Cover image for To rise from earth : an easy-to-understand guide to spaceflight
To rise from earth : an easy-to-understand guide to spaceflight
Lee, Wayne.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Checkmark Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
317 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 28 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library TL793 .L3137 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Without using a single mathematical formula or complicated scientific jargon, this book explores the functions and roles of satellites, the forces and masses fuelling rocket science, the logistics of launching a shuttle into space, the stars and planets that comprise the Milky Way, and more.

Author Notes

Wayne Lee is a mission planner at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where he designs scenarios and orbital trajectories for robotic missions to Mars. He started with the Mars Global Surveyor project in 1994 and is now working on his fifth mission to the Red Planet. Previously, he served as an instructor at NASA's Kennedy Space Center and has also been an instructor at the University of California.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Promising to teach orbital mechanics "without the math," Lee, an engineer with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, delivers the facts space enthusiasts will savor--but they must be enthusiasts. The casually interested, spoiled by the glossy paper and color photos of high-end space books, will probably sniff at this volume's gray graphics, line drawings, and black-and-white photographs. Lee's purpose is less to impress than to explain the principles of rocket propulsion and how a spacecraft achieves or changes orbit. Verily, interested readers yearn to see a shuttle launch, and, after telling them where to write for tickets, Lee profiles the sequence of countdown events, followed by the major events of maneuvering in flight. The other orbital problem Lee explains is how to get to Mars, which two new spacecraft, dubbed Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor, will attempt to do in the winter of 1996, lending this book the asset of pre-event timeliness. Given the longstanding fascination with space, some public libraries will surely supply Lee with readers. --Gilbert Taylor

Library Journal Review

Lee, a space flight engineer with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, delivers just what the subtitle promises: a nontechnical lay reader's introduction to the technology, physics, and history of spaceflight. In seven chapters, the author explains the workings of launch vehicles, orbits, and satellites with the help of numerous charts and illustrations. He describes the basics of orbital mechanics and how spacecraft accomplish the maneuvers necessary to rendezvous in space. A chapter on space history traces U.S. and Russian space milestones, and coverage of Space Shuttle operations, unmanned planetary exploration, and the future of Mars exploration round out the book. This is a useful introductory reference that, despite some minor factual errors and misidentifications in the captions (e.g., the first manned lunar landing took place on July 20, not January 20, 1969, and the crew pictured is obviously not the crew of Gemini 8 bobbing in the Pacific Ocean but a studio shot of Gemini 12's crew) will be a useful addition for public libraries.‘Thomas J. Frieling, Bainbridge Coll., Ga. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

An earlier version of this book was published in 1993 by the Texas Space Grant Consortium, and 3000 copies were distributed nationwide. This guide to spaceflight is characterized by the complete absence of mathematics and equations. Lee introduces orbital mechanics and the configuration of rockets, followed by orbital mechanics described by means of a complete series of drawings and diagrams, leading into a discussion of space maneuvers. A chapter on the history of the Apollo program follows, and more than 70 pages are given to the space shuttle and its operations. The book closes with the Mars missions and deep planetary missions. This very competent introduction to many of the important ideas of spaceflight mechanics has above average graphics, photographs, and writing. A good reference work for spaceflight dynamics studies. Highly recommended. General; undergraduates; two-year technical program students. A. M. Strauss Vanderbilt University



To Rise from Earth combines stunning full-color photographs, highly readable text, and an easy-to-follow format to explain the history of technology of spaceflight. Without using a single mathematical formula or complicated scientific jargon, this book explores the functions and roles of satellites, the forces and masses fueling rocket science, the logistics of launching a shuttle into space, the stars and planets that comprise the Milky Way, and much more. Combining accessible and engaging text with more than 125 spectacular full-color photographs and 70 color illustrations throughout, To Rise from Earth brings to life great moments in the timeline of space exploration, including:The cold war race to the moon The Soviet launch of Sputnik and its effect on the American space program Neil Armstrong's triumphant walk on the moon. Completely updated and expanded, the second edition features:More than 125 full-color photographs and 70 color illustrations (20 new to this edition) throughout New advances in rocketry The international space station Future Mars projects. Excerpted from To Rise from Earth: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to Space Flight by Wayne Lee All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Entering Spacep. 2
Chapter 1 An Introduction to Orbits and Rockets
Above the Cloudsp. 34
Chapter 2 Orbital Mechanics Without Math
Dancing in the Darkp. 72
Chapter 3 How to Perform Space Maneuvers
Moonstruckp. 106
Chapter 4 The Story of the Race to the Moon
On Twin Pillars of Firep. 150
Chapter 5 How the Space Shuttle Works
Final Frontiersp. 228
Chapter 6 How to Reach Other Planets
Invading Marsp. 266
Chapter 7 Scientific Armada to the Red Planet
Indexp. 308

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