History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the 41st History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics, Hyderabad, Andhra, India, 2007; V. 38 of the AAS History Series, and V. 27 of the IAA History Symposia

By Hallion, Richard P. | Air Power History, Fall 2013 | Go to article overview

History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the 41st History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics, Hyderabad, Andhra, India, 2007; V. 38 of the AAS History Series, and V. 27 of the IAA History Symposia


Hallion, Richard P., Air Power History


History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the 41st History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics, Hyderabad, Andhra, India, 2007; v. 38 of the AAS History Series, and v. 27 of the IAA History Symposia. By Anthony M. Springer, Ed. San Diego, Calif.: Univelt, 2012. Photographs. Drawings. Notes. Index. Pp. xiii, 424. $95.00, $75.00 (soft cover) ISBN: 978-087703583-1

This volume follows the now-standard IAA format of having a diverse collection of international papers examining technology, operational art, and significant individuals, blending works by professional historians, astronautics pioneers and social and cultural commentators. Its papers were presented at the IAF-IAA 2007 meeting held in India--a country with a long history of rocketry that has led to it being a modem space power that has orbited its own satellites. Indeed, black-powder battlefield rockets employed by India's Tipu Sultan toward the end of the eighteenth century inspired William Congreve to develop British equivalents that, used during the War of 1812, are memorialized in the words of the American national anthem.

Commendably edited by NASA's Anthony Springer, it is organized around two broad themes: one, a series of papers on Sputnik and its influence (reflecting that these papers were presented a half-century after its launch on October 4, 1957), and the other a series of papers on the history of rocketry and astronautics in India; though many other topics are covered as well.

Of all the papers, I found the following of particular interest:

--Asif A. Siddiqi's reexamination of the origins of the Sputnik program. He casts new light on internal Soviet space decision-making in the early-to-mid 1950s, elaborating upon earlier work he has done that has rightly established him as the dean of Soviet space studies.

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History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the 41st History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics, Hyderabad, Andhra, India, 2007; V. 38 of the AAS History Series, and V. 27 of the IAA History Symposia
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