Chapter ten: The Realities of Space Exploration

The account of the launch of Transit 1A is pieced together from com­ments from different team members. Lee DuBois, for example, remem­bered the tears in his eyes when the satellite failed (page 105).

Details of the twenty-five-minute flight and the results gleaned come from the records that Henry Elliott had kept and from reports in APL’s archives (page 106).

Numerous memos and reports in the APL archives testify to Kershner’s industry in preparing for Transit IB and Transit 2A (pages 106 and 107).

John Hamblen’s undated, typed note requesting the team members to document component testing (page 107) is among the papers in the APL archives.

My description of how the launch might have been is pieced together from people’s memories and photographs of later launches found at APL.

A progress report details what happened scientifically following the suc­cessful launch of Transit IB (page 108- 109). Bill Guier explained what the report meant and supplemented it with his own memories.

A textbook consulted on the geoid (page 110) is Theory of the Earth, by Don L. Anderson (Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1989).

Information about how APL’s understanding of the geoid developed comes from papers and from interviews with Bill Guier and Harold Black (page 112).

Dave Smith, director of the division of terrestrial physics at the Goddard Space Flight Center gave me some very basic understanding of satellite geodesy.

Information about developing subsequent orbital determination programs and about the computers comes from reports in APL’s archives and from interviews with Harold Black and Lee Pryor (pages 113 and 114).

Information about the problems with the solar cells (page 114) came from Bob Danchik.