Author Topic: Any books out there that give a basic rundown of rocket science?  (Read 16903 times)

Offline Space Man Spiff

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I know that "basic" and "rocket science" don't exactly go well together, but I thought I would ask anyway.

I've always been interested in space, but I know little to nothing about the technology that gets us there.  The end goal is to know and understand the terminology and basic concepts of rocketry, and the science behind it.

I plan on taking courses in physics eventually, but it's not currently my highest priority.  Any book recommendations?

Thanks!

p.s. first post

Offline AS-503

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Stages to Saturn

If you are looking for Booster specific "rocket science", this book covers the design choices, technolog hurdles, and many engineering facets of the big Saturn Boosters.

There is an online version here

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4206/sp4206.htm

Once your done with the ride on the Saturn, check out this link

part 1

part 2

part 3


And to think, Kepler came up with his laws before Newton defined gravity.

P.S. Welcome to the forum.

Offline AS-503

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Check out this link about Apollo launch windows.

Lots of great information about TLI alignment and the overall orbital profile of the Apollo Moon Mission.



http://history.nasa.gov/afj/launchwindow/lw1.html

Offline DARPA-86

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"How to build your own spaceship" - the science of personal space travel by Piers Bizony.  Published in 2009 by the Penguin Book group.

Has a very good overview in about 200 pages, does not talk down to anyone - rather encourages you to look up.

Offline clongton

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Rocket Propulsion Elements - An Introduction To The Engineering of Rockets
by George P Sutton

It is *the* Bible of "rocket science" and is commonly referred to simply as "Sutton's".
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline ARD

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Not exactly engine design, but here's my suggestion:

"Fundamentals of Astrodynamics," by Bate, Mueller, and White.  It's about orbital mechanics and planning spacecraft orbits.  It's informative and structured as a textbook--lots of practice problems.  Its use of imperial units is annoying in this day and age, but that's a surmountable issue. 

Offline Hermit

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Offline RocketmanUS

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Offline QuantumG

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Not exactly engine design, but here's my suggestion:

"Fundamentals of Astrodynamics," by Bate, Mueller, and White.  It's about orbital mechanics and planning spacecraft orbits.  It's informative and structured as a textbook--lots of practice problems.  Its use of imperial units is annoying in this day and age, but that's a surmountable issue. 

When I was looking for perturbation math I found this book. Recommend it.

And that reminds me, I never did find an open source alternative to the HORIZONS system, anyone know of one? Or would like to work on one?
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Robotbeat

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Rocket Propulsion Elements - An Introduction To The Engineering of Rockets
by George P Sutton

It is *the* Bible of "rocket science" and is commonly referred to simply as "Sutton's".
Yes. Any version, really. Just buy it. Used, it's pretty cheap.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline elmarko

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"How to build your own spaceship" - the science of personal space travel by Piers Bizony.  Published in 2009 by the Penguin Book group.

Has a very good overview in about 200 pages, does not talk down to anyone - rather encourages you to look up.

I have this... It's not the best book in the world, but it's fairly entertaining.

Offline JohnFornaro

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"Fundamentals of Astrodynamics," by Bate, Mueller, and White.

"Rocket Propulsion Elements - An Introduction To The Engineering of Rockets"
by George P Sutton  (five or six bux on Amazon!)

"Space Misison Analysis and Design" (SMAD) by Wertz and Larson.

Zounds!  I wooda thought Spaceman Spiff wooda known all this...

Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Antares

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SMAD, and as much as I can't stand his leadership, Mike Griffin's book with a similar name is good as well.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Jim Davis

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I plan on taking courses in physics eventually, but it's not currently my highest priority.  Any book recommendations?

If you're completely ignorant of physics few books will help. Otherwise, give this book

http://www.askmar.com/Spaceflight/Thrust%20Into%20Space.pdf

a look. It's somewhat dated (from the 1960s) but the basics haven't changed.

Besides, it's free.

Offline Archer

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Does any of these books have any engineering data about rocket engines or they are about just theory and physics?

I'd love to look at P&ID diagramm of any real liquid rocket engine, but haven't found any. Is it classified/commercial secret?

If not, maybe somebody knows where to find such information? I'ts just so interesting :)
« Last Edit: 05/01/2012 06:07 PM by Archer »
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering. (c) R. A. Heinlein

Offline Robotbeat

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Does any of these books have any engineering data about rocket engines or they are about just theory and physics?

I'd love to look at P&ID diagramm of any real liquid rocket engine, but haven't found any. Is it classified/commercial secret?

If not, maybe somebody knows where to find such information? I'ts just so interesting :)
Sutton mixes existing engineering data with the physics, with all kinds of diagrams and stuff. Just buy it.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline js117

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If you want to to learn something about rocketry build your own
model rockets up to the very large L1, L2,L3 class this will teach
you the basics of rockets (solid Propulsion) and Fundamentals of Astrodynamics.

Offline DARPA-86

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Does any of these books have any engineering data about rocket engines or they are about just theory and physics?

I'd love to look at P&ID diagramm of any real liquid rocket engine, but haven't found any. Is it classified/commercial secret?

If not, maybe somebody knows where to find such information? I'ts just so interesting :)
depending upon where you live and how far you are willing to travel there are several excellent museums where you can walk right up and look at any number of these.  I suggest for instance the Air & Space museum in Kalamazoo Michigan for one - the Museum of the Air Force in Dayton Ohio is free and has an entire wing devoted to missile/rocket & engine development, and of course there are the NASA visitor centers in Huntsville Alabama and Cocoa Beach Florida (among others).  Heck at the one in Alabama you can even check out the rocket at the rest center off of the interstate.

Offline Antares

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Does any of these books have any engineering data about rocket engines or they are about just theory and physics?

I'd love to look at P&ID diagramm of any real liquid rocket engine, but haven't found any. Is it classified/commercial secret?

If not, maybe somebody knows where to find such information? I'ts just so interesting :)

lpre.de is a great site.  It may not have real numbers, though.
http://lpre.de/energomash/RD-180/index.htm

Also http://www.pwrengineering.com/data.htm
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Chilly

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If you want to to learn something about rocketry build your own
model rockets up to the very large L1, L2,L3 class this will teach
you the basics of rockets (solid Propulsion) and Fundamentals of Astrodynamics.

Hey, it worked for me. That is, until ATF started regulating AP motors...about the time that fiasco finally ended, our club lost their field. Waahh...

I'd also recommend this site: http://www.braeunig.us/space/index.htm. I relied on it a great deal while researching a novel I wrote about commercial space.

Using L2 here to research the sequel... ;)
Those who can't do, write.

Offline Space Man Spiff

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Thanks everybody!

I picked up How To Build Your Own Spaceship to start because it was only four bucks, and I plan on getting Rocket Propulsion Elements at a later date.  It's pretty pricey but it sounds worth it.

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