Rocket man reasoning

December 07, 2006

Now anyone can think like a rocket scientist. A professor of aeronautics and astronautics shows how, illustrating the methods in The Seven Secrets of How to Think Like a Rocket Scientist. Written for the armchair thinker, there are no equations, no syllogisms, and no exercises with the solutions at the back of the book. Learned from the monumental challenges of space exploration, the book describes in ordinary language the methods that rocket scientists use to dream up ideas, figure things out, make decisions, and get stuff done - expressed in a way that you could apply to everyday life.

In the Introduction, author Jim Longuski writes, "Let me tell you the first secret about rocket scientists. They are not in it for the money. They are in it for the fun. They are the biggest dreamers on Earth because they dream on a cosmic scale." Longuski illustrates the methods rocket scientists use with anecdotes, quotations and biographical sketches of famous scientists, ideas from sci-fi, personal stories and insights, and occasionally a bit of space history. It turns out that rocket science is just common sense applied to the extraordinarily uncommon environment of outer space.

Jim Longuski is on the faculty of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, where he teaches courses in dynamics, aerospace optimization, and spacecraft design.

Jim Longuski
The Seven Secrets of How to Think Like a Rocket Scientist
2007. X, 174 pp.
Hardcover. EUR 19.95, £ 15.50, sFr 36.50, $ 25.00
ISBN 978-0-387-30876-0


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