bok_rev_szajnfar - 16.895/ESD.30/STS.471 Book Review of:...

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Zoe Szajnfarber Book Review of: NASA and the Space Industry by: Dr. Joan Bromberg NASA and the Space Industry 1 , by Dr. Joan Bromberg is the culmination of a series of contracts commissioned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) history office. A historian by trade, Bromberg’s mandate was to cover the fifty years of NASA history following the Second World War. Although she has written extensively on the history of modern science, this book represents her first venture into space history. With a target audience of historians of business and technology, Bromberg artfully exploits her chronological plotline of key milestones in NASA history, as a framework, for her exploration of NASA’s ever evolving “partnership” with the space industry as a whole. Although this book recounts the tale of NASA’s history, from the events leading to its conception in 1958 through to the early plans for an International Space Station in the early ‘90s, as well as the parallel evolution of the space industry that is so inextricably linked to the NASA story, the actual events are of secondary importance compared with its subject matter. Within the broader topic of NASA-industrial relations, Bromberg seeks to explore how the ever-evolving structure of NASA’s interactions with its contractors served to foster the innovations required for the momentous technical achievements that characterize the sector. Conversely, she explains how, on occasion, the combination of political pressures and agency self-interests thwarted the privatization of space projects to the detriment of the industry as a whole. Throughout the book, Bromberg grounds her Meta themes in the extended case studies of the emerging commercial launch vehicle and communications satellites market. As a result of the extensive breadth of Bromberg’s scope and her, self-confessed, relative inexperience with the inner-workings of the space industry, her research effort is focused primarily at the level of published sources. Specifically, the book is based on secondary books and articles, trade and business journals and U.S. government
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bok_rev_szajnfar - 16.895/ESD.30/STS.471 Book Review of:...

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