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Prefatory Material, Part 1: Chapter One

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The Space Handbook, first published in 1958, was designed to serve as a basic guide on the uses and characteristics of space systems, including astronautics and its applications, technology in the space environment, rocket vehicles, propulsion systems, propellants, internal power sources, structures and materials, flight path and orientation control, guidance, communication, observation and tracking, and atmospheric flight. Written at the request of the Hon. John W. McCormack, chairman of the House Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration, it was produced in only three weeks using RAND’s own funds in the public interest. Now, fifty years after its initial publication, and to celebrate RAND’s 60th Anniversary, RAND is proud to bring this classic work back into print in paperback and digital formats.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1


  • Chapter One


  • Part 2


  • Chapter Two

    Space Environment

  • Chapter Three

    Trajectories and Orbits

  • Chapter Four

    Rocket Vehicles

  • Chapter Five

    Propulsion Systems

  • Chapter Six


  • Chapter Seven

    Internal Power Sources

  • Chapter Eight

    Structures and Materials

  • Chapter Nine

    Flight Path and Orientation Control

  • Chapter Ten


  • Chapter Eleven


  • Chapter Twelve

    Observation and Tracking

  • Chapter Thirteen

    Atmospheric Flight

  • Chapter Fourteen

    Landing and Recovery

  • Chapter Fifteen

    Environment of Manned Systems

  • Chapter Sixteen

    Space Stations and Extraterrestrial Bases

  • Chapter Seventeen

    Nuclear Weapon Effects in Space

  • Chapter Eighteen

    Cost Factors and Ground Facilities

  • Chapter Nineteen

    Current Programs

  • Part 3


  • Chapter Twenty

    Specific Flight Possibilities

  • Chapter Twenty-One

    Observation Satellites

  • Chapter Twenty-Two

    Meteorological Satellites

  • Chapter Twenty-Three

    Navigation Satellites

  • Chapter Twenty-Four

    Satellites as Communication Relays

  • Chapter Twenty-Five

    Balloon Satellites

  • Chapter Twenty-Six

    Bombing from Satellites

  • Chapter Twenty-Seven

    Scientific Space Exploration

  • Part 4

    Astronautics in Other Countries

  • Chapter Twenty-Eight

    Astronautics in the U.S.S.R.

  • Chapter Twenty-Nine

    Astronautics in Other Countries

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Commercial book series. Periodically, RAND Corporation researchers publish with commercial presses. These books are not available from RAND but can be requested directly from the publisher, except in cases where the rights have reverted to RAND and we have republished a new edition.

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