U.S. and Soviet Space Programs

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9780531105153: U.S. and Soviet Space Programs
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Surveys the history of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, discussing similarities and differences in the goals, methods, and innovations of the two nations' space programs.

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Grade 7 Up Beginning with Sputnik (of course), U.S. and Soviet Space Programs are compared on the basis of their histories, organization, and technologies. Newton provides some slight background on rocketry and the post-World War II Soviet-American scramble for German rocket scientists, continuing to follow U.S. developments leading to the formation and administration of NASA. Considerably less detail is provided for the Soviet operation. Newton admits to a level of uncertainty regarding knowledge of the Soviet program due to the secrecy with which they operate. More detail is apparently available and is included regarding Soviet technology and missions. Different types of space programs are discussed: satellites (scientific, communication, navigation, weather, and earth resource), planetary probes (orbiters, fly-bys, landers), moon probes, manned flights, space stations, and military programs. The illustrations are adequate in concept and quality , and the writing is appropriate and clear; however, the focus is sometimes inconsistent and confusing and the chronolgy difficult to follow. The development of U.S. rocketry is covered more clearly in Rocketry (Watts, 1988) by Christopher Lampton; satellites are covered better in Space Satellites (Watts, 1987) by Gregory Vogt and Satellites of Today and Tomorrow (Dodd, 1985) by Jack R. White. Newton's book is valuable for its treatment of the Soviet program; its specific details about the U.S. program will be most useful to students who use another source for the broad overview. Dennis Ford, Canandaigua Junior Academy,
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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