Author Topic: Book: From the Earth to Mars, Jeffery Manber  (Read 1148 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47313
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80123
  • Likes Given: 36283
Book: From the Earth to Mars, Jeffery Manber
« on: 08/12/2023 08:26 am »
https://fromtheearthtomars.com/

Quote
ABOUT FROM THE EARTH TO MARS

The origins of space travel have always been a mystery for me. Despite being involved in the community long enough to question America’s single-point dependency on the unproven space shuttle, much of the influencing factors have always been murky.

I knew of Dr. Robert Goddard and his pioneering efforts on liquid propulsion rockets, but history remembers Goddard as a recluse. And when I worked with my Russian colleagues, they told me of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. But he was a loner living in a small town hours from Moscow wasn’t he? We all knew of Wernher von Braun which only deepened my puzzlement. How did America become so dependent on von Braun and his German team to realize the dream of reaching the Moon?

The questions were deeply personal. As young boys my brother and I promised ourselves that we would be living on Mars by the distant year of 2000. Nope. Not even the Moon. Frustrating.

Several years ago I set out to find the spark that took the dream of space travel from fantasy to reality. The results were surprising, even stunning. I never expected that the magical ingredients included failed graduate students, famous film directors, overlooked visionaries, stubborn optimists, untrustworthy politicians and successful businesspeople. All of whom knew, communicated with, and, in many ways, competed against one another across national boundaries in the 1920s to realize the first rockets.

I decided to share the incredible story from the perspective of one who has been in commercial space for several decades, pushing to make space more like other emerging markets. And soon enough I realized that the historic graphic novel was the perfect medium, squarely in the intersection of the videos so popular today with the nuances of more traditional literature. I reached out to two great artists with differing styles. I was drawn to Shraya Rajbhandary’s bold, sweeping illustrations to reveal the power of the first generation of ‘rocket travel’ supporters. And Jay Mazhar drew the comic strips, the ‘pencils’ and kindly did the lettering as well. His classic style makes clear the factual nature of the strips.

There is one exception to the accuracy of the strips and the text, and that is the last cartoon, which has all the major rocket pioneers of the 1920s gathered together in a German beer hall. Otherwise, this is a non-fiction book. Okay, a highly opinionated work, but non-fiction nonetheless!

In terms of recent writings, Asif A. Siddiqi has written the most on the space crazes of the 1920s and Frank S. Winter authored a detailed look at the early rocket societies and their influence on driving exploration program. (Prelude to the Space Age: The Rocket Societies 1924-1940.) It was also Winter, along with colleague Martin Harwit, who conducted the interview in the 1980s with Hermann Oberth, which is a wonderful portrait of the rocket pioneer looking back—or sometimes refusing to re-examine, his career.

There are many more books and articles on the early days of rocket travel in the Library for those of you who enjoy, as I do, directly reading the historic books and watching the first (silent) films on space travel. Cool stuff. Space exploration is too often a business with both eyes on the future. But understanding the past is vital to make sure we avoid the previous stops and starts and make exploration sustainable and impactful for all of us. That is the goal here.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47313
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80123
  • Likes Given: 36283
Re: Book: From the Earth to Mars, Jeffery Manber
« Reply #1 on: 08/12/2023 08:26 am »
Book reviews:

https://www.thespacereview.com/article/4603/1

Quote
Review: From the Earth to Mars

by Jeff Foust
Monday, June 19, 2023

From the Earth to Mars: The Surprising History of the Rocket Pioneers Who Launched Humanity Into Space
by Jeffrey Manber
Multiverse Media, 2023
paperback, 106 pp., illus.
ISBN 978-1-960119-67-4
US$23.95

The Space Age is conventionally defined as starting with the launch of Sputnik in 1957. There was, of course, an extensive history leading up to that launch, with some preferring to define the era as starting with the first successful suborbital V-2 launch almost exactly 15 years earlier. But even before that there had been decades of development and dreaming about rockets for space travel.

That prehistorical Space Age is the subject of From the Earth to Mars, a new book by Jeffrey Manber

https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/08/a-look-at-the-surprising-history-of-the-earliest-rocket-pioneers/amp/

Quote
A look at the surprising history of the earliest rocket pioneers
Eric Berger   08/5/2023 11:30 am

When did spaceflight begin? There is no single answer.

[…]

Yet in a new book, From the Earth to Mars, space entrepreneur Jeffrey Manber takes us back much further into the murk of history to divine the origins of spaceflight. His story goes back a century and a half, telling the tales of some figures who are fairly well known, such as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Hermann Oberth, and others a bit less so, including Thea von Harbou and Robert Esnault-Pelterie.

Offline laszlo

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 900
  • Liked: 1192
  • Likes Given: 508
Re: Book: From the Earth to Mars, Jeffery Manber
« Reply #2 on: 08/12/2023 01:40 pm »
I was struck by the following from the introduction in Book 1:

Quote
No industry has a dedicated government agency for a single market effort except for space. There is no internet agency, no automobile agency, no plane agency, no biopharmaceutical or robotics agency. Do we really need a space agency? Why?

Think about how different space travel would be today if rocket development had remained commercial like all other emerging industries. By now we would have colonies on the Moon and explorers on Mars. A dozen space stations would be manufacturing high-quality medicine and materials for use on Earth or serving as hotels for those seeking the ultimate journey.

Those agencies all existed in the early stages of each industry. For example, the internet was entirely a DARPA creation for military use before it was transformed into the greatest porn-delivery mechanism in the history of the known Universe, after which demonstration it switched to tweets and cat videos. There were 2 plane agencies, not 1 - NACA and the CAA and between them they funded and performed the R&D that changed stick and cloth box kites into all-metal passenger liners and handed out sweetheart deals to airlines designated as flag carriers.  Congress has been acting as the national car agency since 1916, culminating in the Interstate Highway System between 1956 and 1992. This was the same work that it did for the railroads in the 19th century.

We know exactly what would have happened if rocket development had remained commercial. The moon landing would be permanently 20 years away, just like fusion. We would be stuck in the pre-Sputnik days. At best we may have graduated to comsats and weather satellites, but colonies and space stations? No way, no company would be willing to pay for them, no matter what The Man Who Sold the Moon says.

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15170
  • Liked: 7583
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Book: From the Earth to Mars, Jeffery Manber
« Reply #3 on: 08/12/2023 03:39 pm »
Those agencies all existed in the early stages of each industry. For example, the internet was entirely a DARPA creation for military use before it was transformed into the greatest porn-delivery mechanism in the history of the known Universe, after which demonstration it switched to tweets and cat videos. There were 2 plane agencies, not 1 - NACA and the CAA and between them they funded and performed the R&D that changed stick and cloth box kites into all-metal passenger liners and handed out sweetheart deals to airlines designated as flag carriers.  Congress has been acting as the national car agency since 1916, culminating in the Interstate Highway System between 1956 and 1992. This was the same work that it did for the railroads in the 19th century.

We know exactly what would have happened if rocket development had remained commercial. The moon landing would be permanently 20 years away, just like fusion. We would be stuck in the pre-Sputnik days. At best we may have graduated to comsats and weather satellites, but colonies and space stations? No way, no company would be willing to pay for them, no matter what The Man Who Sold the Moon says.


There's a bigger issue that makes me question his understanding/philosophy. Rockets started out as weapons. They were (and still are) used to attack cities. How does the government not restrict and regulate that? It has to, otherwise we end up with Microsoft and Apple lobbing ballistic missiles at each other.

I think this is an example of taking libertarian thinking--government bad, free market capitalism good--and running right over a cliff with it. It's a goofy argument that demonstrates limited comprehension of how the world works.

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1