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Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight Before NASA

Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight Before NASA

Amy Shira Teitel

  • $ 1469


NASA's history is a familiar story, one that typically peaks with Neil Armstrong taking his small step on the Moon in 1969. But America's space agency - and in particular its Apollo lunar-landing program - wasn't created in a vacuum. It was assembled from pre-existing parts, drawing together some of the best minds the non-Soviet world had to offer. In the 1930s, rockets were all the rage in the Germany, the focus both of scientists hoping to fly into space and of the Wehrmacht, seeking weapons with which to circumvent the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. These two strands came together in Wernher von Braun, an engineer who designed the rockets that became the devastating V-2. As the war came to its chaotic conclusion, von Braun orchestrated a daring escape from the ruins of Nazi Germany, and was taken to America where he began developing missiles for the US Army. Ten years la...