Rockets: Sulfur, Sputnik and Scramjets

Rockets: Sulfur, Sputnik and Scramjets

Rockets: Sulfur, Sputnik and Scramjets

Rockets: Sulfur, Sputnik and Scramjets

Synopsis

"A history of rockets from their early Chinese origins to their modern use in the military, space exploration and commercial peacetime use."

Excerpt

… in our passage from thence to the East Indies, we were driven by a violent storm to the north-west of Van Diemen's Land. By an observation, we found ourselves in the latitude of 30 degrees 2 minutes south.

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, part I, chapter 1 describing the location of Lilliput, 1726

To save you getting the map out, that puts Lilliput in the dry north of South Australia, a long way from the sea. To get there, you head north from Adelaide on the coast, and you drive on, north and west, and then you drive some more. The first couple of hundred kilometres are green and pleasant, but just past Port Augusta everything gets brown and flat, the soil becomes soft and dusty, dotted with stones, tussocky plants and the occasional sheep. Occasionally there is a richer patch with eucalypts straight off a Hans Heysen canvas, but the trees get fewer and the dry gets drier as you go north.

This isn't really desert, just the arid zone of Australia, where novel ecosystems are wedged in tiny niches between rocks and a hard place. It is wonderful country, and part of it is a rocket . . .

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