The Viking Rocket Story.
Illustrated.New York: Harper & Brothers, 1955 Stock Code: 114401
NotesFirst edition, first printing, Viking Hall commemoration presentation copy from the library of NASA administrator Dr Homer E. Newell Jr, signed by the author and head of the Viking Project, as well as by 12 other persons involved in the Viking project including J. Preston Layton, Lt. Comdr. W. Pat Murphy, W. Paul Smith and William G. Purdy, all of whom are frequently mentioned in this book. Newell himself is also mention on p.48. This copy also has the presentation plate to the front free endpaper reading "This book is presented with the compliments of the Martin Company of Baltimore, Maryland at the opening of Viking Hall. The Hayden Planetarium. New York... June 30 1955". The Viking Rocket story is an important book in the history of rocket science and the space race, and this is a very special association copy. Dr. Homer E. Newell Jr. (1915-1983) was a mathematics professor and author who became a powerful US government science administrator, rising eventually to the third in command of NASA. In the early 1960s he controlled or influenced virtually all non-military unmanned space missions for the free world. He played a significant role in the negotiations which led to the creation of NASA, chairing a committee of rocket and satellite experimenters that drafted a consensus plan for a national space establishment which was presented to Eisenhower's science advisor, and advising the Senate preparedness investigating subcommittee... When the legislation establishing NASA was passed in 1958, Newell was given credit by his peers, including Van Allen, who called him "The Spark Plug" for a strong space science element in NASA. Newell joined NASA in 1958 (the year this book was published), and was successively assistant director for space sciences (1958-1960), deputy director of space flight programs (1960-1961), director of space sciences (1961-1963), associate administrator for space science and applications (1963-1967) and finally associate administrator of NASA, the third ranking position, from 1967 until 1974 (and as such overseeing the Moon Landing.) (1967-1974). In 1965, Newell was awarded the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. He was also commemorated in the Goddard Space Flight Center's Homer E. Newell memorial library, and asteroid 2086 Newell. This copy comes with a folding illustrated poster "U.S. Rocket Boosters for Space Projects", with "Table of Rocket Boosters" data sheet to verso.
Octavo. Original cloth backed boards. With the dust jacket and the original acetate jacket bearing the Viking Hall opening commemorative badge.
Illustrated with photographic plates.
An excellent copy, some very trivial rubbing and small closed tears to edges, the acetate jacket a little warped.
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