Rocket! How a Toy Launched the Space Age

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9780517596289: Rocket! How a Toy Launched the Space Age
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An account of the development of the rocket from nineteenth-century dream and speculation to the giant towers of power that today launch astronauts and satellites into space

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Gr. 5-9. Although humans easily imagined going into space by means of a rocket, turning the dream into reality was much more challenging. Maurer guides readers from early science fiction speculations of rocket travel to the scientific trials and errors of three important scientists--Robert Goddard, Hermann Oberth, and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky--and to the U.S.-Soviet space race. This clearly written, beautifully designed book launches young scientists on a journey through physics, from Newton's laws of motion to the successes of the space shuttle program. Physical principles are illustrated with clear diagrams that provide an understanding of the scientific theory involved in rocketry. Focusing on Goddard's childhood dream of launching a rocket, then following that vision through its many trials and errors, the author creates a human interest element that gives his book broad appeal. The attractive format includes historical and current photographs of rockets and rocket scientists, plenty of white space, and intriguing insets that open up the book visually, adding to the accessibility of the relatively complex information covered. The target audience may be middle readers, but public librarians may want to buy a second copy for the adult collection. Rarely has physics been this interesting and approachable. Frances Bradburn

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Grade 4-7?An interesting and informative introduction to the history of modern rocketry. After touching on the early use of rockets in warfare, Maurer discusses Robert Goddard and his pioneering work. He also gives due credit to Hermann Oberth, a Romanian contemporary of Goddard's, and to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the Russian whose work preceded that of Oberth and Goddard. The book traces the development of rocket research and its eventual absorption by governments interested in military applications. The achievements of manned space flight are briefly noted, primarily insofar as they relate to the development of the rockets needed to boost capsules into orbit. Well-captioned black-and-white and full-color photographs, diagrams, and reproductions add interest. This title is more comprehensive than Anne Baird's U.S. Space Camp Book of Rockets (Morrow, 1994), and will be useful to report writers as well as to budding rocket enthusiasts. Christopher Lampton's Rocketry (Watts, 1988) covers the same basic material, but devotes more attention to various manned space flights and lacks the visual appeal of Maurer's presentation.?Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780517596296: Rocket! How a Toy Launched the Space Age

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Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1995
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