On the Cutting Edge: Tales of a Cold War Engineer at the Dawn of the Nuclear, Guided Missile, Computer, and Space Ages

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9781884092626: On the Cutting Edge: Tales of a Cold War Engineer at the Dawn of the Nuclear, Guided Missile, Computer, and Space Ages
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On the Cutting Edge presents a series of true stories providing the first account of many of the major programs and projects that have made the last sixty years an era of remarkable progress in the aerospace arena. Robert F. Brodsky, an internationally known scientist, engineer, and teacher, brings a unique perspective to this book, since in each of the world-changing events discussed, he was a firsthand observer or participant. Written in an accessible style, Brodsky's account begins with the start of the computer and atomic ages and progresses chronologically through the subsequent ages of guided missiles and space.

Through a series of interrelated narratives, readers learn about the conquest of the sonic barrier, why the space age started when it did, details of a rescue from a space station, how astronautics became a legitimate academic discipline, the inevitable rise of the hydrogen economy spurred by fusion, and the great aerospace events of the past century. On the Cutting Edge also includes descriptions of little-known historical events, such as the use of the atom bomb by the United States in Mexico, and of the many technological developments of the 1960s that are just now coming to fruition.

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About the Author:

Dr. Robert F. Brodsky is a pioneer in both spacecraft design and the teaching of astronautics. Until his retirement in 1996, he was a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California, and he has held executive engineering positions at Sandia Corporation, Aerojet, Convair, and TRW Space and Technology. He was named Outstanding Aerospace Educator and University Professor of the Year, among many honors.

Review:

"Brodsky gives an insider's view of everything from the creation and fixing of the first externally carried A-Bomb (the Mark 7) to the inception of the Space Age to how astronautics became an accredited curriculum to Brodsky's visions of a hydrogen-fuel based economy in the future. An engaging chronicle of deadly weapons, technological marvels, and the quirky human personalities behind the military and space age science that transformed the modern world, accessible to readers of all backgrounds and highly recommended." --Paul T. Vogel, Midwest Book Review

"Brodsky's story is compelling in part because of the important time span it covers, which he calls 'the glory days of engineering.' But it shouldn't be read as an exercise in nostalgia, particularly in a time and place where there is an increasing shortage and an increasing need for engineers. You can't read a single page of On the Cutting Edge without encountering the euphoria of discovery that is at the heart of the profession." --Mark McDermott , Easy Reader

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