Lot 515: Exceptional assortment of books from the collection of NASA engineer Max Faget, the designer of the Mercury capsule, comprised entirely of space-related books from his personal library, including some with his ownership inscription inside or inscribed to him by the author. The collection consists of over 100 pieces, with approximately 80 books or larger publications (including hardcovers, softcovers, manuals, and binders), plus approximately 25 smaller pamphlets and booklets. Especially interesting are two of Faget's books from his time at Louisiana State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1943, including: the 1941 book Aerodynamics of the Airplane by Clark Millikan, signed by Faget with three ownership signatures on the pastedown and front free end page, as well as several penciled mathematic notations; and the 1942 book Elastic Energy Theory by J. A. Van Den Broek, signed with his ownership signature on the front free end page. Three NASA books also bear his ownership signature: Orders of Magnitude, Vanguard: A History, and Outlook for Space. A few books from later in his life bear his ownership stamp or label with his private address, including official NASA publications such as This Island Earth and Earth Photographs from Gemini.Among the signed books, almost all of which are inscribed to Faget, are: The Triumph of Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper, Jr. and the Faith 7; The Quiet Sun by Ed Gibson; Reach by Ed Gibson; Far Travelers by Oran W. Nicks; Closeup: New Worlds by Ben Bova; Federative Management at NASA by Paul Edward Brandenberger; Gemini Program by Paul Haney; Materials Processing in Space by Dennis Morrison; Exploring Space with a Camera by Edgar M. Cortright; The New Race for Space by James E. Oberg; The Space Program Quiz & Fact Book by Brian Wilkes; Space Flight: Crossing the Last Frontier by Jason Richie; Inside NASA by Howard E. McCurdy; The Space Station by Hans Mark; New Earths by James Edward Oberg; and Challenger: A Major Malfunction by Malcolm McConnell.Some additional unsigned books include: the 1962 NASA publication Results of the Third United States Manned Orbital Space Flight; two volumes of the 1966 NASA AS-502 Spacecraft Reference Trajectory manual; a thick 1972 manual entitled Saturn V AS-512 Launch Vehicle Operational Flight Trajectory; among other items are two binders of Space Shuttle press material; an unbound four-volume set of a NASA publication entitled A Shuttle Chronology, 1964–1973, Abstract Concepts to Letter Contracts; an unbound manual for the Space Shuttle Main Engine; an unbound internal 'commentary edition' of a publication entitled History of Apollo Launch and Support Facilities; several pages of Space Shuttle schematics; a hardcover Russian translation of Manned Spacecraft: Engineering Design and Operation, which Faget co-authored; six softcover editions of the 1968 Spanish translation of Faget's 1965 book Manned Space Flight, entitled Los Vuelos Especiales Tripulados; softcover NASA publications including On the Shoulders of Titans, Moonport, Project Mercury: A Chronology, Origins of NASA Names, This New Ocean, and a 10th anniversary Apollo 11 press kit; hardcover NASA publications such as Chariots for Apollo and NASA Aeronautical Dictionary; and a collection of approximately 25 booklets from a wide range of dates, most published by NASA. In overall very good to fine condition.Faget spent essentially his entire life developing spaceflight technologies, beginning with the design of the X-15 hypersonic spacecraft at the Lockheed Aircraft Corporations Skunk Works. In 1958, he became one of the 35 engineers who formed the Space Task Group to create the Mercury spacecraft. Faget was instrumental in selecting the blunt-body shape of the capsule and led the development of the escape tower system used on Mercury. Following Mercury, he continued to the Gemini and Apollo vehicles as they shared many design points. As a large selection of material from Faget's private library, this is a one-of-a-kind collection from one of the most important spacecraft engineers of his era.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 462
Wednesday, 14th October 2015
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