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Rynin, Nikolai

Conquest of the Stratosphere. Signed and inscribed by the author.

Conquest of the Stratosphere. Signed and inscribed by the author.

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Boston Book Fair 2023 / Signed / Space
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Rynin, N.A. [Conquest of the Stratosphere: Toward the Flights of Soviet High-Altitude Balloons into the Stratosphere]. Zavoevanie Stratosfery: K poletam sovetskikh vysotnykh aerostatov v stratosferu.

Preface by G. Mishkevich.

Leningrad-Moskva, OGIZ-Molodaya gvardiya, 1933.
8vo, 78, [1] pp., ill.

In original pictorial wrappers. Signed and inscribed to title page.
Near good condition, front wrapper detached but present, tears to cover, with small chipping to wrapper edges, very faintly spotted, small losses to spine, stains to title page and p. 3-4.

Rare first edition. Signed and inscribed by the author: 'Mnogouvazhaemomu / Semenu Naumovichu (?) / na pamiat / ot avtora / 25/VIII / 33' [To the highly respected Semen Naumovich in memory from the author. August 25, 1933]. One of 10 000 copies published.

The author of the book is Nikolai Rynin (1887-1942), a Russian civil engineer, aerospace researcher, and advocate of space travel. He conducted aeronautical research, engaged in ballooning and aviation, taught aerospace subjects, authored various books and articles about airplanes and space travel, and was among the first Russians to present a paper at an international aeronautical conference. Interestingly, Rynin also assisted Alexandre Gustave Eiffel in his aerodynamic experiments. He notably published the world's first space encyclopedia, a nine-volume work titled 'Interplanetary Communications' (1928-1932), which focused on space flight. Moreover, Rynin played a leading role in the pre-war Russian rocket society GIRD (Group for the Study of Reactive Motion), which aimed to address technical challenges related to developing rockets for conquering the stratosphere and outer space.

This book delves into the gradual stages of stratosphere conquest and the types of balloons employed for this purpose. It highlights individuals such as Hawthorne C. Gray, Hans Bartsch von Sigsfeld, Auguste Piccard, and Osoaviakhim-1, a Soviet high-altitude balloon. The latter was designed for scientific research in the Earth's stratosphere. Although it achieved an altitude of 22,000 meters on its maiden flight on January 30, 1934, it tragically lost control during descent and disintegrated in the lower atmosphere, leading to the fatalities of its three crew members. Interestingly, this book, issued a year before the tragedy, provides insight into its construction and mission goals, as Rynin, who consulted with the balloon's engineers, wrote about it.
It's likely that the book was signed to Semen Podkaminer (1901-1982), an engineer and Esperantist associated with Leningrad High School of Civil Air Engineers, who had connections to Rynin's work.

We couldn’t trace any copy of this edition in the USA or European libraries via OCLC.

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