Small square octavo. Spiral-bound in original illustrated paper wraps. Very good. 36 leaves with black and white illustrations from photographs with humorous captions. Humorous in-house "samizdat" from the Douglas Aircraft Corporation team working on the Saturn IV programme, perhaps specifically the team at SACTO, the Sacramento Test Operations facility. The S-IV-B upper stage was manufactured by DAC in its Huntington Beach, California factory, using parts fabricated in Long Beach and Santa Monica, it was the first major Saturn stage hardware to be built under contract, and consequently "NASA proceeded very carefully" (NASA History Program Office web-site). Project oversight was with Werhner von Braun and his Marshall Space Flight Center team, and much of the rather sophomoric humour is directed at von Braun, opening with a portrait - "Big Brother is watching you" - and closing with another, rather grumpy picture of the great rocketry scientist captioned; "Now Wehrner [sic], after you have taken the grand tour, what do you really think of Douglas' efforts?" No other copy traced, an ephemeral piece, seemingly rather lightweight, but extremely revealing of the tensions between the commercial and governmental partners in this key stage of the space race. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: The 23rd Orbit.
Publisher: Sacramento, CA: Douglas Aircraft Corporation, c.1963
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