The Work of the Space Task Group, America's First True Space Pioneers

Manfred "Dutch" von Ehrenfried

THE BIRTH OF NASA: The Work of the Space Task Group, America's First True Space Pioneers The Birth of NASA: The Work of the Space Task Group, America's First True Space Pioneers chronicles how the country responded to the launch of Sputnik.

Within a year a new law was passed to create a new agency called NASA, a new space program called Project Mercury, and a new word "astronaut". To implement the program, Robert R. Gilruth (top photo) established the Space Task Group (STG) at Langley Field, Virginia. The first three Division Chiefs were (in vertical order) Max Faget, Charles Mathews, and James Chamberlin.

This is the story of how the STG created, managed, and flew Project Mercury and how America became a spacefaring nation.

Manfred "Dutch" von Erhrenfried was a 25 year old member of the STG training as a flight controller in the Mercury Control Center. He has contacted his former colleagues, many now in their eighties and nineties, and several NASA historians, and has read scores of references books in order to bring you the story of the STG; America's first true space pioneers.

Table of Contents


Part I Setting the Stage
1. Introduction
2. The Sputnik Reaction
3. The President
4. The National Security Council
5. The Congress
6. The Department of Defense and Other Agencies

Part II Creating the Space Team
7. Creation of the Space Task Group
8. The AVRO Canadians
9. The STG Organization
10. Representatives and Contractors
11. The Need for More People
12. The End of the Space Task Group
13. Some Key Project Mercury Decisions and Lessons Learned

Part III Achievements
14. Facilities Created for Project Mercury
15. Mission Designs and Concepts
16. The Impact of NASA and the STG on History

Appendix 1: STG Organization Lists, Charts and Manning
Appendix 2: Biographies
Appendix 3: STG Technology
Appendix 4: Some Photos
Appendix 5: Quotes
Appendix 6: Stories and Trivia
Appendix 7: Author's STG Experience
About the Author
The Front Cover

Extent: 358 pages, Black and white/colour images integrated with text
Binding: Paperbackback
Published: 2016
ISBN: 978-3-319-28426-2

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