It's ONLY Rocket Science: An Introduction in Plain English (Astronomers' Universe) (Paperback)
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Most amateur astronomers - and many of those with similar interests but who are not currently practising observers - have only a sketchy understanding of space flight. This book provides an introduction to its mechanics. The beauty of this book, written by an engineer who is also an accomplished science writer, is that it covers the subject comprehensively, and yet is almost entirely descriptive and non-mathematical. It deals with all aspects of space flight, from how to leave the Earth (including the design of the rocket, mission planning, navigation and communication), to life in space and the effects of weightlessness. The book also includes sections describing how an amateur can track satellites and understand their orbital parameters.
About the Author
Dr Lucy Rogers is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of the British Association of Science Writers. She is an engineer, and is currently working on the Launch Escape System propulsion unit for StarChaser, the UK's commercial space access company. She has published articles in The Guardian national newspaper, and on BBC Online.