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  'Who's Who in Space' project updates

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Author Topic:   'Who's Who in Space' project updates
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28757
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2007 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I try not to post very often about my own collection; I much prefer hearing of others' efforts but tonight I completed a project that was begun about six months ago and so I thought I would share the results.

As most are probably aware, I keep a gallery of my own collection as part of collectSPACE, a carry-over from its very first days online eight years ago, before it soon switched focuses from a personal site to a community resource and online publication. I've debated removing the gallery from time to time, or at least the links to it, but then I hear from new readers who have found cS as a result of it, so I've kept it where it is.

One of its earliest sections was devoted to autographs, chronicling the progress I made collecting signatures in my copy of Michael Cassutt's Who's Who In Space. When I first displayed the book online there were just 57 in-person autographs and nine mounted signatures for those space explorers that had passed away. Today, there are 283 in-person inscriptions and 38 mounted cards.

Anyway, about six months ago, I decided to take all of the scans offline, in part to replace each with clearer images, and to redesign the pages to more closely match the format I had adopted for the artifacts section of the collection gallery.

Three hundred twenty one (321) pages later, with 963 photos added for color and perspective, as well as new details (such as the date the signature was added to the book and a brief fact about the space explorer), the section is now back online and up to date.

Ultimately, I hope the gallery will include a signature example for every person who has been chosen to fly in space. For now though, I am focusing on rendezvousing with the astronauts that I have yet to meet and whose biographies were included in this 1986 book.

4allmankind
Member

Posts: 756
From: NJ
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 11-27-2007 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, very nice job.

Starting with my first visit to collectSPACE, I have been meaning to ask you about the circumstances of your photo with Deke Slayton.

Care to share the specs of that meeting?

I would assume that many of us here never had the chance to meet Deke.

Best, Jay

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28757
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2007 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 4allmankind:
Care to share the specs of that meeting?
Deke Slayton was the first astronaut I ever met, followed minutes later by Charlie Walker, and both were the first to sign my then brand new copy of 'Who's Who'.

I was ten years old, had just completed a report for school on the threat from space debris and, as a member of The Planetary Society, had received through the mail a flyer for an evening lecture at Princeton University by Deke Slayton. I asked my mom and dad if we could go, as he was going to talk about expendable launch vehicles and I wanted to ask him about his company's plans for mitigating debris.

The event, hosted by the Princeton Planetary Society, and co-sponsored by The Planetary Society and the National Space Society, was held in a lecture hall packed with college students. A lot of what Slayton spoke about that evening went straight over my head, but it didn't stop me from raising my hand and asking about the space junk his company was proposing to create. (Years later, when I would go to work for the National Space Society in Washington, DC, several of my co-workers would remember a young boy asking such a question.)

After the lecture, I went up to Slayton and showed him the report I had written. In addition to posing for a photo and signing the book, he gave me a long balloon he had used as a visual aid and which had his company's name written on its side (I wish I knew where that was today).

Walker was a bonus: I didn't know he would be there but our meeting that evening would be the first of many that would eventually lead to me working with him.

Slayton's and Walker's autographs would remain the only signatures in the book for nearly a decade, until I was a freshmen at the University of Maryland and had an opportunity to meet other astronauts.

(By the way, the photo, as its presented now on the site, has been edited. In the original photo, which is mounted in the book, the top of my head is well below Slayton's shoulder, which the thumbnail's dimensions wouldn't show.)

MCroft04
Member

Posts: 1250
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 11-27-2007 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To tag onto another thread, "you're a space geek if"; I have seen and touched Robert's 'Who's Who' book. Guess that makes me a space geek or at least a Robert admirer. It's difficult to believe that there are astronauts that Robert has not met. Robert, many thanks from the heart for providing a forum that keeps me learning about space exploration!

cddfspace
Member

Posts: 608
From: Morris County, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 11-28-2007 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cddfspace   Click Here to Email cddfspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well done Robert! Looks great. Who are would you "love to have" that is not in the book yet? How many autographs since it was last appraised?

Dennis

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28757
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-28-2007 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCroft04:
Robert, many thanks from the heart for providing a forum that keeps me learning about space exploration!
Mel, its a mutual gratitude, as this forum would be nothing if not for its enthusiastic members, such as yourself.
quote:
Originally posted by cddfspace:
Who are would you "love to have" that is not in the book yet?
Any of the astronauts whose names currently appear on the list in dark gray.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28757
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-21-2008 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I realize that it is an arbitrary number and that others have books with more signatures, but I thought I would share that as of last night, the 300th space explorer signed my copy of Michael Cassutt's "Who's Who In Space: The First 25 Years".

The 300th autograph was added by Expedition 17 flight engineer Oleg Kononenko. Following him a few minutes later as #301 was his commander, Sergei Volkov.

I had interviewed Kononenko and Volkov before they flew, which they both recalled.

Volkov signed opposite a photo of his father (who I have yet to meet) while noting that I needed about "one hundred more" to cover everyone. It will likely be closer to twice that before I get anywhere near 400, but as was the case with the first 300, it will be a great journey along the way!

All times are CT (US)

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