Rocketing Into the Future: The History and Technology of Rocket Planes

Springer Science & Business Media, 30 Μαΐ 2012 - 366 σελίδες

This book describes the history, technology, and future of rocket planes. Michel van Pelt takes us on a journey into this fascinating world, examining the unusual concepts and actual flying machines that have been devised over the last hundred years. He recounts stories from the early pioneers who attached simple rockets to their wooden glider airplanes as well as tales of modern high-tech research craft. The author visits museums where rare examples of early rocket planes are kept and modern laboratories where future spaceplanes are being developed. He explains the technology in an easily understandable way, describing the various types of rocket airplanes, including the most important specifications.

Before coming to conclusions in the final chapter, Michel van Pelt evaluates the designs of future spaceplanes, reviewing various concepts and where they are in their development. He describes the cutting edge research via demonstrator vehicles and operational use of these vehicles. He also discusses the replacement of the Space Shuttle with a seemingly old-fashioned capsule system, the parallel developments in suborbital spaceplanes such as SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo, the issue of piloted versus automatic flight, and related developments in the airline industry and military aircraft.


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1 Introduction
2 Crash course in rocket plane design
3 Germanys wonder weapons
4 NonGerman wartime rocket fighters
5 The rise and fall of the rocket interceptor
6 Breaking the barrier
7 Rocket plane spaceflight
8 Future spaceplanes
9 Joyriding a rocket plane
10 Man versus robot
11 Conclusions
Aircraft maximum velocity and altitude evolution
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Σχετικά με τον συγγραφέα (2012)

For the last ten years, Michel Van Pelt has been working as a cost engineer, system engineer and as Concurrent Design Facility team leader for the technical center of the European Space Agency ESA in the Netherlands. He is involved in many ESA space projects during many phases, which has given him a uniqe insight in the definition, conceptual design, development, launch and operation of spacecraft. Specifically, through hiswork in ESA's Concurrent Design Facility for conceptual design studies, Van Pelt has a deep understanding of the various scientific, technical, financial and political issues and constraints that drive the development of spacecraft, as well as a broad knowledge of innovative ideas for future launchers and space missions.

Van Pelt has written many articles on space and is an editor and writer for two Dutch spaceflight magazines. In addition, he regularly does presentations on space related topics for student associations etc. He has three books published through Springer/Praxis: "Space Tourism: Adventures in Earth Orbit and Beyond" (2005), "Space Invaders: How Robotic Spacecraft Explore the Solar System" (2006), and "Space Tethers and Space Elevators" (2009).

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