And silken-sharp the dazzling thunder falls Upon the startled land. The rising, falling dart Sudden and piercing on the summer's heart; And while from tree to tree the voice of fore calls
Marya Zaturenska, from The Tempest
EARLY in the Space Age, as thunder fell earthward from the rising rockets as they pierced the firmament, researchers realized the necessity of developing space technologies to exploit the Near-Earth environment. To get into space astronauts and cosmonauts would use the high-technology rocket. But to return from orbital journeys, spacefarers would use frictional drag produced by Earth's envelope of air. Another "green" space technology would also soon be developed—to tap the gravitational fields of giant planets.
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