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History of Astronautics,


Rocketry, and Space

Recommended books, monographs, textbooks, college textbooks, tutorials



Recommended important ("classic" and high-quality) publications on history of astronautics, rocketry, missiles, space systems, and space exploration.

An additional section lists recommended important ("classic" and high-quality) publications (including memoirs) on history of atomic/nuclear programs.

Books on History of Astronautics, Rocketry, and Space

Corporate and Organizational Histories

Astronautics and Space (general)

Rockets, Missiles, and Rocket Propulsion

Spacecraft and Space Systems

Missile Defense

People and Memoirs

V-2 (A-4) Missile and Peenemunde

Corona and Hexagon Space Reconnaissance Systems

Space and Rockets in Foreign Countries

Atomic/Nuclear Programs – History and Memoirs

Space in Art and Literature ("classics")

Space Movies ("classic")

Space Models

Recommended science and engineering books on rocketry and space technology


Corporate and Organizational Histories

Aerojet: The Creative Company, Aerojet History Group, 1995

D. Baucom, Origins of SDI, 1944-1983, 1992

T.D. Crouch, Rocketeers and Gentlemen Engineers: A History of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, AIAA, 2006

A.J. Dunar and S. Waring, Power to Explore. A History of Marshall Space Flight Center 1960-1990, NASA, 1999

D. Dyer, TRW: Pioneering Technology and Innovation Since 1900, Harvard, 1998

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

M. Gruntman, Intercept 1961, The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense, AIAA, 2015

R.S. Kraemer and V. Wheelock, Rocketdyne: Powering Humans into Space, AIAA, 2006

R.D. Launius, NASA: A History of The U.S. Civil Space Program, Krieger, 1994

J.E. Lewis, Spy Capitalism: Itek and the CIA, Yale Univ. Press, 2002

R.A. McDonald (ed.), Beyond Expectations – Building an American National Reconnaissance Capability: Recollections of the Pioneers and Founders of National Reconnaissance, ASPRS, 2002

T. Neff, From Jars to the Stars. How Ball Came to Build a Comet-Hunting Machine, 2010

O.J. Scott, Creative Ordeal: The Story of Raytheon, 1974

B.L.R. Smith, The RAND Corporation, Harvard Univ. Press, 1966

L.P. Temple, Shades of Gray, National Security and the Evolution of Space Reconnaissance, AIAA, 2005

F.H. Winter, Prelude to Space Age: the Rocket Societies, 1924-1940, Smithsonian, 1983


Sputnik    Explorer    Vanguard    Astronautics    Missile defense    Baikonur Tyuratam    Rocket equation


Astronautics and Space (general)

D. Baucom, Origins of SDI, 1944-1983, 1992

W.E. Burrows, This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age,1998

A. R. Curtis, ed., Space Almanac, Gulf Publishing, 1992

D.H. DeVorkin, Science with a Vengeance, Springer, 1992

C.S. Gillmor and J.R. Spreiter, eds., Discovery of the Magnetosphere, AGU, 1997

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

M. Gruntman, From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, BookSurge, 2007

M. Gruntman, From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, BookSurge, 2007 Kindle

M. Gruntman, History of Spaceflight (in New SMAD), 2011 (pdf)

M. Gruntman, Intercept 1961, The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense, AIAA, 2015

A.G. Haley, Rocketry and Space Exploration, Van Nostrand 1958

T.A. Heppenheimer, Countdown, A History of Space Flight, Wiley, 1997

L.M. Krauss, The Physics of Star Trek, Harper Collins, 1995

C.G. Lasby, Project Paperclip, Atheneum, 1971

D. Lasser, The Conquest of Space, Apogee Books, 2002 (reprint 1931).

J.M. Logsdon (ed.), Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program: Vol. 1: Organizing for Exploration, 1996

J.M. Logsdon (ed.), Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program: Vol. 2, 1996

J.M. Logsdon (ed.), Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program: Vol. 3, Using Space, 1996

J.M. Logsdon (ed.), Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the United States Civil Space Program, V. 4: Accessing Space, 1996

M. Okuda, D. Okuda, and D. Mirek, The Star Trek Encyclopedia. A Reference Guide to the Future, 1994

G.K. O'Neill, The High Frontier, Bantam, 1978

M. Rycroft, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Space, Cambridge, 1990

L.P. Temple, Shades of Gray, National Security and the Evolution of Space Reconnaissance, AIAA, 2005

W. Von Braun, F. I. Ordway III, D. Dooling, Space Travel. A History, Harper and Row, 1995

F.H. Winter and F.R. van der Linden, 100 Years of Flight, A Chronicle of Aerospace History, 1903-2003, AIAA, 2003


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Rockets, Missiles, and Rocket Propulsion

Aerojet: The Creative Company, Aerojet History Group, 1995

J. Baar and W. Howard, Polaris! The Concept and Creation of a New and Mighty Weapon, Harcourt, 1960

R.E. Bilstein, Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles, 2003

R. Bilstein, Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles, Univ Press Fla., 2003

J.L. Chapman, Atlas: The Story of a Missile, Harper and Brothers, 1960

J.N. Gibson, Navaho Missile Project: The Story of the "Know-How" Missile of American Rocketry, Schiffer, 1996

V.P. Glushko, Development of Rocketry and Space Technology in the USSR (in English), Novosti Press, 1973

D. Graham, High Frontier. A Strategy for National Survival, 1983

D. E. Graves, Sir William Congreve and the Rocket Red Glare, Museum Restoration Service, 1989

C.M. Green and M. Lomask, Vanguard: A History, Smithsonian, 1971

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

M. Gruntman, Intercept 1961, The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense, AIAA, 2015

J. Hartt, The Mighty Thor: Missile in Readiness, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1961

T.A. Heppenheimer, The Space Shuttle Decision, 1965-1972. History of the Space Shuttle, Vol.1, Smithsonian, 2002

T.A. Heppenheimer, Development of the Space Shuttle, 1972-1981. History of the Space Shuttle, Vol.2, Smithsonian, 2002

R.S. Kraemer and V. Wheelock, Rocketdyne: Powering Humans into Space, AIAA, 2006

History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume I 1945-1955, 2015

History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume II 1956-1972, 2015

M. Johnson, N. Stevens, A. Shliadinsky, I. Bezyaev, V. Antipov, J. Hagerty, N-1: For the Moon and Mars A Guide to the Soviet Superbooster, ARA, 2014

R.D. Launius and D.R. Jenkins (eds.), To Reach the High Frontier. A History of the U.S. Launch Vehicles, U Kentucky, 2002

R.D. Launius, J. Krige, J. I, Craig, Space Shuttle Legacy. How we did it and what we learned, AIAA 2013

A. Lawrie, Saturn, Collector's Guide Publishing, 2005

D. Millard, The Black Arrow Project: A History of a Satellite Launch Vehicle and Its Engines, Science Museum London, 2001

P. Morton, Fire Across the Desert, Australian Government, C1989, 1997

J. Neufeld, The Development of Ballistic Missiles in the United States Air Force, 1945-1960, U.S. Air Force, 1990

H. Noordung, The Problems of Space Travel. The Rocket Motor, NASA SP-4026, 1995

F.I. Ordway III and R.C. Wakeford, International Missile and Spacecraft Guide, McGraw-Hill, 1960

M.W. Rosen, The Viking Rocket Story, Harper, 1955

G.P. Sutton, History of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines, AIAA, 2005

P.J. Turchi, editor, Propulsion Techniques: Action and Reaction, AIAA, 1998

C. Walker with J. Powell, Atlas: The Ultimate Weapon. By Those Who Built It, Apogee, 2005

K.P. Werrell, The Evolution of the Cruise Missile, Air Univ, 1985

F.H. Winter, The First Golden Age of Rocketry, Smithsonian, 1995

A. Young, The Saturn V F-1 Engine: Powering Apollo into History, Springer, 2008


Videos on satellite orbits  –  videos by mike gruntman       books by mike gruntman  –  Mike's books        Mike's short courses on space systems

North Korea ballistic missile development  –  Satellite launch in 2012 (18 min video)  –  north korea launch in 2012


Spacecraft and Space Systems

W.R. Corliss, Scientific Satellites, NASA SP-133, 1967

W.R. Corliss, Spacecraft Tracking, NASA EP-55, 1969

C.S. Draper, W. Wrigley, and J. Hovorka, Inertial Guidance, Pergamon, 1960

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

M. Gruntman, Intercept 1961, The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense, AIAA, 2015

E.G. Hall, Journey to the Moon. The History of the Apollo Guidance Computer, AIAA, 1996

R. Hall and D.J. Shayler, The Rocket Men: Vostok and Voskhod. The first Soviet Manned Spaceflights, Springer, 2001

R. Hall and D.J. Shayler, Soyuz: A Universal Spacecraft, Springer, 2003

T.J. Kelly, Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module, 2001

J.E. Lewis, Spy Capitalism: Itek and the CIA, Yale Univ. Press, 2002

D. H. Martin, Communication Satellites, 1958-1995, The Aerospace Corporation, 1996

D. MacKenzie, Inventing Accuracy: an Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance, MIT Press, 1993

J.R. Pierce, The Beginning of Satellite Communications, Heffer, 1968

J.T. Richelson, America's Space Sentinels: DSP Satellites and National Security, Univ. Press Kansas, 1999

J. Stoff, Building Moonships: The Grumman Lunar Module, Arcadia, 2004

W. Von Braun, The Mars Project, 1962

D.J. Whalen, The Origins of Satellite Communications: 1945-1965, Smithsonian, 2002


Sputnik    Explorer    Vanguard    Astronautics    Missile defense    Baikonur Tyuratam    Rocket equation


Missile defense

D. Baucom, Origins of SDI, 1944-1983, 1992

D. Graham, High Frontier. A Strategy for National Survival, 1983

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

M. Gruntman, Intercept 1961, The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense, AIAA, 2015

History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume I 1945-1955, 2015

History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume II 1956-1972, 2015

E. Teller, Better a Shield Than a Sword: Perspectives on the Defense and Technology, Free Pr, 1997


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People and Memoirs

N.R. Augustine, Augustine's Laws, AIAA, 1983

J. Cornwell, Hitler's Scientists. Science, War, and the Devil's Pact, Penguin, 2003

W. Dornberger, V-2, Viking Press, New York, 1954

R.H. Goddard, The Papers of Robert H. Goddard, edited by E.C. Goddard and G.E. Pendray, Vol. I: 1898-1924, McGraw-Hill, 1970

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

M. Gruntman, Socks for the First Cosmonaut of Planet Earth, 2011

M. Gruntman, From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, BookSurge, 2007

M. Gruntman, From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, BookSurge, 2007 Kindle

M. Gruntman, Intercept 1961, The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense, AIAA, 2015

J. Harford, Korolev, Wiley, 1997

D.K. Huzel, Peenemünde to Canaveral, Prentice-Hall, 1962

J.R. Killian, Jr., Sputnik, Scientists, and Eisenhower, MIT Press, 1977

G. Kranz, Failure is not an Option, Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond, Simon and Schuster, 2000

C.L. "Kelly" Johnson with M. Smith, Kelly. More Than My Share of It All, Smithsonian, 1989

C.G. Lasby, Project Paperclip, Atheneum, 1971

J.B. Medaris and A. Gordon, Countdown for Decision, Putnam, 1960

S. Ramo, The Business of Science, Hill and Wang, 1988

B.R. Rich and L. Janos, Skunk Works. A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed, Little and Brown, 1994

E. Stuhlinger and F. I. Ordway III, Wernher von Braun, Crusader for Space: A Biographical Memoir, Krieger, 1994, 1996

W. Von Braun, F. I. Ordway III, D. Dooling, Space Travel. A History, Harper and Row, 1995

T. von Karman with L. Edson, The Wind and Beyond, Little, Brown, 1967


Videos on satellite orbits  –  videos by mike gruntman       books by mike gruntman  –  Mike's books        Mike's short courses on space systems


V-2 (A-4) Missile and Peenemunde

D.H. DeVorkin, Science with a Vengeance, Springer, 1992

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

D.K. Huzel, Peenemünde to Canaveral, Prentice-Hall, 1962

G.P. Kennedy, Vengeance Weapon 2, Smithsonian, 1983

C.G. Lasby, Project Paperclip, Atheneum, 1971

J. McGovern, Crossbow and Ovcercast, 1964

M. Middlebrook, The Peenemünde Raid, Cassel, 1988

M.J. Neufeld, The Rocket and the Reich. Peenemunde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era, The Free Press, 1995

F.I. Ordway III and M.R. Sharpe, The Rocket Team, MIT Press, 1982

E. Stuhlinger and F. I. Ordway III, Wernher von Braun, Crusader for Space: A Biographical Memoir, Krieger, 1994, 1996

P. Wegener, The Peenemünde Wind Tunnels: A Memoir, Yale, 1996


North Korea ballistic missile development  –  Satellite launch in 2012 (18 min video)  –  north korea launch in 2012


Corona and Hexagon Space Reconnaissance Systems

D. Day, J.M. Logsdon, and B. Latell, Eye in the Sky: The Story of the Corona Spy Satellites, Smithsonian, 1999

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

M. Gruntman, Intercept 1961, The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense, AIAA, 2015

R.A. McDonald (ed.), Beyond Expectations – Building an American National Reconnaissance Capability: Recollections of the Pioneers and Founders of National Reconnaissance, ASPRS, 2002

C. Peebles, The Corona Project. America's First Spy Satellite, Naval Institute Press, 1997

P. Pressel, Meeting the Challenge. The Hexagon KH-9 Reconnaissance Satellite, AIAA, 2013

K.C. Ruffner (ed.), Corona: America's First Satellite Program, Central Intelligence Agency, 1995


Sputnik    Explorer    Vanguard    Astronautics    Missile defense    Baikonur Tyuratam    Rocket equation


Space and Rockets in Foreign Countries

C. Carlier and M. Gilli, The First Thirty Years at CNES, La Documentation française/CNES, Paris, 1994, 1995

I. Chang, Thread of the Silkworm, Basic Books, 1995

J. Johnson-Freese, The Chinese Space program: A Mystery within a Maze, Krieger, 1998

V.P. Glushko, Development of Rocketry and Space Technology in the USSR (in English), Novosti Press, 1973

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

M. Gruntman, Socks for the First Cosmonaut of Planet Earth, 2011

M. Gruntman, From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, BookSurge, 2007

M. Gruntman, From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, BookSurge, 2007 Kindle

M. Gruntman, Intercept 1961, The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense, AIAA, 2015

M. Gruntman, Satellite Launch by North Korea (DPRK) in 2012 (video)

(pdf)

R. Hall and D.J. Shayler, The Rocket Men: Vostok and Voskhod. The first Soviet Manned Spaceflights, Springer, 2001

R. Hall and D.J. Shayler, Soyuz: A Universal Spacecraft, Springer, 2003

J. Harford, Korolev, Wiley, 1997

B. Harvey, The Japanese and Indian Space Programmes: Two Roads Into Space, Springer-Verlag, 2000

M. Johnson, N. Stevens, A. Shliadinsky, I. Bezyaev, V. Antipov, J. Hagerty, N-1: For the Moon and Mars A Guide to the Soviet Superbooster, ARA, 2014

A. Kalam and A. Tiwari, Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam, Sangam, 1999

H. Massey and M.O. Robins, History of British Space Science, Cambridge, 1986

D. Millard, The Black Arrow Project: A History of a Satellite Launch Vehicle and Its Engines, Science Museum London, 2001

P. Morton, Fire Across the Desert, Australian Government, C1989, 1997

J. Villain, Baikonour: La porte des etoiles, Colin, 1994


Recommended science and engineering books on rocketry and space technology


Atomic and Nuclear Programs – History and Memoirs

J. Bernstein, Hitler's Uranium Club. The Secret Recordings at Farm Hall, Copernicus Books, 2001

H.A. Bethe, The Road from Los Alamos, Simon and Schuster, 1991

J. Cornwell, Hitler's Scientists. Science, War, and the Devil's Pact, Penguin, 2003

L. Fermi, Atoms in the Family. My Life with Enrico Fermi, Univ of Chicago, 1961

B. Goldschmidt, Atomic Rivals. A Candid Memoir of Rivalries Among the Allies Over the Bomb, Rutgers Univ, 1990

S.A. Goudsmit, Alsos, AIP, 1983

L.M. Groves, Now It Can Be Told. The Story of the Manhattan Project, Da Capo, 1983

R.G. Hewlett and O.E. Anderson, Jr., The New World, 1939/1946, Vol.1, A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Penn State Univ, 1962

D. Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb: the Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956, Yale, 1994

L. Johnson and D. Schaffer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The First Fifty Years, Univ Tennessee, 1994

W. Lanouette with B. Silard, Genius in the Shadows. A Biography of Leo Szilard, The Man Behind the Bomb, Univ Chicago, 1992

R. Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Simon and Schuster, 1995

R. Rhodes, Dark Sun. The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, Simon and Schuster, 1996

A. Sakharov, Memoirs, Alfred A. Knopf, 1990

G.T. Seaborg with B.S. Loeb, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Test Ban, Univ California, 1981

E. Segre, Enrico Fermi Physicist, Univ Chicago, 1970

R. Serber, The Los Alamos Primer, Univ California, 1992

H.D. Smyth, Atomic Energy for Military Purposes. Official Report on the Development of the Atomic Bomb Under the Auspices of the United States Government, 1940-1945, Stanford Univ, 1989

L.L. Strauss, Men and Decisions, Doubleday, 1962

E. Teller with J. Shoolery, Memoirs. A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics, Perseus, 2001

S.M. Ulam, Adventures of a Mathematician, Univ California, 1991

H.F. York, The Advisors. Oppenheimer, Teller, and the Superbomb, Stanford Univ, 1976

D. Zimmerman, Top Secret Exchange. The Tizard Mission and the Scientific War, McGill-Queen's Univ, 1996


Sputnik    Explorer    Vanguard    Astronautics    Missile defense    Baikonur Tyuratam    Rocket equation

Recommended science and engineering books on rocketry and space technology


Space in Art and Literature ("classics")

M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, 2004

E.E. Hale, Brick Moon, 1971

R. Miller, The Dream Machines. An Illustrated History of the Spaceship in Art, Science and Literature, Krieger, 1993

R. Miller, F.C. Durant III, and M. Schuetz, The Art of Chesley Bonestell, 2001

R.D. Launius and B. Ulrich, NASA and the Exploration of Space: With Works from the NASA Art Collection, 1998

F.I. Ordway III, Visions of Spaceflight: Images from the Ordway Collection, Publishers Group West, 2001

M.H. Schuetz, A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology, Universal, 1999

J. Verne, From the Earth to the Moon.

J. Verne, Round the Moon.


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Space Movies ("classic")

Apollo 13: The Real Story

Buck Rogers (1939)

The Liftoff! Success and Failure on the Launch Pad

The Mighty Saturns - Saturn V

Moon Race - History of Apollo

Nukes in Space - Rainbow Bombs

The Right Stuff

Star Trek: Original Series

Star Trek: Next Generation Series

Star Trek: Voyager Series

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Series

Star Trek - The Motion Pictures Collection

Star Wars Trilogy

Star Wars Prequel Trilogy

Tom Corbett Space Cadet, Vol. (1950)

Tom Corbett-Space Cadet, Vol. 2 (1950)

Tomorrowland (Disney's classic of 1950s)

The War of the Worlds (1953)


Recommended science and engineering books on rocketry and space technology

Make the World a Better Place


Space Models

LEGO Discovery: Saturn V Moon Mission

Dragon Models 1/72 Apollo 12 landing module

Dragon Models 1/72 Apollo 16 landing module

Dragon Models 1/400 Delta II (7925)

Saturn V With Apollo Capsule Wood Model

Mercury Redstone Rocket Model Kit (1/72 Scale)

Mercury Capsule Desktop Model

Mercury Atlas Rocket Model Kit (1/72 Scale)

Gemini Titan Rocket 1/72 Model Kit

Saturn 1B Rocket (1/144)

1/72 NASA Apollo 7 Command & Service Module (CSM)

1/400 Atlas V Rocket with Launch Pad

Space Station Mir

International Space Station 1/144


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