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Stratonauts: Pioneers Venturing Into the Stratosphere (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration) Paperback – 10 Jan 2014

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Stratonauts chronicles humankind’s quest for ever higher altitudes from ancient times to the present. It is based upon history, science and technology, and tells some interesting and fascinating stories along the way. It pays tribute to those killed while attempting to reach the stratosphere over the past several centuries.


“Dutch” von Ehrenfried uses his personal experience as a NASA sensor operator on the RB-57F, flying to an altitude of 70,000 feet, as well as the input and experience from other RB-57F, U-2, A-12, SR-71 and F-104 pilots. Although many of the aircraft and balloons are described, more emphasis is placed on the crews and what they went through. This book is intended for aviators of all kinds and flying enthusiasts in general.

About the Author

"Dutch" Von Ehrenfried has worked in both the spaceflight and aviation fields for about 25 years, including as a stratonaut himself. He was a NASA Flight Controller in Mission Control for Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Missions and also worked on some of the experiments that went into Skylab from an Earth Resources experiment standpoint. He worked in the NASA Headquarters Space Station Program Office for about 10 years and the FAA Aviation Safety Office for a year.

In addition to being a pilot, his high altitude flying experience came about because he was also an Apollo Pressure Suit Test Subject and had a lot of experience in both Air Force and NASA space suits. This experience required him to perform a lot of physiological tests in centrifuges, vacuum chambers, zero g aircraft, etc. In addition, Von Ehrenfried has a lot of experience working with scientists on Apollo, which gave him the knowledge needed to translate scientific requirements into flight operations. Consequently, he became the first Mission Manager and sensor operator on the high altitude RB-57F Earth Resources Aircraft and worked with scientists to determine how the aircraft sensor platform would be able to acquire their data, planning the missions and operating the sensors in flight mostly in 60,000 -70,000 foot altitudes.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
History not fairy tales, lies and war stories. 7 Feb. 2014
By Thomas A. Barrett, Jr. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are dozens of "coffee table" books about U-2 and SR71 aircraft. They are filled with spectacular aircraft photographs and lots of innuendo about their missions. Terms like "denied territory", "it has been rumored that," "still classified" etc. characterize these books. STRATONAUTS is about people and factual (documented) flying accomplishments. The detail and documentation are exceptional.
Stratonauts - A must read for anyone interested in the history of aviation and the earth environment - 1 Mar. 2014
By Steven Kovachevich - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stratonauts is a unique look at the people and events that shaped exploration of the earth's atmosphere from the earliest attempts up to the present day. The presentation is superior, well organized and illustrated. The author, a Stratonaut himself, leads you through an explanation of the various levels of earth's atmosphere and mans attempt to understand and reach ever higher altitudes. The author acknowledges the successes and failures and provides a definition of what it means to be a Stratonaut. Presented in a relaxed conversational style that allows you to get to know the author and explorers who ventured into the unknown reaches of earth's atmosphere. A thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience. Highly recommended.
A "Go to" book for historians and authors. A tribute to the world's aviators pioneering space 12 Mar. 2014
By tdbarnes - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Stratonauts - Pioneers Venturing into the Stratosphere by Manfred "Dutch" von Ehrenfried is undoubtedly the "go to" book for historians, authors, and aviation enthusiasts seeking history of man's quest to achieve flight into the stratosphere. It is more that a historical source for high flight -- it is also a lasting tribute to those who attempted to do so. The book, Stratonauts carries the legacy of these brave men and women who pioneered high flight. Stratonauts is authored by a Stratonaut -- someone who lived to realize the fruit of his quest for high-flight. It doesn't get any better than that. It is a book that, once read, will forever remain on your reference shelf as a source on aviation.
TD Barnes, Former NASA High Range and Area 51 Special Projects
President Roadrunners Internationale
A very interesting and informative book. 25 Mar. 2014
By Peter A. Coldicott - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An insider look at some of the most interesting and dangerous developments in flight, very informative and well written. I recommend this book to anyone interested in aviation.
Glad to see the story in writing 25 Sept. 2014
By Max L. Schuermann - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Glad to see the story in writing. Good detail and seems to be very straight forward and factual. I flew the airplane for 3 years in the Air Force.
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