Beyond Horizons: A Half Century of Air Force Space by David N. Spires, Rick W Sturdevant, Richard S Eckert

By David N. Spires, Rick W Sturdevant, Richard S Eckert

This manuscript is a examine of the U.S. Air strength in area. Of the entire army companies, the Air strength has been preeminently concerned for the previous fifty years in beginning, constructing, and employing the expertise of space-based structures in aid of the nation's nationwide safeguard. but there was no single-volume review of the Air strength house tale to function an advent and advisor for readers. This booklet tells the tale of the origins and improvement of the USA Air Force's house software from its earliest beginnings within the publish moment global warfare interval to its emergence as a serious operational presence within the Persian Gulf warfare.

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Convair's six-month contract to conduct a "study and test program" for two types of missile propulsion hardly represented a ringing endorsement of the ICBM concept . Nevertheless, by late summer 1951 the Convair engineers had selected the ballistic-type rocket largely because it represented a weapon considered unstoppable for the foreseeable future, while they believed the formidable technical problems solvable by the early 196os . ARDC, which had responsibility for the guided missiles program, agreed that the missile deserved greater support .

Planners consistently offered the rationale that aerodynamic research benefited ballistic missile research . This proved correct to a point, as shown by the transfer of the Navaho Rocketdyne engines for use in the Redstone and Atlas systems . Yet cruise missile guidance systems offered little commonality, while aerodynamic vehicles could provide no help with the ICBM's high-speed reentry from space into the upper atmosphere . Sadly, Air Force scientists never reexamined the assumptions so forcefully established in the 1945 von Karman reports .

These early V-2-based Bumper-WAC experiments set the stage for the Army's future missile and space program involving the Redstone, Jupiter, and Juno boosters developed by the von Braun team under Army supervision after it moved in 1950 from Fort Bliss, Texas, to the Redstone Arsenal at Huntsville, Alabama . , produced two reliable and effective sounding rockets : the fin-stabilized Aerobee, a larger version of the WAC Corporal modified for production as a sounding rocket, which achieved a height of 8o miles; and the more sophisticated Viking, which would reach an altitude of 158 miles in May 1954 .

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