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Maxwell W. Hunter (March 11, 1922 – November 10, 2001)

Max was a prominent American aerospace engineer. He worked on the design of the Douglas B-42 and Douglas B-43 bombers, the Honest John, Nike-Ajax, and Nike-Zeus missiles, the Thor IRBM, and on parts of the Strategic Defense Initiatives. In later years he worked on space-launch vehicles and was a proponent of Single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) designs. He was honored in 1995 by the National Space Society for lifelong contributions to the technology of spaceflight.

Thrust Into Space

Max Hunter authored a rocket propulsion textbook titled "Thrust Into Space." This acclaimed book is regarded as being as relevant today as it was when published in 1966. It covers the fields of rocketry in general, artillery, ballistic missiles, and space flight with plenty of diagrams, charts, graphs and illustrations. This book is being reissued by the Maxwell W. Hunter Foundation in 2016 and will be available on

Preface to Thrust into Space
by Maxwell Hunter, II 1966

The claim that propulsion is the key to space exploration has been repeated as often it has become trite. Even so, its importance is not always grasped. Many difficult technologies must be mastered in order to conquer space. It is important to spend time and effort learning to do them all well. Guidance and communication are examples. But it is inadequate propulsion—nothing else—which has limited the human race to one planet thus far. ...

Are technological upheavals inevitable?

Human motivations and reactions turn what should be smooth, evolutionary progress into a series of revolutions...



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The mission of the Maxwell W. Hunter Foundation is to support secondary-level aeronautical engineering curriculum in the United States while inspiring America's youth to consider careers in aeronautical engineering.

The Foundation also provides insight into America's golden age of space exploration by following the five-decade journey of legendary aerodynamicist and space visionary Max Hunter.

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