Beyond Horizons: A Half Century of Air Force Space by David N. Spires, Rick W Sturdevant, Richard S Eckert

Aerospace Equipment

By David N. Spires, Rick W Sturdevant, Richard S Eckert

This manuscript is a learn of the us Air strength in house. Of the entire army providers, the Air strength has been preeminently concerned for the previous fifty years in beginning, constructing, and employing the know-how of space-based platforms in aid of the nation's nationwide safety. but there was no single-volume assessment of the Air strength area tale to function an creation and consultant for readers. This booklet tells the tale of the origins and improvement of the us Air Force's area software from its earliest beginnings within the submit moment global struggle interval to its emergence as a severe operational presence within the Persian Gulf conflict.

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As an aid to research, the satellite could facilitate the study of cosmic rays and provide precise gravitational measurements, as well as considerable astronomical data . Moreover, instrumented satellites could furnish important bio-astronomical information for medical scientists concerned with life in an acceleration-free environment. Despite Ridenour's coverage of "passive" defensive military functions, he briefly raised the possibility of using satellites as offensive weapons. Given the onset of the missile age, he argued, satellites could provide both accurate guidance for missiles and serve as missiles themselves .

Bossart's team persevered with their innovative experiments involving swiveling engines, internal fuel storage and tank design, and various means of separating the nose-cone warhead as a solution to the formidable reentry problem . All would prove important in designing the Atlas ICBM in the early 1950s . Meanwhile, in the late 1940s the outlook for the long-range guided missile project appeared bleak . Ballistic Missiles Receive New Life The first serious signs of a change in attitude toward research and development in general and guided missiles in particular appeared in 1949 .

Yet by 1950 the Atomic Energy Commission affirmed the existence of a sufficient number of atomic weapons small enough to be carried in guided missiles . Moreover, President Truman noted that in early 195o his military service chiefs proceeded with elaborate plans to use the H-bomb on the assumption that the tests he had just authorized would be successful . Test results at Eniwetok in November 1952 proved the feasibility of thermonuclear technology and confirmed their optimism . Based on the test results, ARDC petitioned the Air Staff to reassess the overly restrictive weight and accuracy parameters for the Atlas .

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