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    Deep-space navigation history book
    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 2014 Apr 25, 16:36 -0700

    Posted today on HASTRO-L:
    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: [HASTRO-L] Book Announcement
    Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 18:04:43 -0400
    From: Andrew Butrica
    Reply-To: History of Astronomy Discussion Group 
    To: HASTRO-L@listserv.wvu.edu
    I would like to announce that "The Navigators," my contract history
    of NASA's deep-space navigation over the past half century, is now in
    print and available from Amazon.
    The book will be of great interest to list members. Navigation, in
    many ways, is an "applied" form of astronomy, or at least celestial
    mechanics. However, since an IAU decision taken in the 1970s, the
    deep-space navigators of JPL have been in charge of providing the
    ephemerides, constants, etc. in use by US and other almanac offices.
    In a sense, the navigators became astronomers. I show how, initially,
    navigators borrowed and adapted astronomical practices and methods.
    They succeeded largely by reproducing a miniature version of the
    celestial mechanics community at JPL, often by hiring graduates of
    Yale University. Needless, to say, the Naval Observatory plays a big
    role in the story.
    I focus on two broad themes. One is the beginnings and evolution of
    space navigation in response to the security crisis starting with
    World War II and running to the present century. The other
    overarching theme is the relationship between navigation and science,
    especially astronomy. The navigators, I argue, are representative of
    the application-oriented science that the security crisis fostered.
    The book makes additional points about modeling nature, the role of
    technology (computers, instruments), and the reasons for navigation's
    increasing accuracy.
    The book will be of interest to historians of science, technology,
    astronomy, space exploration, computing, and public policy.
    It is a print-on-demand book at NASA's request (mainly to expedite
    publication). I undertook all the steps necessary to turn my
    manuscript into a book, including cover design, proofreading, and
    layout. Amazon will have it available in 5-7 business days; the
    CreateSpace eStore has it now.
    Andrew J. Butrica, Ph.D.
    Research Historian
    Sent from my Xylo Phone
    I filter out messages with attachments or HTML.

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