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Author Topic:   University of Nebraska Outward Odyssey series
olddennis
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posted 12-06-2012 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for olddennis   Click Here to Email olddennis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I always thought a book written from the viewpoint of the children of the astronauts might be a good topic. What was it like to have a famous astronaut as a parent? How was your life affected growing up? I know there was a British documentary a couple years ago that interviewed the wives of some of the famous astronauts. It was pretty interesting. Oh well...just an idea.

spacehiker
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posted 12-06-2012 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacehiker   Click Here to Email spacehiker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The UK documentary on the astronaut wives was fascinating. This is one area I feel has been neglected. It would be interesting to know the stories of some of these wives and ex-wives and how their husband careers influenced their lives and the stresses it placed on them.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-06-2012 02:19 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 spacehiker:
This is one area I feel has been neglected.
Perhaps not for long: The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story

onesmallstep
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posted 12-06-2012 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with DChudwin's suggestion on a book focusing on the von Braun team's role in the German war effort and the US AND Soviet space programs. For most of the postwar years and the Apollo program, von Braun was pretty much put on a pedestal and given credit for the Saturn V and the moon landings; his WW2 experiences and complicity in the operations of the Dora slave-labor camp were glossed over or ignored.

With the passage of time, new opinions and sources can add perspective to history. While Ordway and Sharpe's The Rocket Team may belong on any space historian's bookshelf, works like Neufeld's and any future volumes can add a more balanced and complete picture.

jvertrees
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posted 12-06-2012 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the additional name Robert. I didn't know there were two. I don't know nearly as much about the Soviet, European and Chinese programs as I do about the US program. I added the dates of the missions to the info above and added it to my space Q&A books. They were published before any children of Astronauts/Cosmonauts went into space.

DChudwin
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posted 12-06-2012 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My suggestion upthread was a book about von Braun's TEAM, not so much about von Braun himself, who has been biographied from both positive and negative points of view.

While von Braun was the conductor of the orchestra, his associates such as Kurt Debus, Ernest Stuhlinger, Eberhard Rees, Arthur Rudolph and other Operation Paperclip veterans did much of the actual engineering work, both in Germany and later the U.S.

I would be fascinated by a book about these team members, many of whom went on to high positions at NASA e.g. Debus as KSC director and Rees as MSFC director.

These men faced some of the same difficulties and dilemmas as von Braun in transfering their allegiance to the United States after working, or being forced to work, for the Third Reich during World War II.

GoesTo11
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posted 12-06-2012 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree...a collective, pull-no-punches study/memoir of the German rocket teams (US & USSR) would be fascinating if someone could still pull it off.

jvertrees
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posted 12-07-2012 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too like the idea of a full no holds study of von Braun and his team. A full fair assessment not a current values politically correct study geared to vilify. It’s much better to lay the facts bare and include as much surrounding information available as possible. Sometimes acts from individual people in a different error can be somewhat explained. Those actions may not be what the same person would do today. Sometimes they are simply horrible people who waste other peoples good air with every breath they breath.

onesmallstep
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posted 12-07-2012 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that a volume about von Braun and his team should not be a '..politically correct study geared to vilify'. But neither should it ignore the choices made to achieve the goals of the Paperclip scientists/engineers during wartime. As for '..acts from individual people in a different error (sic) can be somewhat explained'; well some of those people were responsible for acts that took the lives of others. True, Cold War expediency was the rule of the day when von Braun and other Germans took up their posts in the US and USSR, but history should not blink twice when the past is uncovered, however uncomfortable it may be.

Kevmac
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posted 12-08-2012 12:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would there be any interest from the group/public for a book about the military shuttle program for launches from Vandenberg AFB that were eventually canceled after Challenger? With the precedent of the excellent book "Selecting the Mercury Seven", it might be interesting to read about the Manned Spaceflight Engineers who went through the astronaut training for the classified missions. Some finally flew on shuttle missions, but many didn't, and continued on to successful military careers. I know much of the actual payload data is still classified, but I'll bet these men have an interesting story to tell. Thoughts?

Jim Behling
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posted 12-08-2012 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is not much they can say and there wasn't much that they are going to do on orbit. There was actually little need for MSE's on deployment missions. The conop for the MSE program was to bring shuttle experience/knowledge into the satellite program offices. This was where most of the benefit of the program was. When it came to flying with the payloads, it was easier to train a spacecraft expert to fly on the shuttle vs training a shuttle expert on a spacecraft project. And this is exacting what a payload specialist was.

The criteria used in the MSE selection process, just as for MOL, proved to be spot on when one considers the career paths of the MSE's and MOL astronauts, whether they flew or not.

Aside from AFP-675 (and Starlab)*, there little interaction with payloads, aside from a few switch throws. The spacecraft checkout was done through downlinked telemetry or it wasn't done at all, since it was done prelaunch like most payloads on ELV's.

* both which could have been done cheaper on ELV's and obtained more data. The ESS for AFP-675 was designed to demonstrate the utility of military man in space and therefore had limited ground commanding and telemetry. This was a concern for STS-39 since the data to be gathered by the experience was more important than the MMIS demonstration. And in fact, one tape record for an experience failed and the crew had to some wire splicing so that the data could downlinked.

Last of my ramblings, since this is off topic.

I was in what one could call the USAF shuttle program office from 1983-1988. The 3rd class of MSE's was small (5) and our colonel figured since he was spending money on specialized training, he might as well maximize the return on it. So he opened up the training to any one in the office. I don't remember all that was available. But there was some classes on astronautics at the USAF academy and scuba training. But the best one and the one I went on was 2 and 1/2 weeks of JSC/STS familiarization/ orientation. It was just an overview, but I think that was the extend of their shuttle training since they weren't going to fly (for 3 of the 5. I think Crombie and Staub did a little more in support of STS-39).

Philip
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posted 12-08-2012 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wondering if Jay Gallentine's second book also fits in this series?

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-08-2012 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay's second book, "Touching Infinity: Pathfinders of the Inner Solar System" is indeed a part of the Outward Odyssey series, and is currently scheduled for release in the spring of 2014.

Thank you once again to everyone for all those suggestions which I'll examine in a week or two before making any sort of decision. Every one of them is helpful and will be taken into consideration. To paraphrase Wally Schirra, do keep those suggestions coming in, folks.

GoesTo11
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posted 12-08-2012 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of thoughts...

Don't wish to offend anyone, but the perspectives of astronauts' wives and kids, while they would certainly make for interesting vignettes...I have a hard time imagining them as a viable book in the context of this series. Outward Odyssey is about the people who actually did these things.

Following from earlier posts, my first choices for another volume would be a collective memoir of the Apollo support people, and a first-person anecdotal, non-agenda-driven study of the German rocket teams.

dom
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posted 12-08-2012 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I second the above post. Personally, my preference would be a book about Von Braun's team in the USA but is there anyone left to write it firsthand?

MCroft04
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posted 12-08-2012 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How about a book about the science training for the astronauts? They spent so much time learning geology, and later astronomy for Skylab. I've talked to a few astronauts about their geology training and there are some great stories. We know where they trained, but we don't know the rest of the story.

GoesTo11
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posted 12-08-2012 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCroft04:
How about a book about the science training for the astronauts?
That's one of the subjects I'd like to see explored in the treatment of Apollo's "earthbound astronauts" I proposed.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 12-08-2012 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still think a book about the MSE program would be a good read. It's one of the last untold stories about the space shuttle program - how it got started, what its goals were, how those goals changed, how Challenger affected it, and perhaps a "last gasp" of the program (including Starlab.)

I realize they can only speak in generalities, but there should be enough DoD/USAF officials to speak about it, as well as astronauts. And the photos would be intriguing (such as the one of Holder undergoing EVA training.)

A similar book could be done on the payload specialist program as well.

johntosullivan
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posted 01-21-2013 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for johntosullivan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wondering about 2013 publications. Colin, are we still scheduled to see 2 books this year? Here's hoping!

(edited after reading previous posts)

johntosullivan
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posted 01-21-2013 05:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for johntosullivan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given the number of flights and the duration of expeditions, I think Soyuz and Mir each deserve a book. Or at least a Salyut/Interkosmos/Mir book.

Also a book on ESA human space flight, including the missions to Mir and ISS and the Europeans who have flown on shuttle missions over the years.

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-21-2013 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There will only be two series books published this year: the first will be Michelle Evans' book on the X-15 and the second will be Rick Houston's account of the space shuttle program from 1986 to the final mission, STS-135.

2014 will see two more books published and possibly even three. These will be the David Hitt/Heather Smith book on the shuttle program from its inception through to 1986. Editing problems caused the two shuttle books to be flipped in their release dates. That is currently slated for a spring 2014 release and Jay Gallentine's follow-on book to "Amabassadors From Earth" will be released in the fall of 2014. A publication date has not yet been established for Jay Chladek's book on the history and crewing of space stations, but I will advise readers once this is know. In fact the contents of this book will answer some of the points raised in the previous post.

As to a book totally devoted to Soyuz, this has already been done most successfully by David Shayler and Rex Hall with their great Springer-Praxis book, "Soyuz: A Universal Spacecraft," and I believe that the series already discusses all but the most recent Soyuz missions.

One of the books under discussion for an expansion of the series is on the Payload Specialists who flew on missions prior to the loss of Challenger and her crew.

I'll give more information once the University of Nebraska Press has formally given me the green flag to proceed with at least four new series books and they have asked me if I would stay on as series editor. I have agreed to that.

At this time I expect to announce the new titles in the series, and their authors, at Spacefest V in May. I can promise a couple of real surprises.

johntosullivan
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posted 01-21-2013 07:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for johntosullivan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the reply Colin.

True, Hall/Shayler covered the Soyuz technically. But Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle have all been covered in considerably more depth in English language, yet they were worthy of a volume (if not two volumes) of OO each.

Is there not a need for a "social history" of the Soyuz to balance the Shuttle books?

GoesTo11
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posted 01-21-2013 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by johntosullivan:
Thanks for the reply Colin. Is there not a need for a "social history" of the Soyuz to balance the Shuttle books?

Can't speak to "need," but I doubt that the readership is there. Keep in mind, we're talking about a relatively small market for the series in general. Forgive me for sounding like a provincial Yank, but I don't get the sense that U-N Press would seriously consider the idea that the history of the Shuttle needs to be "balanced" with an English-language work covering a Soviet/Russian spacecraft. That's not to denigrate the importance of Soyuz at all...I just don't think the market is there for such a work, at least in the purview and sales model of the OO series.

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-21-2013 11:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
I don't get the sense that U-N Press would seriously consider the idea that the history of the Shuttle needs to be "balanced" with an English-language work covering a Soviet/Russian spacecraft.

I was beaten to the punch on this one as I was about to respond with similar sentiments. I agree entirely that a fully ESA- or Russian-themed book would not find favour with the Press. I had considered books on the Intercosmos programs and international space fliers, but set them aside for that very reason. The buyers just would not be there for such books in the U.S.

I hope to hear from UNP on the books I have suggested as new titles before the end of the week, but I am still keeping a couple of option slots open.

johntosullivan
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posted 01-22-2013 03:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for johntosullivan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fair point. I didn't count on the U.S.-centric nature of UNP. Maybe there's work to do on this side of the pond?

Looking forward to the books this year. And the surprises!

garymilgrom
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posted 01-22-2013 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a certified Shuttle Hugger I'm really looking forward to Rick's book. Is there a publication date set for that yet? Thanks.

GoesTo11
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posted 01-22-2013 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
As a certified Shuttle Hugger I'm really looking forward to Rick's book.

Same here. The series has been uniformly excellent so far, but the Shuttle and X-15 volumes will really be "in my wheelhouse."

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-22-2013 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011" by Rick Houston will be released in the (U.S.) fall of this year. "Bold They Rise: The First Space Shuttle Era" by David Hitt and Heather Smith will be released in the spring of 2014.

On the subject of Rick Houston, his book on the life and experiences of shuttle astronaut David Hilmers (for younger readers) will be released on 23 April this year in paperback and Kindle format. You can see and pre-order it at Amazon.com. It is titled "Man on a Mission: The David Hilmers Story."

Dave Shayler
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posted 01-24-2013 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Shayler   Click Here to Email Dave Shayler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With regards to an updated book on Soyuz, Rex Hall and I were planning such a volume. Sadly with the loss of Rex this was put on hold. I am currently reconsidering it and if I go ahead it will be put to Praxis/Springer first (fulfilling legal requirements).

Colin is right a book based on mainly Euro/Russian/ROW activities is difficult to 'sell' to an American publisher, which is why the cooperation through Clive Horwood at Praxis Books in the UK has been so valuable in recent years. Saying that... never say never. I am always trying to find new avenues for my works.

So keep watching my website as I have several projects being considered and new ideas in planning. Hopefully there is much more to come from me.

dom
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posted 01-24-2013 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ColinBurgess:
"Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011" by Rick Houston will be released in the (U.S.) fall of this year.
Colin, as that's the official publication date, any idea when it'll really hit the shelves?

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-24-2013 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From past experience, Dom, probanbly in September.

Jay Chladek
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posted 01-27-2013 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, if you are looking for a "fair and balanced" assessment covering the space program from both the European and Russian side, I have high hopes that my book will do that. As the author of it, I believe it will, but one might say I am "too close" to it in order to be that objective. I hope to have a little something in there for everyone. I have hardware discussions, I have some astronaut stories (some that haven't been revealed before). I have discussions about the politics and budgets and how NASA's current issues with funding aren't really all that different from what has come before. I have stories of political intrigue and diplomacy. If I can get some readers to research these programs more while satisfying others who don't want to go more in depth with a good story, than I have done my job.

In a small nutshell (I'm not going to reveal too much mind you), what my title covers in its history of space stations and laboratories is a continuous narrative starting with the USAF MOL program to Vladimir Chelomei's Almaz, to the engineering mutiny that led to Almaz hardware being re-purposed for Salyut. It covers the high spots of the Salyut program from the missions to Salyuts 1, 4, 6 and 7. There is a little coverage of Almaz Salyuts 3 and 5, but considering most of those programs are still classified, not much can be said about what happened on orbit.

The American coverage includes a chapter on Skylab which primarily tells it from the behind the scenes of AAP's early days up through the missions themselves. I don't go in depth into the Skylab missions from the astronauts point of view since "Homesteading Space" already did that with its full body of text. So I hope my chapter works as a complement to what has come before. ASTP is covered since it has a direct bearing on Shuttle Mir from a political and a hardware slant, which comes after a chapter on Soviet Space Station Mir (before it became Russian Space Station Mir). The NASA ESA relationship is discussed in a chapter about the development of Spacelab, which even though the missions were short duration compared to the Salyuts, it did turn the shuttle into a flying space laboratory.

Finally, things wrap up with the last few chapters devoted to the ISS, Columbia (it was a space laboratory flight afterall) and how it impacted the ISS and the building of international partnerships with other nations. My narrative pretty much concludes at the close of 2011, although there are a couple minor points from 2012 I bring up (Tiangong 1 for instance).

Granted I will concede that I can't fit EVERYTHING I wanted to into the body of the text since there are just SO MANY elements to a story that encompasses the past 50 years of space flight. But it is the kind of story that I wanted to read and it is my hope that others will enjoy reading it just as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I will also say that while these UNP books are being published in the US and are mostly being written by American authors, Colin being an Aussie (and Francis French being the ex-patriot Brit) helped to launch it on a very good international footing. While I have not sought direct guidance from them in certain matters (it is my book afterall), the long yardstick they established in the first two books they co-wrote has been foremost on my mind as I have written mine.

By the way, if you want to read a very good book that in my opinion covers the history of Salyut even further, pick up a copy of David Harland's "Mir" from Springer Praxis. Don't let its title fool you as it gives a full narrative of Salyut missions from Soyuz 11 up to the end of Salyut 7. Another Springer Praxis book, "Salyut, the First Space Station" by Grujica S. Ivanovich tells a very good story in depth about the development of Salyut (including the engineering mutiny) up through the loss of the Soyuz 11 crew and the investigation that came after. Both resources (and many many others) were invaluable to my research.

A good narrative about the Soviet rocket program can be had by Boris Chertok's memoirs "Of Rockets and People" which covers four volumes. I've only had a chance to really read portions of volume four, since it covers the shift from the Soviet lunar program to Salyut (and Chertok was part of the engineering mutiny), but I plan to get all four volumes to read about life on the Russian side in depth when I get a chance.

As for von Braun's team, such a title would be nice to read. But it is always going to be a political hot potato and with the principle members of the group no longer among the living, it might be very difficult to come up with something that will meet with our satisfaction. I would suggest though that if there are any NASA texts covering the history of the Marshall Space Flight Center, I would start there since the German teams had their fingerprints all over it (and any text on Marshall is going to cover Paperclip and the Redstone arsenal for a complete history).

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-31-2013 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Insofar as the Outward Odyssey series is concerned, at Spacefest V I announced that four new books are now under consideration for the Outward Odyssey series:

Go Flight!: The Unsung Heroes of Mission Control, 1965-1993, to be written by Rick Houston and Milt Heflin. The proposal for this book has already been accepted for publication by the University of Nebraska Press and a contract will be issued.

Eight Million Miles of Work: Flying Three Space Shuttle Missions, to be written by payload specialist Charlie Walker. The proposal for this book has been sent to the Nebraska Press for review and acceptance.

Payload Specialists: Flying the First Non-NASA Astronauts, to be written by Mel Croft and John Youskauskas. Their proposal is currently also with the Nebraska Press awaiting the go-ahead from the educational board.

The fourth book is yet to be officially announced pending acceptance of the yet-to-be-prepared proposal, although it is a very exciting prospect that involves the unpublished story of an Apollo astronaut. Very broad hints were given at Spacefest for those in the panel audience that day, but the person associated with this book project prefers that no names or subjects be formally announced until the proposal is accepted for the book to go to publication. As I am working under instructions, I'm afraid that is all I can generally reveal about this particular project, although hopefully a full revelation may just be a matter of a few weeks away.

I should add that following certain discussions at Spacefest, there is the distinct possibility of two more books being added to that list, which would bring the final series total to 18 books.


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