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Rocket And Space Corporation Energia: Apogee Books Space Series 17 [Paperback]

Robert Godwin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 2001 Apogee Books Space Series
A small metal sphere weighing slightly more than 83 kilograms was placed into an elliptical orbit by the mighty R-7 rocket. It was perhaps one of the most significant moments in human history. The date was October 4th 1957 and the sphere was called Sputnik.

When the world's first artificial satellite sped across the night skies the impact was far-reaching and profound. Not only was this clearly one of the great scientific achievements of the modern age but it was also a catalyst which would propel the United States out of its post-War lethargy. The Political significance of the lift-capability of the R-7 rocket aroused the attentions of the West while irrevocably altering the face of human history. The Space Age had begun. The story of the R-7 rocket and its many offspring is one which still remains a mystery in the West. Now in the post-Cold war era the remarkable accomplishments of the engineers of Rocket & Space Corporation Energia are finally reaching eager readers in the West.

The pages within contain a pictorial record encompassing the entire history of the Russian space programme, from its inception at the end of World War II to the present day.

The sheer wealth of original and durable technology is a testament to the ingenuity of a remarkable people and gives a unique glimpse a the future of the historic partnership between East and West.

Published for the first time completely in English, Rocket & Space Corporation Energia features rare pictures and diagrams including:

Sputnik - Yuri Gagarin's Vostok capsule - the world's first Space Stations - the enormous lunar rocket N1 - Russia's interplanetary probes and the Buran shuttle.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Long on photos, short on text. Nov. 2 2001
As an avid fan of the Godwin/NASA Mission Reports Series, I was somewhat disappointed with this book. I had eagerly looked forward to an in-depth, detail-laden, fact-packed look at RSC Energia, but was dismayed to find that the book only contains approximately 20 pages of text (including the introduction by Godwin). The remaining pages are filled with photos, that are only occasionally placed in chronological order. In addition, what little text there is is very uncritical and reads like a propaganda page, neglecting any mention of the political history of RSC Energia, the impact of the loss of the "moon race" on the organization, the checkered political career or Sergei P. Korolev (who was once interned in a prison in Siberia for political crimes), or the profound social impact the space program had on the average russian citizen. Even more frustrating, despite what Godwin says in the introduction, a great many of the photographs in this book have been previously published in the west, albeit mostly online.
Overall, the book is worth purchasing for those who wish to obtain some high-quality images of Soviet/Russian space hardware, but does little to enhance the understanding of the Soviet/Russian space program. The excellent biography of Korolev by James Harford did a nice job of detailing Korolev's life, but left out many details about the entire space program that this book could have filled in.
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Unlike the NASA Mission Reports published by Apogee Books and edited by Robert Godwin which are loaded with many technical reports, other documents and crew debriefs, this latest entry about the Russian space program contains very little text, but is instead loaded with numerous photographs, technical drawings, cut-away-views, and artist sketches. Also, in contrast to the other Apogee Books publications, this book does not focus on a single aspect of space flight, but on the history of the Russian space program and specifically the Energia Corporation. While some may feel that this book is just another collection of space pictures, it is not. The photographs presented here tell the history of the Russian space program and have been chosen such that they present a great deal of general technical information. If you are interested the history of the Russian space program or the race to land a man on the moon, you can't go wrong purchasing this book.
The book opens with several small sections of text. One section is from the two editors of the book (the English and Russian) and the other section presents a brief history of the Energia Corporation. After this brief introduction, the remainder of the book presents the history of the Russian space program from its earliest days to the present. The picture section begins with the Russian space program after World War II and the use captured German hardware to begin the development of their ballistic missiles. It is quite easy to see that the Russian launch vehicles are direct descendants of the German launch vehicles. The book then moves on to the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, and the manned spaceflight program, which enabled the Russians to put the first person, Yuri Gargarin, into space.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Soviet Legacy Of Spaceflight Oct. 23 2001
This is a great book with many excellent colour and black and white photos of the Soviet space program, from it's infancy up to the Mir Space station. Korolev was the Soviet chief of spaceflight and master planner back in the 1960's when the Soviets were trying to beat us to the moon, he was truly a visionary man and a credit to the Russians. The volume here begins with a few pages of text and then continues with page after page of an amazing photo history of the Soviet space program, very well done. What I especially found interesting was the photographs of their giant Saturn 5 class N booster, designed to take cosmonauts to the lunar surface, it was an awesome moon-rocket, a shame really that it was not successful. Everything in Soviet manned space is covered here, there are even pictures and drawings of the never used manned lunar lander. This is a gem of a book, and very reasonably priced.
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