This is the story of the Atlas rocket, America's first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), and workhorse of the civil and military space programs since the late 1950s. The book is written by Chuck Walker, a participant in the Atlas program starting in 1953 with the prime contractor, Convair-Astronautics. Mr. Walker began his career with Convair as a test engineer for Atlas, later moving to the Test Planning Group and then became manager of Program Control for Atlas. In his role of establishing the schedules of all work done at Convair-Astronautics, Mr Walker came to know personally many of the people who were responsible for running the Atlas program. It was these people that Mr. Walker approached to tell the story of the Atlas program in their own words. he book is divided into two parts. The first part covers the military career of Atlas from conception through to the costly development and deployment of the weapon system at bases scattered throughout the United States. The second part of the book relates to the role of Atlas in Americas space programs from the late 1950s to the present day. The Project Mercury manned space flights with Atlas are also covered in detail.
Biographies of promi-nent Atlas managers and the contributors to this book are also included. The book is profusely illustrated with over 100 black-and-white photographs from the Convair archives, many of which have never been published before, and there is also a section of spectacular color photographs.
Chuck Walker with Joel Powell