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  Ambassadors from Earth: Pioneering Explorations with Unmanned Spacecraft (Jay Gallentine) (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   Ambassadors from Earth: Pioneering Explorations with Unmanned Spacecraft (Jay Gallentine)
cspg
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posted 09-18-2009 11:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy shipped yesterday! Sorry, Philip.

Philip
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posted 09-19-2009 02:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My "signed" copie should arrive for my birthday.

MCroft04
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posted 09-21-2009 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, received my copy from UNP today. It looks great! However, I must offer some advice; you need to work on that bio (one sentence for those who don't have the book yet).

Jay Gallentine
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posted 09-21-2009 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Truth be told, I had no idea what to put in that bio. It's my first published effort and I had very few credentials beyond a clear focus on what I was trying to accomplish with the book.

For any future publications, I promise to beef up the bio, and I sincerely hope you like what I've written. Please keep us all posted.

Richard Easton
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posted 09-21-2009 08:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Easton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just got my copy. It is impressive. I had the pleasure of meeting George Ludwig at the Vanguard 50th and look forward to learning more about him.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 09-21-2009 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Richard, thanks for checking in and I don't think you'll be disappointed in the slightest with the information about George Ludwig.

Not only was he gracious enough to sit for repeat interviews, but in the Iowa archives I unearthed his original handwritten journals from the Explorer period. It was a complete accident that I came across them. I held the first one up, realized what it was, and said something like, "Holy ****!" - and then realized I was in a library and had best keep it down. How wonderful it was to page through such historical documents. His penmanship wasn't half-bad, either.

Thankfully I found the journals before speaking with Ludwig, as he never mentioned them until I brought up the subject. I wouldn't have known to ask otherwise, and now a standard interview question is, "Did you ever keep a journal?"

I am very proud to say that this is the first time that any Ludwig journal excerpts have been reproduced in print. They offer a colorful and utterly fascinating window into the world of the man who built America's first satellite experiment. I trust you'll agree!

Richard Easton
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posted 09-21-2009 11:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Easton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, those type of discoveries are great. A week ago, I spent a couple of hours with Marty Votaw (see page 12 of The First Explorer Satellites).

He's doing well.

Philip
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posted 09-22-2009 03:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What do the readers think of the selected photographs?

Blackarrow
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posted 09-22-2009 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My purchase of "Ambassadors" reminds me of deep space probes in a way.... my purchase request to Amazon was "launched" on 20th September, but the book won't reach its destination until early October. Oh well, like a good space-probe, it will be worth the wait.

Philip
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posted 09-24-2009 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good EDL here... a superb book, for which we've been waiting a long time! Congratulations Jay...

Blackarrow
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posted 09-24-2009 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
My purchase of "Ambassadors" reminds me of deep space probes in a way.... my purchase request to Amazon was "launched" on 20th September, but the book won't reach its destination until early October...
Thanks to a welcome change to the gravitational constant, my copy is now scheduled to arrive next week!

Jay Gallentine
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posted 09-28-2009 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Philip - great picture! Thanks for posting.

I've got my first review up at Amazon! Happy to report the reviewer gave me five stars!

Philip
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posted 09-29-2009 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's also a 5 stars review on Amazon.co.uk.

MCroft04
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posted 10-05-2009 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am finally reading Jay's book now that I've completed Buzz's Magnificent Desolation. For those of you who have not picked up a copy of Ambassadors From Earth, possibly because it's not about astronauts, or whatever, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you order a copy immediately and dig into it. I'm just into chapter 4, but so far this is a superbly written and well researched account. I'm fairly well read on the subject, but it seems that each page brings information and stories that are new to me. And did I mention that the writing is superb!

garymilgrom
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posted 10-06-2009 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mine touched down in Atlanta, GA yesterday. I agree with the above poster. One quote from the introduction bears repeating: "The people aren't on the ship but they're still along for the ride."

What a great summary of robotic spacecraft! Thanks Jay and Colin for this great book and great series of books.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 10-12-2009 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many, many thanks for taking the time to respond. I can't tell you what a sense of relief comes over me when I hear that people are enjoying this work.

Unmanned space exploration certainly has an image problem, and I knew it might be a tough sell. Where's the excitement in a little robot space ship, right? But these early reviews seem to reinforce the idea that many, many wonderful stories are to be found within the people who do this kind of work. I feel that they are also adventurers, every bit as much as someone in a pressure suit.

Thank you all so very much for your positive responses! Please keep me posted on your thoughts.

DChudwin
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posted 10-19-2009 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just received my copy of the November issue of Spaceflight, published by the BIS (British Interplanetary Society). The front inside cover features a full-page color paid ad for the "Outward Odyssey" series by the University of Nebraska Press.

The upper half of the ad displays a color photo of the cover of "Ambassadors from Earth," a quote from Louis Friedman ("An exciting engrossing tale of the early days of space flight"), and ordering information (list price $34.95, Canada $48.95, UK 26.99 pound
sterling).

The lower half of the ad shows in color the covers for the four other books already out in the series.

Jay and the other authors should be aware of this promotion by the publisher-- especially in times of recession when publishers are cutting back on such advertising.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 10-28-2009 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also subscribe to Spaceflight. I knew that the Press was planning to place an ad in that publication, but I had no idea the ad would be so large and so well-placed. I'm feeling the love.

As a quick side note, I've been asked if I'll be at the ASF show. Sorry to report I won't be there this year - it falls on my wife's birthday. It always seems like if I miss her birthday, then bad things happen.

Blackarrow
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posted 10-28-2009 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Imagine the conversation I had with my wife in 2007 when I raised the delicate subject of going on my own to KSC to dine with Apollo astronauts under the Saturn V and watch the launch of STS-117 on our wedding anniversary...

Philip
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posted 10-29-2009 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ambassadors from Earth will also be featured in the December issue of Spaceflight in Book reviews

Jay Gallentine
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posted 10-29-2009 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
...on our wedding anniversary
Well, you are braver than me in that department!
quote:
Originally posted by Philip:
Ambassadors from Earth will also be featured in the December issue of Spaceflight in Book reviews.
And that's great news Philip, I look forward to seeing it.

I also just noticed that a second review has been posted on Amazon in the US. I was very pleased to see that the review is also five stars!

ColinBurgess
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posted 10-30-2009 12:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the subject of reviews of the Outward Odyssey series of books, I continue to be delighted with the progress of the series and the quality of authorship. Following Jay's comment above, I did a quick tally of reviews of all five books released to date and I'm pleased to say that out of a cumulative total of 70 Amazon US reviews to date, 65 of them give ratings of five stars, while the other 5 give four-star ratings. Having invested five years of my life so far in the series, both as an author and series editor, and with the likelihood of this commitment stretching to around 2014, it is truly gratifying to see this series developing into a social history of space exploration in which all of the authors can take a great deal of well-deserved pride.

Stand by for the imminent announcement of another book in the series, with the author now snugly under contract. Also, the proposed author of the final book in the series of 12 volumes is now very close to being awarded a contract for this work.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 11-09-2009 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With much excitement I saw that a third review of Ambassadors has just been posted on Amazon in the US. And it was also five stars!

I swear, these people are not my relatives.

FFrench
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posted 11-12-2009 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Gallentine:
I swear, these people are not my relatives.

As Einstein showed, when it comes to space and time, everything is relative...

MCroft04
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posted 11-18-2009 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I posted this 5 star review on Amazon today. Jay, if you haven't relaxed yet, go ahead and do so; the book is great!

Jay Gallentine's Ambassadors From Earth is another wonderful addition to the popular and masterful Outward Odyssey series which recounts the stories of our first ventures into outer space. Ambassadors is a superbly written and researched tale of those men and women who bred and birthed the intricate unmanned machines that reached out to the heavens to steal away bits and pieces of secrets out of reach since the inception of humanity. Jay's unique writing style takes the reader behind the scenes, showcasing these heroes professionalism, creativity, commitment, frailties, and emotions necessary to invent and build machines capable of withstanding the harsh environment through which they would be traveling. Many unknowns complicated each mission requiring detailed engineering as well as calculated guesses. Sputnik, Explorer, Lunar Orbiter, Luna, Surveyor, Ranger, Pioneer, Voyager; their stories are all here, and more fascinating are the stories of the people who had the vision to take advantage of the new age of rockets to probe the universe for the first time. But perhaps just as important, it's a fun book to read!

Jay Gallentine
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posted 11-18-2009 08:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Golly whiskers, I can't believe that review! Thank you very much for posting it, and I am truly so happy to hear that you liked the book!

I have a hard time relaxing, but will try to do so in the very near future.

ColinBurgess
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posted 11-24-2009 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Before Jay has a chance to quietly point it out, there is a new (and five-star) review of his book on Amazon.com from someone who is an obvious space buff and who says he could not put the book down and really loved it.

Many years back, when I was seeking out a suitable author for this book, Jay sent me a copy of an article he'd written on speesdster Craig Breedlove and I knew from the moment I read it that he was the right person to write this book. It could, I know, have been a dry old chronology of unmanned exploration, but to my way of thinking Jay has done for unmanned exploration what Tom Wolfe did for early astronautics.

I know I'm the Outward Odyssey series editor and all that, but if you know anyone who is even remotely interested in space exploration then this is the perfect Christmas gift. Give it a try - I know that you'll be very pleasantly surprised (and engrossed, and informed).

Jay Gallentine
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posted 11-24-2009 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for that, Colin!

And I was pleased to see that NPR is covering 'Ambassadors' in their 'What We're Reading' feature.

GoesTo11
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posted 11-25-2009 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, congratulations on the great reviews...But that NPR post caught my eye with it's "fascinating but little known" description of the "Outward Odyssey" series. You and Colin need to put a foot into NU Press and get their publicity machine into gear!

ColinBurgess
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posted 11-25-2009 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While publications from university presses understandably carry a great deal of prestige, it must also be appreciated that the University of Nebraska Press, like its fellow presses, is essentially a non-profit organisation which cannot financially support the huge distribution advantage enjoyed by commercial publishers. But while they do not have much in the way of budgeting dollars, their works are meticulously prepared over several months for publication and the editing is scrupulously done to ensure that the work is not only scholarly, but can safely be used as a reference source.

This is why there is such a reliance on quality reviews and word-of-mouth endorsements. In this regard, I share with all of the series authors an appreciation for the thoughtful, grassroots support and efforts of many collectSPACE people, who not only buy and recommend books in the series, but take the time to place quality reviews on high-profile sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, send the book link to friends and colleagues, and through other efforts help to spread the word and promote these books, which have been researched and written by their spaceflight peers.

I might add that it is always gratifying to hear that despite the difficulties of distribution, copies of most series books can generally be found at major book stores, as well as those in major spaceflight centres.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 01-03-2010 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For anyone in the Minneapolis area, Border's Book Shop in Minnetonka will be hosting a book launch party for Ambassadors on Saturday, February 13th, from 2-4pm. I'll read a few excerpts, we'll do some Q&A, and inhale unhealthy quantities of snacks.

Please come if you are able!

If you need more information, please let me know. Thanks!

Jay Gallentine
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posted 04-15-2010 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some good news to report! On Friday, February 19th, I journeyed to the University of Iowa's Van Allen Hall. There, I met up with James Van Allen biographer Abigail Foerstner, plus Iowa scientist Craig Kletzing. We took turns giving public presentations on solar system exploration and "The Iowa Connection: Past, Present, and Future". The UI Department of Physics and Astronomy graciously coordinated the event and produced its advertising.

I gave the first talk, explaining how University of Iowa students and faculty became the cornerstone of America's first satellite missions. I tried to appraise Van Allen's strengths and strategies, pointing out that his collaborative spirit, positive attitude, and common sense definitely helped get Iowa into space.



Then Abigail took a turn, leading us through Van Allen's life and highlights of his work. She presented a number of remarkably rare pictures of the late scientist. Abigail knows his history top to bottom and gave the audience a great feel of his lasting impact on space exploration.

Craig was the final presenter, talking up the fact that we still don't know everything about the topic which originally got Van Allen into the space business - cosmic rays. Craig is one of the people carrying Van Allen's work into the next generations with his own space experiments on cosmic radiation and other topics. He is a torch-bearer.

To be in the company of these two individuals was humbling. Abigail spent many years working closely with Van Allen on his biography, which unfortunately the great physicist did not live to see published. She was an endless fountain of warm stories about the man and his ways. Craig is the classic scientist: always in high gear, engaging, downright hilarious, and incredibly smart. He's also a musician.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy was very kind to roll out some original flight hardware - including a rockoon and a sounding rocket payload which predated and closely resembled what eventually flew in space as Explorer I. This stuff is more than fifty years old.

The attendance wasn't bad - maybe thirty people or so - and a lively Q&A followed the talks. Afterward, Abigail and I retreated to Iowa Book just a few blocks away. There the discussions continued and we signed copies of our books.

I was privileged to meet a couple individuals from the Iowa machine shop, who handbuilt many fittings and enclosures for Iowa's instruments. Their handiwork flew to the outer planets and beyond.

Sorry for the tardy report; I've been a little tied up!

MCroft04
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posted 04-15-2010 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, sounds like a great time. And no surprise that you are a lefty.

Philip
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posted 04-17-2010 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, thanks for sharing the photos of this event!

Richard Easton
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posted 04-17-2010 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Easton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, thanks for a wonderful report. I met Abigail when she did a book signing at a store two blocks from my house in 2007. She's a delightful person and a good writer.

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-04-2010 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is with great pride and pleasure that I announce to you that Jay Gallentine's book "Ambassadors From Earth" has been nominated for the prestigious Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Prize for Literature. This is a great honour for Jay and his extraordinarily hard and detailed work in putting this book (and his next) together, and I'm sure we all wish him well when the ten finalists and then the winner are announced.

MCroft04
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posted 05-04-2010 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No surprise here that Jay's book is getting recognition. I can't wait for his next book; no way it can be as good as Ambassadors From Earth (Jay, just thought I'd challenge you a bit).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-02-2010 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, let me be the first among many on collectSPACE to congratulate you on "Ambassadors from Earth" being named by the American Astronautical Society as the winner of the 2009 Emme Award for Astronautical Literature!

Richly deserved, I hope this serves to inspire even more to read your testament to the unmanned pioneers of our solar system.

bruce
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posted 09-02-2010 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heartfelt congratulations, Jay!

Jay Gallentine
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posted 09-02-2010 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two weeks ago they called me out of the blue. It was during the day, and the call came through at work. I don't quite remember what I was in the middle of, but my comrade Brittany rang back to say, "Jay, there's somebody on the phone from someplace called the American Astronautical Society."

I stood there for a second, wondering gosh, what the heck was this about? A (very) faint light did go on in my head about the Emme, but instantly I dismissed that and figured it must be about the second book or something. I do get the occasional call with a question about Ranger or Voyager. Could be that. Or maybe it was a mistake.

Over the speaker phone Brittany said, "Jay? Still there? Um, I really think you should take this."

So I lifted the receiver and began conversing. Unbeknownst to me, Brittany then snuck into my area and began whispering to my other comrade Adam.

I couldn't quite grasp what the man on the phone was saying. Finally I had to ask, "So are you telling me I won the Emme Award?"

"That's right," he said. "You're the winner!"

I asked him, "Are you sure you've got the right guy?"

Our dialogue continued, a kindly voice explaining how they really wanted to call and talk prior to the official announcement, and could I maybe come down to the Cape in November and accept in person?

Later I was told that at this point I began staring off into space. Holy crud, I'm the winner. Brittany and Adam used this opportunity to grab a digital camera and when I got off the phone, Adam handed me a copy of the book and said, "Hey! sounds like you've got some news!" He snapped a photo:

We've got a small office, and thirty minutes later Lisa called us over to the kitchen. She'd arranged for a cake:

Gotta say I love the little rocket on there. Is that a V-2?

This was the same bit of kitchen where, last September, I broke the news to everyone that I'd been secretly writing a book for five years. Wish I'd had a camera for that!

I am blown away by this recognition and can't say enough about all the encouraging words from all you fellow cS'ers over the years. Thanks SO much!

I'm additionally excited to report that my wife Anne and I will be attending the American Astronautical Society's Annual Conference in November so as to accept the Emme in person. It's also at the Cape, just one week after the ASF show. Perhaps I will meet some of you there!

And then it'll be back to Book Two!


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