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Firing A Rocket : Stories of the Development of the Rocket Engines for the Saturn Launch Vehicles and the Lunar Module as Viewed from the Trenches (Kindle Single)

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Today we stand on the threshold of human flights to Mars—yet another giant leap from that one small step onto the moon. But Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride would have never made history, and humankind would not have touched the stars, if not for the men and women on the ground who lit the fuse that launched the first rockets.Enthralled as a boy by the exploits of Flash Gordo Today we stand on the threshold of human flights to Mars—yet another giant leap from that one small step onto the moon. But Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride would have never made history, and humankind would not have touched the stars, if not for the men and women on the ground who lit the fuse that launched the first rockets.Enthralled as a boy by the exploits of Flash Gordon and the novels of Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke—who put the science in science fiction—James French became one of the original unsung engineers of America’s groundbreaking space program. His fascinating memoir offers an up-close-and-technical look at building, testing, and perfecting the pioneering Saturn rockets and original lunar landing module, and he shares true tales, both humorous and harrowing, of life—and near death—on the front lines of scientific exploration.If you’ve ever said, “It’s not rocket science,” you’re right. It’s rocket engineering—and here’s your chance to marvel at how it changed the world and made it possible to explore all that lies beyond Earth. James R French graduated from MIT in 1958 with a degree of BSME Specializing in Propulsion. His first job was with Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation where he worked on developmental testing of H-1 engines and combustion devices hardware for F-1 and J-2 engines used in Saturn 5. Mr. French has also worked at TRW Systems, where he was Lead Development Test Engineer on the Lunar Module Descent Engine, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he was Advanced Planetary studies Manager as well as Chief Engineer for the SP-100 Space Nuclear Power System and worked on Mariners 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9; Viking 1 & 2 and Voyager 1 & 2. . In 1986, he helped found American Rocket Co., a commercial launch company.Since 1987, Mr. French has been consultant to a variety of aerospace companies, SDIO, NASA, and USAF. He has participated in various startup companies in the private space flight arena and currently consults extensively to Blue Origin. Mr. French is co-author with Dr. Michael Griffin of the best-selling text Space Vehicle Design, published by AIAA. The second edition of the book has received the Summerfield Book Award for 2008. Mr. French is a Fellow of both AIAA and the British Interplanetary Society and a 50+ year member of AIAA. He has held several Technical Committee and other posts in AIAA. Cover design by Evan Twohy


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Today we stand on the threshold of human flights to Mars—yet another giant leap from that one small step onto the moon. But Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride would have never made history, and humankind would not have touched the stars, if not for the men and women on the ground who lit the fuse that launched the first rockets.Enthralled as a boy by the exploits of Flash Gordo Today we stand on the threshold of human flights to Mars—yet another giant leap from that one small step onto the moon. But Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride would have never made history, and humankind would not have touched the stars, if not for the men and women on the ground who lit the fuse that launched the first rockets.Enthralled as a boy by the exploits of Flash Gordon and the novels of Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke—who put the science in science fiction—James French became one of the original unsung engineers of America’s groundbreaking space program. His fascinating memoir offers an up-close-and-technical look at building, testing, and perfecting the pioneering Saturn rockets and original lunar landing module, and he shares true tales, both humorous and harrowing, of life—and near death—on the front lines of scientific exploration.If you’ve ever said, “It’s not rocket science,” you’re right. It’s rocket engineering—and here’s your chance to marvel at how it changed the world and made it possible to explore all that lies beyond Earth. James R French graduated from MIT in 1958 with a degree of BSME Specializing in Propulsion. His first job was with Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation where he worked on developmental testing of H-1 engines and combustion devices hardware for F-1 and J-2 engines used in Saturn 5. Mr. French has also worked at TRW Systems, where he was Lead Development Test Engineer on the Lunar Module Descent Engine, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he was Advanced Planetary studies Manager as well as Chief Engineer for the SP-100 Space Nuclear Power System and worked on Mariners 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9; Viking 1 & 2 and Voyager 1 & 2. . In 1986, he helped found American Rocket Co., a commercial launch company.Since 1987, Mr. French has been consultant to a variety of aerospace companies, SDIO, NASA, and USAF. He has participated in various startup companies in the private space flight arena and currently consults extensively to Blue Origin. Mr. French is co-author with Dr. Michael Griffin of the best-selling text Space Vehicle Design, published by AIAA. The second edition of the book has received the Summerfield Book Award for 2008. Mr. French is a Fellow of both AIAA and the British Interplanetary Society and a 50+ year member of AIAA. He has held several Technical Committee and other posts in AIAA. Cover design by Evan Twohy

30 review for Firing A Rocket : Stories of the Development of the Rocket Engines for the Saturn Launch Vehicles and the Lunar Module as Viewed from the Trenches (Kindle Single)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    A great short read about the experiences of a rocket test engineer involved with the 1950s-70s rockets which won the Cold War and took us to the moon. Really interesting to learn about the nuts and bolts aspects of rocket test, rather than just typical memoirs of high level managers or designers.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul Belanger

    Very interesting and well written. It was easy to read, despite the technical depth provided. Some of it was over my head but he has a knack of explaining things well in layman's terms. If you love rockets, especially the Saturn V, you'll enjoy this tale. He also has some funny stories and sometimes I felt like I was right there next to him while experiencing things. Great job! Very interesting and well written. It was easy to read, despite the technical depth provided. Some of it was over my head but he has a knack of explaining things well in layman's terms. If you love rockets, especially the Saturn V, you'll enjoy this tale. He also has some funny stories and sometimes I felt like I was right there next to him while experiencing things. Great job!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gary Hamel

    If you aren’t an engineer... Don’t read Mice documentary on the development of the space program rocket engines, with a little humor mixed in. But, as I stated in the title. Don’t read unless you are an engineer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    An interesting little time capsule chronicling one of the most exciting times in rocket engine development. Jim cut his teeth testing some of the most historic American engines, including those that powered the mighty Saturn V to the Moon.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tricia Barber

    Good stories with great quotes I liked the authors approach of telling stories of challenges and dicey moments. Sprinkled through the text are some great quotes on things like group think and safety.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marty Teramani

    Very good read. A very interesting and detailed account of the author's career in rocket engine testing. No BS, just the facts. It's basically "Everything you wanted to know about rocket engines, but didn't know enough to ask a question". Very good read. A very interesting and detailed account of the author's career in rocket engine testing. No BS, just the facts. It's basically "Everything you wanted to know about rocket engines, but didn't know enough to ask a question".

  7. 5 out of 5

    john cummings jr

    Fair read Was quite the read,was not able to understand,some of the jargon used in the book once you were a ways in the book it got easier to understand

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael A. Simmons, Sr.

    A short history of the creation of rocket engines for NASA A great short read! Wish it was longer. A lot of insight into rocket engine development in the 60's space program A short history of the creation of rocket engines for NASA A great short read! Wish it was longer. A lot of insight into rocket engine development in the 60's space program

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fraser Kinnear

    Pretty cool oral-history of rocket engine testing. Enjoyed this more than "Ignition!" Couldn't believe how much testing was done in Inglewood in the 60's!!! Pretty cool oral-history of rocket engine testing. Enjoyed this more than "Ignition!" Couldn't believe how much testing was done in Inglewood in the 60's!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    george g miller

    Engaging and interesting book on a complex topic Well written with wit and first person perspective without technical overload. A bit truncated to stay on topic But very enjoyable

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alain

    What a fun read. The author has a knack for finding humor in situations and explaining thinks so that an reader with a good general mechanical knowledge can follow along.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    My review here: https://joellindstrom.com/2018/04/05/... My review here: https://joellindstrom.com/2018/04/05/...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    A very nerdy detailed inside look at rocket science. You're interested in how the nuts and bolts of the Apollo Rocket program were designed and built, this novel is perfect. I'll be honest I did get lost in some of the detailed terminology and design aspects. It would have been nice if he had pictures or diagrams to explain some of the things he was describing. A very nerdy detailed inside look at rocket science. You're interested in how the nuts and bolts of the Apollo Rocket program were designed and built, this novel is perfect. I'll be honest I did get lost in some of the detailed terminology and design aspects. It would have been nice if he had pictures or diagrams to explain some of the things he was describing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Dewald

    Interesting but I got lost a bit in jargon For someone very interested in the development/testing of some of our early rockets, this book is probably quite awesome. I actually found the anecdotes and close call stories exciting but as I dont have a real grasp and the various engines and their parts, many of the details were lost on me. Some diagrams of the parts of the rockets, test chambers and relative sizes would have gone a long way.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Streeck

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bdevore

  17. 5 out of 5

    boobalan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim Copland

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Groenewold

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ippei Ichimaru

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mike Cameron

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert L. Poovey

  23. 5 out of 5

    Charles Post

  24. 4 out of 5

    Talia Spiegelberg

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mark Anderson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steve Becker

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julian Perry

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian Smole

  30. 5 out of 5

    George Niemeyer

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