Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: MIT Press; Later prt. edition (April 4, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #726,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #243 in Books > Computers & Technology > History & Culture > History #374 in Books > Textbooks > Engineering > Aeronautical Engineering #392 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Aerospace > Astronautics & Space Flight
"Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight" by David A. Mindell is an excellent work of history and a benchmark in the study of Project Apollo. It will become a starting point for all future work on the technology of this important space effort. The landscape of Apollo is littered with general histories, memoirs, and run-of-the mill popular accounts, but outstanding historical writing on the subject is much less common.In the past most historians have focused on one of five major areas relative to Apollo. These include the foreign policy and public policy antecedents of Apollo and its immediate ramifications, the flights of the astronauts, the history of lunar science, the social and cultural history of the Moon landings, and the evolution of space technology. It is in this last category that this work makes an important contribution. While most of the prior work on the history of Apollo technology has been internalist in focus and undertaken by those mesmerized by the "nuts and bolts" story without much attention to the wider context, Mindell's account embraces a larger vision of how Apollo fit into the human/machine relationship for flight vehicles. He argues for, and then succeeds in demonstrating, a new research agenda in the history of human spaceflight that extends beyond the virtual catechism of retelling of a specific myth in the conventional story. He shows how historians might move beyond the "fetish for the artifact" that has dominated most of the historiography of Apollo.Mindell's most significant contribution is to highlight the debate that has raged since the origins of spaceflight between the pilot/astronauts and the aerospace engineers over the degree of control held by each group in human-rated spacecraft.
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