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A Tribble's Guide to Space:
How to Get to Space and What to Do When You are There
Alan C. Tribble

Paperback | 2001 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780691027630
Hardcover | 2001 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780691050591


Space--the final frontier. It's as little as fifty miles away, and yet it is considered one of the most dangerous and remote of places. Popular television shows such as Star Trek and movies such as Apollo 13 and October Sky have fired the imaginations of would-be explorers. Alan Tribble has worked on the design and development of dozens of spacecraft, including the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. A Tribble's Guide to Space is a how-to book that is firmly grounded in the realities of current state-of-the-art space engineering while tapping into the power of imagination that drives us to explore.

Alan Tribble offers a delightful guide to the nuts and bolts of space exploration, from how to get there to how to phone home and how to survive the harsh environment of space. Using examples from famous space missions, both factual and fictional, Tribble tackles fascinating real-world problems encountered in space exploration. Why do submarine hatches open inward and spacecraft hatches open outward? What do curveballs and satellites have in common? Why did Scotty, the chief engineer of the fictional USS Enterprise, always "need more power?" Why did the fire that destroyed Apollo I on the launch pad burn so furiously that no one could react fast enough to save the lives of the crew? In answering these questions, Tribble examines getting to space, from the physics of motion to the practical implications of Einstein's theory of relativity. He explores the basics of spaceships and starships, from power usage to navigation--all from the viewpoint of a spacecraft designer.

This book describes rocket science and more in a manner that captures the common excitement shared by anyone with an interest in space exploration. Armchair astronauts, engineers who work in a space company and anyone who has looked up at the sky and wondered how we will get there will find reading this book a wonderful and enlightening experience.


"This is a likeable little book. Rocket designer Tribble takes readers through the countless problems involved in putting astronauts into space."--Publishers Weekly

"It is very readable, is written for the curious beginner using an elementary but solid approach, and presents a good layperson's understanding of spaces uses and space travel . . . Highly recommended for lay audiences who want to see how things really work in space."--Choice

"Unusually good reading . . . There is no better guide for a future rocket scientist or for anyone who just wants to understand what it means to be in space."--American Scientist

"Tribble's book is a great read: a guide to space technology with a light touch for those who believe they do not understand what it takes to be a rocket scientist."--Colin Pillinger, Education Supplement

"A thorough explanation of basic concepts about the physical properties of space, offered up in layman's terms. . . . Guide to Space serves as an excellent primer for nonscientific readers."--Maj Paul G. Nieson, Air and Space Power Journal


"I share the author's admiration for astronauts who are propelled into space to perform simple tasks under exotic and perilous conditions and for the engineers who make such excursions possible. Alan Tribble, with his easy-going, attractive conversational prose, imparts a lot of good physics at a common sense level, enhanced by references to everyday experience. He has produced a valuable guide to space for a wide readership."--James A. Van Allen

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