Books on
and Space
Books on
History of
Blazing the Trail:
The Early History
of Spacecraft
and Rocketry
Neutral Atoms
in Space
History Videos

Mike Gruntman's web site on Astronautics, Space Technology, Rocketry, and History

About Mike Gruntman

books by mike gruntmanMike's books      videos by mike gruntmanMike's videos on satellite orbits (>1.2×10^6 views on YouTube)

Selected (out of 300+) scholarly publications

Unusual story of my first pub

Short courses (space systems) for governmernt and industry

Sputnik    Explorer    Vanguard    Astronautics    Missile defense    Baikonur Tyuratam    Saryshagan    Rocket equation    Rocket espionage    U-2

rocket science stuff

Mike Gruntman on  LinkedInFacebookYouTube     in Wikipedia        Mike's LinkedIn articles

160+ problems with detailed solutions

Fundamentals of Space Missions

book preview

Magnitudes of stars and satellites. The solar system. Coordinate systems and time. Plane and solid angles. Space environment and spacecraft interactions. Satellite atmospheric drag. Solar radiation pressure. Gravitational field. The Earth. Basics of orbital mechanics. Orbital elements, transfers, and maneuvers. Orbit evolution and common orbits. Space mission geometry.

Fundamentals of Space Missions

Fundamentals of Space Missions

Fundamentals of Space Missions – 3-page info (pdf) – list of problems

usc vsoe    cu@usc interview

usc vsoe

space show

secure freedom radio

USC VSOE Viterbi Magazine  – 2021
USC VSOE Viterbi Magazine  – 2011
CU@USC TV interview – 2011
USC VSOE News – 2009
USC VSOE News – 2007

Mike's bio

The Space Show

Secure Freedom Radio

Panorama, 2004
Pravda, 2021

Mike's classes at USC:    The New SMAD   ASTE 520 Spacecraft Design   and   The New SMAD   ASTE 575 Rocket and Spacecraft Propulsion (old ASTE 470)


MS ASTE at your fingertips (2 pages)

ms aste newsletter newsletter – USC MS ASTE update


MS ASTE class schedule

Articles about MS ASTE
combined (2018+2014+2007), 2018, 2014, 2007

Int'l Astronautical Congress (2018)
Astronautics degrees through (online) Distance Education

article in Acta Astronautica (2014)
national space engineering education
and USC Astronautics Program

AIAA-2007-6042, 2007
The Time for Astro Departments

Astronautical, aeronautical, and aerospace engineering degree programs in the United States

Make the World a Better Place  –  for conservatives and true classical (non-socialist) liberals only

Cost of Communism    Dupes and Fellow Travelers    Munich Agreement    Two cultures and science illiteracy Rocket espionage Soviet espionage in U.S. State (Bias) of U.S. Media Freedom is not free

Rocket Scientists' Voter Guide for 2020s Socialism, Academia, and Intellectuals Sic transit gloria universitatum

final warning of Orwell

The 1776 Report

Dupes and Fellow Travelers

New York Times trashes Goddard

The Sharon Statement

The Sharon Statement

Final warning by George Orwell

The 1776 Report

Dupes and Fellow Travelers

New York Times trashes Goddard

The Sharon Statement

Chirchill's Iron Curtain speech


US return to the Moon

USC Astronautics Commencement

USC Astronautics Graduate Commencement



Recommended science and engineering books on astronautics, rocketry, and space technology


Recommended missile defense books


Recommended books on history of astronautics, rocketry, and space


AIAA Distinguished Lecture Program


AIAA Distinguished Lecture Program

Mike Gruntman – AIAA distinguished lecturer

2018 – now

The Road to Space. The First Thousand Years

Intercept 1961. From Air Defense SA-1 to the Birth of Soviet Missile Defense

energetic neutral atom ENA imaging

North Korea space launch 2012

ISS hole and leak 2018

The New SMAD

Energetic Neutral Atom Imaging: The Next Step, 2012 (15 min video)

Satellite Launch by North Korea in 2012 (video 18 min)

International Space Station hole and leak, 2018 (video 9 min)

pdf    The History of Spaceflight, in The New SMAD

rocket equation coffee mug for rocket scientists rocket equation mousepad for rocket scientists rocket equation T-shirt for rocket scientists baikonur launch site tyuratam missile range coffee mug missile defense coffe mug yes-to-engineering sticker for rocket scientists

other rocket science stuff

Yuiri GagarinYuri A. Gagarin

Socks for the First Cosmonaut of Planet Earth  –  gruntman quest socks for cosmonaut

Ary Sternfeld. A Forgotten Space Pioneer. (25 min)   The New SMAD

Elite Space Club

The Cosmos of the Russian Avante-Garde (in English, Spanish, Greek)

Israel space program Space program in Israel        Israel history (essential library) Israel history

Recommended science and engineering books on astronautics, rocketry, and space technology

Recommended missile defense books

Recommended books on history of astronautics, rocketry, and space

U.S. National Space Policy   2010 U.S. National Space Policy, 20102020 U.S. National Space Policy, 2020

USC Astronautics on LinkedIn  – 

USC Astronauts  –  USC Astronauts

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (left) at the 49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting in Orlando, Fla. (January 5, 2011) and Appollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin (right) at ASTE event (December 13, 2011)

How to get the rocket-scientist T-shirt.

Road to space

The Road to Space. The First Thousand Years.

Fascinating story of the events that paved the way to space. The lecture (2007) introduces the history of early rocketry and the subsequent developments which led into the space age. Slides of the presentation (pdf file).
The International Astronatical Federation IAFASTRO also posted the lecture on YouTube.

From Firecrackers to Interstellar Flight

Space: From Firecrackers to Interstellar Flight

Part 1. The First Thousand Years. (75 min)
Part 2. Space in 21st Century. (77 min)
The two-part lecture (17 and 18 August 2017 at USC) focuses on (Part 1) science and technology developments that led to the space age and (Part 2) the critically important role space plays in the 21st century.

NSS Road to Space 2020

Road to Space. The First Thousand Years

National Space Society (NSS). Forum on November 18, 2020.
(83 min.)  Slides of the presentation (pdf)

The true story ... Now it can be told

videos on orbital mechanics and space mission design    Videos – satellite orbits    list of videos on satellite orbits

More than 1,000,000 views – yes, >10^6 – on YouTube alone from 2007 to 2016

Some selected videos on satellite orbits

GPS constellation Geostationary GEO orbit Prograde and retrograde orbits Molniya orbit Effect of solar radiation on satellite orbits Molniya communications relay

Recommended science and engineering books on astronautics, rocketry, and space technology

Recommended missile defense books

Recommended books on history of astronautics, rocketry, and space

Mike's books       books by mike gruntman

Blazing the Trail: The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry,
AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004
Winner of the Luigi Napolitano Award (2006) from
the International Academy of Astronautics
available at 800+ libraries worldwide
From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, Space Pioneers Robert Esnault-Pelterie and Ary Sternfeld,
Booksurge, North Charleston, S.C., 2007
Nominated (2008) for the Emme Award of
the American Astronautical Society
Enemy Amongst Trojans. A Soviet Spy at USC,
Figueroa Press, Los Angeles, Calif., 2010
Intercept 1961. The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense,
AIAA, Reston, Va., 2015
available at 450+ libraries worldwide
My Fifteen Years at IKI, the Space Research Institute:
Position-Sensitive Detectors and Energetic Neutral Atoms Behind the Iron Curtain
Interstellar Trail Press, 2022
Fundamentals of Space Missions:
Problems with Solutions

Interstellar Trail Press, 2007

Mike's book chapters   book chapters by Mike Gruntman

Space Education

acta astronautica 2014 Mike Gruntman is the founder of the Astronautics Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He has been leading its nationally prominent flagship component, Master of Science in Astronatical Engineering (MS ASTE), since mid-1990s (pdf).
For several years Mike had been calling for creation of independent academic departments in space engineering in U.S. universities. In 2004, the USC program was reorganized into a new independent academic unit, today's Department of Astronautical Engineering. This is a unique development in space engineering education in the United States, and this is a unique department. It offers Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science (Minor), Master of Science, Engineer, and PhD degrees and Graduate Certificate in astronautical engineering.

Mike served as the founding chairman, 2004–2007, of the new department and guided its spectacular growth. Mission accomplished! He chaired the department again from 2016–2019.

During the first 18 years of the new department (2014-2022) it awarded more than 800 degrees Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering, a significant contribution to workforce development for space and defense industries. A number of students graduated with Bachelor's and PhD degrees as well.

Mike's graduate course on space systems is among largest in this engineering field in the country. More than 2200 graduate students took this class from 1994-2021. Mike also teaches short courses on fundamentals of space systems for government and industry.

FSM 2022 A recent (2022) book includes more than 160 problems with detailed solutions from this university course (and enhancing short courses).

The journey continues – Ad Astra!

science 2009 Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) in Space  –

Measurement of energetic neutral atoms (ENA) in space has emerged as a powerful tool to remotely probe hot plasmas and populations of energetic ions such as planetary magnetospheres and the interstellar (galactic) boundary of the heliosphere. The original bold vision of ENA imaging emerged in the late 1970s. About 20 years of concept refinement and development of enabling instrumentation followed to overcome measurement challenges. Mike Gruntman played a leading role in this development. NASA's IMAGE mission successfully demonstrated the instrumentation and the power of the experimental concept by imaging Earth's magnetosphere and Cassini imaged the magnetosphere of Saturn in ENA fluxes. Two ENA imagers are launched in 2007 and 2008 on the NASA TWINS mission to conduct, for the first time, stereoscopic imaging of the Earth magnetosphere. NASA's IBEX mission, launched in 2008, mapped for the first time the interstellar (galactic) frontier of the solar system in ENA fluxes. The Science magazine highlighted IBEX discoveries on its cover in November 2009.

energetic neutral atom ENA imaging Energetic Neutral Atom Imaging: The Next Step, 2012 (15 min video)

My 15 years at IKI The journey to ENA imaging began in the mid 1970s

ena tutorial
ENA tutorial

Among Mike's main contributions to ENA and EUV imaging are

(a) discovery (1982) of the disturbance of the supersonic interstellar wind by the neutral solar wind flux (pdf)  – the effect that is today routinely accounted for in global heliospheric models and possibly contributing to the yet unexplained heliospheric ribbon;

(b) prediction (1992) of the anisotropy of heliospheric ENA fluxes, the effect that has enabled heliosphere ENA imaging (pdf)  – first implemented and demonstrated by IBEX;

(c) part of effort (2001) in definitive formulation of the concept of heliosphere boundary ENA imaging in an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research (pdf)  – a key to proposing the winning science objectives for the IBEX mission;

(d) experimental demonstration (1981) of ENA detection with energies down to 0.5 keV (1.5 orders of magnitude down from the lowest energies of >20 keV at the time) using thin foils ans start-stop time-of-flight (TOF) techniques (pdf)  –  the breakthrough technique that enabled ENA imaging instruments on the IMAGE (MENA) and TWINS missions;

(e) experimental demonstration (1981) of measuring absolute particle detection efficiency without calibration (pdf)  –  the technique that is used on IBEX (IBEX-Hi);

(f) spearheading the effort to formulate and propose the first dedicated ENA space experiment and building the first generation ENA instruments (early and mid-1980s) to detect the neutral component of the solar wind and heliospheric ENA fluxes from the interstellar boundary of the solar system (pdf)  –  the flight experiment (experiment GAS njointly with MPAe and CBK, instruments GAS-1, GAS-2, GAS-3, and block GAS-E) was built but never flown in space due to "political" headwinds (first scheduled for ill-fated Phobos mission to be launched in 1986 and then removed and rescheduled for never-launched Relikt-2; two Phobos spacecreaft were launched in 1988 and were lost); IBEX measured for the first time heliopsheric ENAs in 2009; the neutral solar wind (pdf) is yet to be observed experimentally;

review of scientific instruments 1997

(g) developing a concept (1981) and demonstrating (1995) suppression of UV and EUV background photon fluxes (main contributors to signal noise) in ENA instruments by diffraction filtering (pdf);  – the technique that enabled ENA imaging instruments on the IMAGE (MENA) and TWINS missions;

(h) proposing (1983) and developing in detail (1991) a concept of the unique technique for detection of low-energy neutral atoms by their surface cionversion to negative ions (pdf);  – the technique that enabled low-energy ENA imaging on the IMAGE (LENA) and IBEX (IBEX-Lo) missions;

(i) development of the concept (1998) of EUV mapping of the heliopause (pdf);

(j) development of the concept of and demonstrating a breakthrough enabling design (2005) of an instrument for EUV mapping of the three-dimensional solar wind and the heliopause (pdf);

(k) ruling out (1993) use of coded-apertures for ENA imaging of the magnetosphere (pdf).

Mike's 1997 review article on imaging of space plasmas in ENA fluxes remains to this day a main publication in the field.

mike gruntman bungee About Mike Gruntman

Mike Gruntman is professor of astronautics and professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) and the founder of the USC Astronautics Program. He served the first (founding) Chairman (2004–2007) of the USC Department of Astronautical Engineering and chaired the department again from 2016–2019. Mike is involved in a number of research and development programs in space science and space technology; he authored and co-authored more than 300 scholarly publications, including 4 books, in the areas of astronautics, space physics, space technology, scientific instrumentation, space sensors, rocketry, history of space, rocketry, and missile defense, and astronautical education.

History  –  astronauticsnow/history

Various events, documents, and publications related (and a very few unrelated) to history of spacecraft and rocketry.

Public policy. Copyright © 2004–2016. All rights reserved.