Manned Ballooning on the Threshold of Space
By (author) Craig Ryan
Pre-Astronauts by Craig Ryan
Book DescriptionIn the 1950s and early 1960s a small fraternity of daring, brilliant men made the first exploratory trips into the upper stratosphere, reaching the edge of outer space in tiny capsules suspended beneath plastic balloons. This book tells the story of these tenacious men as they labored on the cusp of a new age, seeing things that no one had ever seen and experiencing conditions no one was sure they could survive. Mostly U.S. Air Force and Navy officers, among them doctors, physicists, meteorologists, engineers, astronomers, and test pilots, they struggled with meager budgets, bureaucratic politics, and one another. It is a thrilling story of tremendous personal sacrifice and great risk for the promise of adventure and the opportunity to uncover a few precious aspects of the universe. Capt. Joseph Kittinger, for example, rode a balloon up to 103,000 feet in an open gondola and then stepped out and freefell to Earth, becoming the only person to break the sound barrier without a vehicle. Lt. Col. David Simons stayed aloft for a full day and night in a primitive pressurized capsule to become one of the first to see the curvature of the planet. In this work, Craig Ryan masterfully captures the drama of their spectacular achievements and those of many of the other space pioneers who made America's stratospheric balloon programs possible.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781591147480
(155mm x 229mm x 22mm)
Imprint: Naval Institute Press
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Publish Date: 15-Jan-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Craig Ryan
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The untold story of an eccentric, scientific visionary whose death-defying research has saved millions of lives.
Come Up and Get Me, Paperback (April 2011)» View all books by Craig Ryan
A few years after his release from a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp in 1973 Colonel Joseph Kittinger retired from the Air Force. Restless and unchallenged, he turned to ballooning, a life-long passion as well as a constant diversion for his imagination during his imprisonment. This autobiography documents his astonishing career.
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