About this book
Jonathan Ward takes the reader deep into the facilities at Kennedy Space Center to describe NASA’s first computer systems used for spacecraft and rocket checkout and explain how tests and launches proceeded. Descriptions of early operations include a harrowing account of the heroic efforts of pad workers during the Apollo 1 fire. A companion to the author’s book Countdown to a Moon Launch: Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey, this explores every facet of the facilities that served as the base for the Apollo/Saturn missions. Hundreds of illustrations complement the firsthand accounts of more than 70 Apollo program managers and engineers.
The era of the Apollo/Saturn missions was perhaps the most exciting period in American space exploration history. Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center were buzzing with activity. Thousands of workers came to town to build the facilities and launch the missions needed to put an American on the Moon before the end of the decade.
Work at KSC involved much more than just launching rockets. It was a place like none other on Earth. Technicians performed intricate operations, and hazards abounded everywhere, including lightning, fire, highly-toxic fuels, snakes, heat, explosives, LOX spills, and even plutonium. The reward for months of 7-day workweeks under intense pressure was witnessing a Saturn V at liftoff.
For anyone who ever wished they had worked at Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era, this book is the next best thing. The only thing missing is the smell of rocket fuel in the morning.
- Book Title Rocket Ranch
- Book Subtitle The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center
- Series Title Springer Praxis Books
- Series Abbreviated Title Springer Praxis Books (formerly: Springer-Praxis Series)
- DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17789-2
- Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
- Publisher Name Springer, Cham
- eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
- Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-17788-5
- eBook ISBN 978-3-319-17789-2
- Edition Number 1
- Number of Pages XXIII, 331
- Number of Illustrations 112 b/w illustrations, 89 illustrations in colour
Aerospace Technology and Astronautics
Popular Science in Astronomy
Space Sciences (including Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Exploration and Astronautics)
History of Science
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“Ward … makes the inner workings of the Apollo and Saturn space missions very understandable. … He does a fantastic job of showing the behind-the-scenes work that allowed the Apollo and Saturn space missions to take place. All readers interested in the history of space exploration will enjoy this work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.” (C. Charnaswskas-Jasionowicz, Choice, Vol. 53 (9), May, 2016)
“Rocket Ranch is an enjoyable overview of the Kennedy Space Center during the 1960s and a once-over-lightly account of the Moon landing program. … Contained here is the best account I have seen of the computing efforts at KSC and the operational aspects of the Apollo program. There is also a lengthy chapter on the Apollo 1 fire that many will find of interest. Ward relies on more than seventy interviews that he personally conducted … .” (Roger Launius's Blog, launiusr.wordpress.com, March, 2016)
“Rocket Ranch is the most recent attempt by memorabilia collectors to provide a technical description of Kennedy Space Center. Space Center enthusiasts and technophiles will love the detailed descriptions and the stories drawn from Ward’s interviews with employees, contractors, and associates of Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era. … Kennedy Space Center technophiles will love Ward’s Rocket Ranch for providing them a more detailed and largely accurate description of Apollo-era technology infrastructure in a well-organized tour guide format.” (Orville Butler, Quest, Vol. 23 (2), 2016)