To test future rocket designs, NASA is employing an age-old bar trick: Slowly and deliberately apply pressure to an aluminum can until it crumples. No foreheads will be involved, however.
In late March, engineers will use a million pounds of force to crush a 27.5-foot diameter, 20-foot-tall canister made of aluminum and lithium, hoping to learn more about shell buckling so they can design sturdier rocket skins.
By Dawn StoverPosted 11.30.2007 at 4:51 pm 0 Comments
Got $20k? If so, you may be able to purchase the 166-page Ph.D. dissertation written by German rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun in 1934. Von Braun was the technical director of Germany's V-2 rocket program during World War II and later became the first director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, where he led the development of the Saturn V rocket that sent Apollo astronauts to the moon. He also wrote regularly for Popular Science.
The dissertation, which includes hand-written notes and charts, is recognized as an important milestone in modern rocketry. It was originally classified as "top secret" and remained unpublished until 1960.
The auction will take place on December 4 at Bonhams New York.—Dawn Stover