On Saturday, May 15, 2021, the Chinese spacecraft landed on Mars Zurong on our neighboring planet. China is the third country, after the former Soviet Union and the United States, to succeed. Space travel is very exciting right now, as it is booming and turbulent at the same time: a successful mission continues to enhance national prestige, which is why so many countries are striving for success. But now private space companies, led by SpaceX and Blue Origin, have entered the scene. They were impressed with performance that no one thought possible ten years ago, just think of landing SpaceX’s Falcon 9 reusable launcher in 2015
So the release of a book called “The History of Space Travel”, which can give an interested audience an overview of developments and backgrounds, is timely. Unfortunately, the current work of engineer Wolfgang W. Osterhage, who teaches at Goethe University in Frankfurt, is disappointing.
Osterhage presents a mixture of short and very brief presentations of people, research projects and expeditions, without creating an overall historical context or connection. It takes a very comprehensive approach: it even presents the standard cosmological model in a cut-off method.
In many places, the text reads as if one were excerpted from an encyclopedia for a short presentation. As an example, Robert Goodart’s experiments on liquid propulsion can be cited: “His model of rocket was first launched in 1926. In 1929, a rocket was launched with a payload. There was a barometer and thermometer on board. The height reached 27 meters. «She says German Wikipedia reads about the scientist:» On July 17, 1929, Goddard launched the first liquid-propellant rocket with a scientific payload. There was a barometer, thermometer and camera on board. The rocket reached a height of 27 meters “(Accessed May 15, 2021) .