A Tribble's Guide to Space

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9780691050591: A Tribble's Guide to Space


Space--the final frontier. It's as little as fifty miles away, and yet it is considered one of the most dangerous and remote of places. Popular television shows such as Star Trek and movies such as Apollo 13 and October Sky have fired the imaginations of would-be explorers. Alan Tribble has worked on the design and development of dozens of spacecraft, including the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. A Tribble's Guide to Space is a how-to book that is firmly grounded in the realities of current state-of-the-art space engineering while tapping into the power of imagination that drives us to explore.


Alan Tribble offers a delightful guide to the nuts and bolts of space exploration, from how to get there to how to phone home and how to survive the harsh environment of space. Using examples from famous space missions, both factual and fictional, Tribble tackles fascinating real-world problems encountered in space exploration. Why do submarine hatches open inward and spacecraft hatches open outward? What do curveballs and satellites have in common? Why did Scotty, the chief engineer of the fictional USS Enterprise, always "need more power?" Why did the fire that destroyed Apollo I on the launch pad burn so furiously that no one could react fast enough to save the lives of the crew? In answering these questions, Tribble examines getting to space, from the physics of motion to the practical implications of Einstein's theory of relativity. He explores the basics of spaceships and starships, from power usage to navigation--all from the viewpoint of a spacecraft designer.


This book describes rocket science and more in a manner that captures the common excitement shared by anyone with an interest in space exploration. Armchair astronauts, engineers who work in a space company and anyone who has looked up at the sky and wondered how we will get there will find reading this book a wonderful and enlightening experience.


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"I share the author's admiration for astronauts who are propelled into space to perform simple tasks under exotic and perilous conditions and for the engineers who make such excursions possible. Alan Tribble, with his easy-going, attractive conversational prose, imparts a lot of good physics at a common sense level, enhanced by references to everyday experience. He has produced a valuable guide to space for a wide readership."--James A. Van Allen


"The significance of Apollo was not the rocks that were brought back, but the involvement of masses of people, the impact it made on their lives, and the vision it provided them for the future. Alan Tribble has captured the spirit that inspires us to explore and articulated the challenges that we will face as we continue to investigate the uses of space in the future. Anyone who remembers Apollo, or who dreams of going to the Moon and beyond, will enjoy this book."--Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11


"Alan Tribble's "Guide to Space" is a superb introduction to the complex world of trajectories, spacecraft systems, and the space environment. It would have provided an invaluable background for the rookie flight controllers at Mercury Control as we prepared for our first launch."--Eugene Kranz, Flight Director, Gemini-Apollo-Skylab


About the Author:

Alan C. Tribble is a rocket scientist who has spent over ten years designing dozens of spacecraft for various missions. Formerly with Rockwell International's Space Systems Division, he is now a speaker and author on space-related subjects. His other books include The Space Environment and the Princeton Guide to Advanced Physics.

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