Building the Jodrell Bank Telescope. Revised and updated edition. Bernard Lovell. Praeger Publishers. New York, 1987. 300 pp. $14.95 PS.
The revised and updated version of Bernard Lovell’s 1968 book The Story of Jodrell Bank traces the growth of a true symbol of the modern space age—the radio astronomy observatory at the University of Manchester. It covers the early studies of meteor trails, development of the 250-foot radio telescope and its subsequent triumph in tracking Soviet and U.S. spacecraft. Three new chapters describe the progress made in radio astronomy during the last 20 years.
Lovell, founder and director of Jodrell Bank until his retirement in 1981, provides a vivid picture of the early days. The United Kingdom had a history of funding pure science in the universities, but the government at the time was struggling to recover from six years of war. Stubborn civil servants in...