Archive for Jeffrey Logan

The Complete Book of Outer Space – Part 5 of 14

Posted in 05 - High Altitude Program, 1953, The Complete Book of Outer Space with tags , on May 29, 2009 by Aaron

The High Altitude Program

The author of this short piece, Robert P. Haviland is an American Astronautical Society Fellow. He wrote several books on space engineering and satellites and such.  Also, in 1969 he was made a Fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).  He headed the high altitude program called Project Hermes which at the time of the book, was an active concern.
Some things touched on here are the challenges presented by stage separation and the rotation of the earth, as well as some of the results – at the time, velocity and altitude records were being set.
This must have been a very interesting read. This chapter isn’t speculation or projection, it’s not plans for the near future, it’s about things that were actually happening at that time.  Enjoy.

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In a fortnight, the next installment is a lengthy chapter on the History of the Rocket Engine by James H. Wyld, co-founder of the first company of it’s kind in the U.S. – Reaction Motors, Inc.

The Complete Book of Outer Space – Part 4 of 14

Posted in 04 - Space Suits, 1953, The Complete Book of Outer Space with tags , on May 16, 2009 by Aaron

Space Suits

Dr. Donald H. Menzel then Acting Director of Harvard College Observatory, enlightens us as to the requirements of Space Suits.  Most interesting here are the artists concept illustrations of how they imagine space suits will really look.  Fascinating.

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Dr Menzel was a UFO critic and wrote several books on the subject. He also wrote widely on stellar matters. Check out this Big Bang article he wrote back in 1932 and published in that year’s Popular Science magazine. Courtesy of the Modern Mechanix blog – a very interesting site and kudos to the owner over there.

After reading that article, I’ve just got to pass comment on the supposed redshift vs distance law that astronomer Edwin Hubble originated.  I don’t understand why it hasn’t been abandoned, or at very least come under heavy objective scrutiny.  In actual fact, Hubble himself had misgivings about that particular interpretation of his data.  With the advance of observational techniques in the last half century or so, it has been determined that objects with very different redshifts are physically connected.  See a high redshift quasar in front of a galaxy here, connected objects with different redshifts here and a statistical improbability involving objects with disparate redshifts here.  However, dogma is not abandoned, but rather the new data marginalised, ignored and suppressed because so much hangs on the status quo being maintained.

Next installment on the 29th of May – The High Altitude Program – was written by Robert P. Haviland, director of Project Hermes at White Sands.

The Complete Book of Outer Space – Part 3 of 14

Posted in 03 - Space Medicine, 1953, The Complete Book of Outer Space with tags , on April 30, 2009 by Aaron

Space Medicine In this installment, Dr Heinz Haber discusses the budding science of space medicine and the issues it must address in relation to space travel and exploration.  The problems of air supply and heat exchange are touched upon as are the hazards of high energy particles.  But the major portion of the chapter goes towards addressing the issue of weightlessness.  This was written before man had gone into space, or even experienced zero-g for longer than a few seconds.  The issue is discussed in the areas of physiology, body movement and orientation, and resulting nausea.  As an aside, I have almost completed Ben Bova’s Grand Tour on audio book.  On many occasions throughout the series he talks about the (now well established) effects of zero-g on people new to the experience.  Dr. Haber seems quite on the money with his descriptions of the likely effects of the experience.  So here we are, Space Medicine:

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You can see Dr. Haber in action in a well known Disney documentary from 1957, ‘Our Friend the Atom’ on Youtube.  Recommended viewing, and a great piece of nostalgia. Next up on the 15th of May, Dr. Donald Howard Menzel then Acting Director of Harvard College Observatory, informs us about the requirements of Space Suits.

The Complete Book of Outer Space – Part 2 of 14

Posted in 02 - Station in Space, 1953, The Complete Book of Outer Space with tags , on April 17, 2009 by Aaron

Station in Space

This second chapter of the book is more to do with establishing a program to build towards regular space flight, rather than building a space station.  Written by the famous and legendary Dr. Werhner von Braun, it’s a revealing statement on how near the reality of space travel seemed.  A permanent space station manned by up to 100 people by 1970??  Interesting.

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Next up on the 1st of May, Dr. Heinz Haber from the Department of Space Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base will tell us about, well… Space Medicine as it was understood in 1953.

The Complete Book of Outer Space – Part 1 of 14

Posted in 01 - Development of the Spaceship, 1953, The Complete Book of Outer Space with tags , on April 3, 2009 by Aaron

Introduction & Development of the Spaceship

As the first installment of what will be a fortnightly feature, here is the intro and first chapter from the Gnome Press title The Complete Book of Outer Space. I normally review each book but a review wouldn’t really do this justice, and I want to do something different. It’s a very interesting book. First published in magazine form and edited by Jeffrey Logan for Maco Publications, Gnome Press released it in hardcover in 1953.  It’s a kind of an extrapolation of where the technology of space will take us in the coming years – from the perspective of 1953 of course.  From a contemporary viewpoint, it’s a fascinating glimpse back in time to when people were starry-eyed about the heavens and it all seemed just around the corner.  It’s also very quaint.

Many of the articles were written by the top experts of the times, and are enhanced by some cool photos and imaginative artwork.  So, take your time and enjoy in the upcoming months the occasional journey back in time for a glimpse at an alternate future.

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You can see in the credits in the intro the copyright notice for Maco Magazines.  Gnome Press have apparently printed this directly from the magazine.

Next installment on Friday 17th April will be Station in Space by Dr Wernher von Braun, then Technical Director of the Guided Missile Development Group at the Redstone Arsenal.

Close Up: The Complete Book of Outer Space

Posted in 1953, Close Up with tags , , on March 10, 2009 by Aaron

closeupA very different book from the usual Gnome Press fare, but more detail on the content in the review sometime.  Physically different too.  As I indicated in the previous post, GP books are usually about a Demy Octavo size.  This book is the larger Crown Octavo.  Thank you for Wikipedia for this information.   At about 10×6 inches and 144 pages this is much taller and thinner than the other books in my library.  I knew the book was a little ragged around the edges when I bought it.  But it is quite a rare book and the content lends itself to more wear and tear than usual.  Lets have a look.

Nice, classic illustration on the cover.  Remember, this was intended to be a serious book with a little speculation thrown in.  These were the visions of spaceflight at that time.  You can probably see a little wear at the corners and a nasty chunk off at the top right.  More on that later.

The boards look good.  Clean, but with some  small dings at the ends of the spine.  Also one corner has had a noticeable bump.

Both the top and bottom of the book look ok.

A closer inspection of the ends of the spine shows a little damage, but not much.

However, the dust jacket is damaged as you can see.  Chipping, wear and closed tears.

The book is heavily illustrated with drawings, diagrams and photographs.  Check some of them out:

When I saw this book online, I noticed that the top right corner was damaged.  When I unwrapped the book this sizable chunk fell off:

Oh well, never mind.  I wish people would keep books in protective jackets.  I’ve put one on as you can see.  The table of contents is listed on the back.  Some stellar names from spacefilght and rocket history there.  The edges of the dust jacket are quite obviously worn.

Year: 1953
Paid: $36
Art: Chesley Bonnestell
Quantity: 3000 copies.
Binding: Yellow boards with red lettering on spine.
GP Edition Notes: 1st hardbound edition.  Previously published in magazine form by Maco Magazine Corp.
Comments: The jacket is a bit rough but another nice addition to my Gnome Press library.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database


Dimension departure from the norm

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , , on March 10, 2009 by Aaron

I was expecting 4 books to arrive sometime soon.  Three from one source and one from another.  All books I have from Gnome Press are all octavo size and novel-length thickness, but the package that arrived today was larger and thinner.  I could see from the sender that it indeed should be that one-book package that I’m expecting, though the dimensions were very unusual.   The Complete Book of Outer Space was contained inside.  I’m going to do another Close Up this evening to show you what I mean.

I’m still waiting on the other three.  Jean, who posted them about two weeks ago, sent them to my parents in New Zealand by mistake.  So they have been received there and since forwarded to me.  I’m expecting them next week now.  I’m a little impatient to get my hands on them…

Finally on their way…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2009 by Aaron

Jean, the very kind and patient person off whom I got The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, finally received a cheque the other day that I had sent from NZ.  It took 3 weeks to arrive!!  No wonder they call it snail mail…  So, posted to me yesterday were Sixth Column by Robert Heinlein, Tom Godwin‘s The Survivors and Children of the Atom by Wilmar Shiras.  I’m especially looking forward to another Heinlein 1st edition.

Also yesterday I won The Complete Book of Outer Space, a collection of non-fiction edited by one Jeffrey Logan.  I think this is about the only thing he ever did.

Finished Starman’s Quest yesterday too.  I’ll have the Close Up posted soon and the Review probably by the weekend.