Rockets and Missiles: The Life Story of a Technology

Beginning with World War II, missiles transformed the art of war. For the first time, cities of warring nations were vulnerable to sudden, unannounced, long-distance attacks. At the same time, rockets made possible one of the great triumphs of the modern age-the exploration of space. Beginning with the origins of rocketry in medieval and early modern Asia, Rockets and Missiles traces the history of the technology that led to both the great fear of global warfare and the great excitement of the Space Age. This volume focuses on rocketry in late-twentieth-century Western Europe, Russia, and the United States, as well as the spread of rocket technology to East Asia and the Middle East. It covers the full history of rocket technology-including how rockets improved in performance, reliability, and versatility and how they affected everyday life.