Monday, August 24, 2009

Colonizing the Planets (1975)

I am off to vist the far off planets for a couple of weeks, so no posts for a while. Here is a beauty to leave you with.

Bergaust, Erik. Colonizing the Planets. New York : Putnam. (93 p.) 24 cm.

Discusses "the factual story of manned interplanetary flight into the 21st century' (according to the cover). Topics include unmanned probes, the exploration of Mars and Venus, nuclear-powered rockets and the terrafoming of Venus.

Illustrations of rockets, manned spacecraft going to Mars, manned landing on one of Saturn's moons, and a permanent space station around Venus.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rockets and Missiles (1957)

I really like the cover of this one with evoking exploration and how rockets will take us to the moon.

UPDATE :Reader Graham Bates tells me "The cover illustration is, in fact, from a series of ads issued by Northrop Aircraft in the late 1950's (the Snark being one of their missiles).

Bergaust, Erik. Rockets and Missiles. New York: GP Putnam's Sons. (48 p.) 28 cm.

This one is a pictorial encyclopedia of the rockets and missiles used by the Army, Navy and Air Force. It also has sections on research rockets and "missiles of tomorrow" It gives 1 page to each type of missile. With a 1 page glossary of rocket and missile terms at the back of the book.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rockets and Spacecraft (1966) Vols 1 & 2

Children's books come in all sizes. These are some of the smallest I have found that fit my "children's non-fiction" about space collection. These were part of the "Orbit Pocket Library" and are only 10 cm by 10 cm.

Rockets and Spacecraft, Book One. and Two London : Collins. (28 p.) 10 cm. Board, DJ.

With no obvious copyright date, from spacecraft depicted it is around 1966. Has text alternating with illustrations. They have many illustrations of rockets, both military and various civilian programs.

Especially interesting are the British rocket designs depicted. It is almost impossible to find children's books about the British rockets.

as well as American concepts that never quite got beyond the planning stages.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rockets, Missiles, and Satellites (1958)

Knight, Clayton. Rockets, Missiles and Satellites. New York: Grosset and Dunlap. (61 p.) 29 cm.

This book focuses more on airplanes and military rockets rather than space flight (which is covered only on pp. 1-18). Describes basic rocket history and theory. Illustrations of rockets, satellites and space ships of the future.
Best thing about it is it has a nice rocket drawing on the cover.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Planes and Rockets (1965)

One of those thin pamphlets that seemed to be in every classroom in the mid-60s.

Victor, Edward. Illustrated by Barss, Bill. Planes and Rockets. Chicago: Follett Publishing Co. (30 p.) 21 cm.

Elementary text about flight and rocket theory. Includes illustrations of rockets, satellites and the Apollo lunar lander. Also found in softcover. "Follett Beginning Science" series.

This may be the cover you are used to since they would rebind it for extended use:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rockets into Space (1955)

...the Story of Rockets and the exciting possibilities of space travel.

Here is an rare and odd one. This was an early SRA book (Science Research Associates). SRA were classroom reading books. You would read a short book and then answer questions about it testing your reading comprehension. As you can tell this copy is an ex-school library copy and may be the only copy you will ever see.

Joseph, Alexander. Illustrated by Merrick, Don. Rockets into Space. Chicago: Science Research Associates. (48 p.)

Produced for use as a science text, this pamphlet presents basic rocket theory. Also discusses atomic fueled rockets, and a visit to the moon. It is part of the "Modern World of Science" series.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rocketmen and What They Do (1962)

And where would rockets be without ROCKETMEN! (and WOMEN). This is one of those early career books that gave children an insight into what the people who help the astronauts (and rockets) do.
Coombs, Charles I. Rocketmen and What They Do. New York: Franklin Watts Inc. (184 p.) 22 cm.

Unfortunately the book has no illustrations. It discusses the people who fire rockets and support those firings. Descriptions include NORAD personnel, Submarine ICBM operators, fuel fabricators, and aerospace medicine technicians, devoting a chapter to each.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rocket away! (1953)

Frost, Frances. Illustrated by Galdone, Paul. Rocket Away! New York: Whittlesey House. (48 p.) 26 cm.
This is the exciting story of a boy and girl's visit to a planetarium and an imaginary visit to the Moon. Based on the highly popular planetarium program then current at the Hayden Planetarium in New York.

Since there was an ongoing exhibit at the Planetarium the book also had an application to make your reservation for an interplanetary tour.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What is a Rocket? (1961 UK edition)

Enough of the satellites let's look at some rockets! In the spirit of my last few posts, here are a series of posts about rockets. If you have ever seen a rocket launch you know how special it is. Unlike flying, which you can imagine, a rocket rises straight up. It goes up, against your intuition that every thing must go down. Watching a big rocket, like a shuttle launch, is almost a magic trick, that something so huge could rise up. So bring on the rockets.

Munch, Theodore W. Illustrated by Tiedemann, Berthold. What is a Rocket? Chicago : Benefic Press / London : Collins. (48 p.) 21 cm. Cloth, DJ.

US and UK reprint. "What is it… series". See 1959 US 1st edition.

What makes this book special is the cover. In the US the cover was very generic like this:

A very basic book found in a lot of classrooms.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Spaceship Earth: A Space Look at our Troubled Planet (1970)

Dwiggins, Don. Spaceship Earth: A Space look at Our Troubled Planet. San Carlos, CA : Golden Gate Jr. Books. (80 p.) 28 cm.
Satellites gave us the chance to look back on Earth and see it as one place. Looking up you don't have the sense of how thin the atmosphere is and how we are clinging to a very large sphere of rock. Satellites allowed us to see Earth as one place as well as see that we were changing the earth. This book concentrated on showing how pollution, erosion , and other problems were visible from space. For the first time we could take the "temperature" of the planet and see what we have done.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Walt Disney's Man in Space : Satellites (1958)

After the launch of Sputnik and the US Explorer satellites, Disney got into the space race by publishing an educational comic book about it. They had just released a film in the theaters called "Eyes in Outer Space' so they took some ideas from that plus their experiences with their other "Man in Space" comic books.

Walt Disney. Walt Disney's Man in Space: Satellites. New York: Dell Publishing Co Inc. (29 p.) 26 cm.

The text explains rocket theory, satellite orbital mechanics, and possible uses for satellites. It stops at the launching of Explorer III but goes into detail on the construction of satellites and the future uses of satellites. The last few pages on the benefits of space are especially charming for their time.

See 1959 reprint with the other 2 Dell adaptations of "Man in Space" films as: "Walt Disney's Man in Space" (1959). "Dell Comics" (#954).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

First to Venus : The Story of Mariner II (1963)

This is the story of the first planetary probe to examine another planet. The exciting story of the successes and failures as they try to collect the first data from another planet.
Satellite or robot probe? Once Venus turned out to be too hot, muggy (and acid) for us you don't hear much about Planet# 2 anymore. But back when we were exploring the neighborhood it was kind of exciting to see behind the "curtain" and learn a little more about Venus. As I said I grew up next to JPL so at the time this was regarded at my school as one of "our" spaceships.
Newlan, Irl. First to Venus: The Story of Mariner II. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co Inc. (64 p.) 26 cm.

Also a 1964 UK reprint.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Book of Satellites for You (1958)

Branley, Franklyn M. Illustrated by Kessler, Leonard. A Book of Satellites for You. New York: Crowell. (48 p.) 21 x 23 cm.

Another satellite book. This one might be the one you can find everywhere. It is widely available because it was reprinted as one of the 1962 selections of the Weekly Reader Children's Book Club. The basic drawings make it a charming and primitive looking book.

This book describes in very basic terms satellite theory, satellites that have been launched and the future of satellites in space exploration. Includes very simple illustrations of satellites, rockets, astronauts, space stations, and a manned landing on the Moon. There was also a 1971 edition.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Satellites in Outer Space (1964)

Asimov, Isaac. Illustrated by Polgreen, John. Satellites in Outer Space (2nd edition). New York: Random House. (61 p.).
It is an Asimov space book! Isaac wrote for everyone and according to Wikipedia maybe more than anyone:
"Including all titles, charts, and edited collections, there are currently 515 items in Asimov's bibliography—not counting his individual short stories, individual essays, and criticism.

Describes basic satellite theory, the uses of satellites in space and satellites launched up to that point. Updated from 1960 edition with a chapter on "Man in space" with a list of men and women in orbit. Has nice Illustrations by John Polgreen of satellites and the Mercury capsule. See 1960 1st edition.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Earth Satellites (1956)

Not really a children's book but rather a general level book. Maybe the first popular book about satellites. It was probably published in response to announcement of the IGY project in 1957.

Earth satellites. Patrick Moore 1956, 1955 [1st American ed.]
157 p. illus. 22 cm. New York, W.W. Norton

First published in London in 1955 under title: Earth satellite; the new satellite projects explained.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Spacetrack: Watchdog of the Skies (1969)

Just for fun let's see some satellite books for the next few posts. They are the part of the space program that not only succeeded but continues to be part of our planned future in space. As far as I know no nation would be willing to give up their ability to launch satellites and many more nations hope to in the future.

So first off, who is keeping track of what is up there?

Coombs, Charles. Spacetrack: Watchdog of the Skies. New York: William Morrow and Co. (128 p.)

Describes the USAF Spacetrack program. Discusses need for orbital object census, US and Russian Spy satellites, and the technology involved in tracking orbital objects. Illustrations of rockets, satellites, space stations and tracking equipment.