said "Nein! Das exshplodinshtoff." Or something.

I coulda been another Jack Parsons. :( Except not cuckolded by El Ron Hubbard. :)

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