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Engineering the Space Age: A Rocket Scientist Remembers

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Rarely is a reader exposed to such an extraordinary, multifaceted presentation of aerospace technology as Bob Brulle narrates in this book. After returning from duty as a combat fighter pilot in World War II, this Belgian immigrant developed a multitalented and innovative aerospace career path that addressed many of the aerospace professions. Along the way he forged a career in the aviation and space field that resulted in his participating in several of the most momentous aerospace achievements of the past century. He also expanded his education through hard work to a level at which he was qualified to teach graduate-level aerospace engineering courses. It is interesting to follow how the analysis and design techniques of aerospace vehicles progressed over the years, which incidentally reveals the large role that the computer played in making that possible. The story on the early Cape Canaveral operations was amusing and showed that enterprising innovations played a large role in a successful undertaking. Some of the projects described were a surprise, as I had never heard of them, like reading how a pencil-shaped missile was built that could fly and maneuver over an intercontinental distance at a high hypersonic velocity. He also described how American engineers and scientists fought the Cold War battle for technological supremacy on their desks and in their laboratories. The initiatives by which this enterprising engineer develops his technical approach to a project are very informative and offer the reader an insight into the workings of successful operations. He achieves an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how aerospace history is made by weaving in the historical significance of these projects as they are developed. As a former aeronautical engineer at the rapidly growing McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, Bob gives us an interesting exposure to the importance of top managements relationship with the workforce in a successful company.

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  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Humanities and History
  • Manned Spacecraft

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