A Concise History

Author: Michael J. Neufeld

Subject: space exploration; cold war; space race; astronauts

Publisher: The MIT Press (2018-10-25)


A Concise History ebook cover

A concise history of spaceflight, from military rocketry through Sputnik, Apollo, robots in space, space culture, and human spaceflight today.

Spaceflight is one of the greatest human achievements of the twentieth century. The Soviets launched Sputnik, the first satellite, in 1957; less than twelve years later, the American Apollo astronauts landed on the Moon. In this volume of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Michael Neufeld offers a concise history of spaceflight, mapping the full spectrum of activities that humans have developed in space.

Neufeld explains that "the space program" should not be equated only with human spaceflight. Since the 1960s, unmanned military and commercial spacecraft have been orbiting near the Earth, and robotic deep-space explorers have sent back stunning images of faraway planets. Neufeld begins with the origins of space ideas and the discovery that rocketry could be used for spaceflight. He then discusses the...