Testing the Limits

Testing the Limits : Aviation Medicine and the Origins of Manned Space Flight

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Description

In 1958 the United States launched its first satellite and created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). By 1961 NASA was confident enough to put a human being into space thanks to decades of military medical research. Efforts at Wright Field and the army's School of Aviation Medicine, a world-class research institution, were the real reason for the successful start to America's manned space program. In "Testing the Limits", Maura Phillips Mackowski describes the crucial foundational contributions of military flight surgeons who routinely risked their lives in test aircraft, research balloons, pressure chambers, rocket-propelled sleds, or parachute harnesses. Drawing on rare primary sources and interviews, Mackowski also reveals the little-known but vital contributions of German emigre scientists whose expertise in areas unknown to Americans created a hybrid specialty: space medicine. Mackowski reveals new details on human acromedical experimentation at Dachau, Washington's decision to limit astronaut status to males, and the choice to freeze the air force out of the research specialty it had created and brought to fruition.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 330 pages
  • 154.9 x 236.2 x 22.9mm | 498.96g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • 40 b&w photos, bibliography, index
  • 1585444391
  • 9781585444397

Review quote

"The author demonstrates a flair for drama and description. Using key details and well-told anecdotes, she evokes sympathy for the humor and pathos of the scientists' lives and careers. In doing so, she succeeds in recognizing the life in what could be, in lesser hands, a dull recitation of experiments and promotions. . . . captures the excitement and human drama of aviation and space medicine."--Margaret A. Weitekamp, Hobart and William Smith Collegesshow more

About Maura Phillips Mackowski

For more than ten years, MAURA PHILLIPS MACKOWSKI, who holds a Ph.D. in history, worked as a freelance writer covering high-tech topics particularly centered on aerospace. Now a resident of Gilbert, Arizona, she teaches history at Arizona State University.show more

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