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  Ambassadors from Earth: Pioneering Explorations with Unmanned Spacecraft (Jay Gallentine) (Page 5)

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Author Topic:   Ambassadors from Earth: Pioneering Explorations with Unmanned Spacecraft (Jay Gallentine)
GoesTo11
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posted 09-03-2010 12:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, I loved Ambassadors from Earth, and I'm hoping I remember correctly without poring over all the cS posts that this was your first published book?

If so, this is kind of the "writerly" equivalent of hitting a walk-off home run in your first big league at bat.

Congratulations, and well deserved.

SVaughan
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posted 09-03-2010 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SVaughan   Click Here to Email SVaughan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations Jay! That's a fantastic achievement and so well deserved. I think it was Colin who originally said that your book was the "Right Stuff" of unmanned exploration. That really does sum it up perfectly! Can't wait for the second book.

Philip
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posted 09-03-2010 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations Jay on winning the 2009 Eugene EMME award!!!

dom
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posted 09-03-2010 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fantastic! Great news for Jay and the Outward Odyssey series

FFrench
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posted 09-03-2010 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations, Jay, on a very prestigious and well-deserved honor. This has been the standout book for me of the last couple of years, and I am really pleased to see it get the recognition it deserves. You dug deep into original areas to tell some fascinating human stories in a subject normally overshadowed by manned spaceflight. Many of your stories are much less well known but more fascinating than those of the spacefarers. I am so pleased for you!!

ColinBurgess
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posted 09-03-2010 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, just like the wives of Apollo 12 crew I'm proud, happy and thrilled for you. A million congratulations.

rjurek349
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posted 09-03-2010 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Awesome news, Jay. Well deserved! Congrats.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 09-05-2010 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you all so very much for the kind comments. I can't tell you what they mean to me. I'll try not to let anyone down on the next book!

You know, this has my wife now reading collectSPACE!

To answer the question from GoesTo11, yes - this is my first published book. I had two others I was working on when the opportunity came up for Ambassadors. But they were just personal ventures, so I quickly set them aside to dive into the worlds of Explorer, Ranger, Voyager, and the others.

I will try to get some shots from the AAS Conference!

dss65
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posted 09-06-2010 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let me add my congratulations, Jay, on this impressive recognition of your very fine work.

Richard Easton
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posted 09-06-2010 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Easton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations Jay!

MCroft04
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posted 09-11-2010 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, No surprise here on the award! Congratulations.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 11-10-2010 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks again, everyone. Next week I'll head to Port Canaveral for the annual conference of the American Astronautical Society, and accept the Emme in person.

I will try to get a few shots of the event and post them here!

And some may have noticed that I will be speaking at Spacefest III next year. What an honor (and a complete surprise) to be asked. The AAS sent me some nice embossed Emme stickers. I will try to bring some along for anyone who might like one for their book cover.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 11-17-2010 08:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've just returned from the conference of the American Astronautical Society in Melbourne, Florida. It was just south of the Cape.

Anne and I flew in yesterday morning, and I was able to catch a bit of the ISS-themed conference that afternoon. Pretty fascinating stuff! I was particularly intrigued by the challenges of recycling wastewater aboard the station.

At 6pm the AAS held their awards reception. We enjoyed some magnificent pastas, sauces, and other nibblers. Anne downed what I believe was her sixth or seventh Diet Coke of the day.

The AAS presented several awards before the Emme. I'm sure glad they did because after the first few, I totally slashed what I planned to say - trimming my comments down to a length which I hoped would not put people to sleep!

I did take the opportunity to thank Anne, my sons, the University of Nebraska Press, and my editor Colin Burgess.

I also mentioned the great work (and comradeship) offered by other space history writers such as Asif Siddiqi, Philip Corneille, Paolo Ulivi, and Brian Harvey. "You guys are my support group!" I told the audience.

After that we did some pictures. Here's a shot of me with Michael Ciancone, who is the Chair of the AAS History Committee.

Former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin was at the table next to ours, but he departed before I had a chance to ask for a picture with him.

I was able to speak with some really nice folks from Lockheed Martin, JPL, and other organizations. These people do such amazing work; I am constantly in awe of their accomplishments.

Many thanks to everyone out there for making us Gallentines feel so welcome! Michael Ciancone and Jim Kirkpatrick from the AAS were gracious hosts; the greeters went out of their way to help me navigate the conference.

A very big thrill for me was the opportunity to meet and spend a bit of time with Jim Burke. Mr. Burke was one of the key individuals behind the JPL/NASA 'Ranger' program of the early 1960s and is a central character in 'Ambassadors'. I interviewed and worked with him extensively, but we'd never had the chance to meet.

Finally, a shot of myself with Jim Burke:

And of course, I couldn't resist asking this living legend to sign a picture!

This morning, Anne and I climbed aboard a plane - leaving the hot Florida sun for a 35-degree overcast Minnesota day.

Now it's back to Book Two!

MCroft04
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posted 11-17-2010 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, You deserve all the attention and fun, simply by writing a great book that was very fun to read. Can't wait for the second book. I know that sometime, somewhere, we'll have the opportunity to meet. Why not attend the 2011 ASF show at KSC?

Spacefest
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posted 11-18-2010 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCroft04:
Why not attend the 2011 ASF show at KSC?
Jay will be at SPACEFEST III in June, as one of the speakers, along with Colin Burgess and Francis French, who will meet Jay in person for the first time.

As we will have primary scientists from several post-1976 unmanned space probes I expect Jay will be hard at work, researching his new book.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 11-21-2010 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kim, I can't tell you how honored I was to be asked to speak at Spacefest. I've already started working on my presentation.

And yes - after seven years, I'll finally get to meet the Burgess/French team for the first time!

Kite
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posted 02-21-2011 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just finished this wonderful book. I had no idea of the story behind unmanned space flights. It is fascinating to read about the characters involved and compares with Andrew Chaikin's 'A Man on the Moon' on manned space flight. The style is so relaxed and informative I had a job putting the book down. Well done Jay and I really look forward to when you continue the story in your next book.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 02-21-2011 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kite - you made my day. Thank you for posting. Perhaps one day, just for the die-hards, I will have to release the 'unabridged' version, containing approximately 200 additional pages and 100 additional photographs.

In the mean time, I am still trying to explain to my conspiracy-minded co-worker that we really did land people on the moon.

Kite
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posted 02-21-2011 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, count me as a die-hard, I would love to read that version too. Bring it on!

Blackarrow
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posted 02-21-2011 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Gallentine:
....In the mean time, I am still trying to explain to my conspiracy-minded co-worker that we really did land people on the moon.

Jay, has he seen the "Mythbusters" episode debunking the "Apollo hoax"? If not, try to get a copy for him. It does a pretty comprehensive demolition job without getting too technical. Demonstration is far more effective than endless explanation.

Kevmac
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posted 02-21-2011 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ditto me as a die-hard also!

Jay Gallentine
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posted 02-21-2011 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will have to ask if he's seen Mythbusters.

And it's great to know that cS is filled with so many die-hards. The 'unabridged' version of Ambassadors went into much more detail about early Soviet rocketry, Ranger, and the Voyager Record. Perhaps the most painful section to cut out was the additional material about the University of Iowa Physics Department and their work on Pioneer 3 and 4. Truth be told, I could have done an entire book on just the Iowans!

All in all though, I'd have to say that the book does flow much better in its current trimmed-down state.

Many have asked why I spent so many pages on Ranger. Well, this was the first time NASA and JPL ran a program together, and everyone was trying to figure out how in the heck to do this work. I thought some extra time behind the scenes would help people understand what it took to lay the foundation for future space mission operations.

Others have asked why I spent so much time on the story of Michael Minovitch. Exactly what he did and did not do, who said what and when, what happened to his computer program, and exactly how Voyager originated, is discussed and debated to this very day - up and down the JPL hallways, in other books, as well as on-line. The story in Ambassadors about the Voyager quiz bowl says it all. Not even old-time JPL'ers knew what really happened!

The deeper I dug the more I realized that nobody, I mean NOBODY had the story correct. I felt a responsibility to history. So I wished to take the opportunity to lay it out once and for all. And this is why the Minovitch section survived intact.

Fezman92
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posted 02-27-2011 11:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just ordered mine (along with a few other books thanks to a Barnes and Noble gift card). Can't wait to read it. I read this entire story and it has inspired me to try to start a book (not on space exploration - way too many topics and I would never get it done - but on my grandfather's town that he grew up in before the Holocaust).

Jay Gallentine
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posted 03-02-2011 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks for your interest and I trust you will not be disappointed! And great news to hear that you are starting on a work of your own!

Henry Heatherbank
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posted 03-05-2012 07:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finished reading "Ambassadors from Earth" last night. What a remarkable book. This just got better and better as it went along. It was one of those books where it gave sufficient information about each of the programs it discusses, but left you wanting much more. (I say that as a positive thing).

I know there have been equivocal comments on Amazon.com about some of the writing style, but I loved it. The almost colloquial way of explaining some concepts was very refreshing.

Highlights for me were the detail in the later chapters covering the Yoyager missions, which became more nostalgic toward the Uranus and Neptune encounters (which were beyond the original mission budget, even though the mission planners hoped they would reach those destinations, which they did), and the absolutely fascinating decades-long "feud" over the true invention of gravity-assist outer planetary trajectories, between Mike Minovitch, Gary Flandro and others associated with JPL in the early days. I have never heard this stuff before, but it was an absolutely fascinating read.

Just momentarily, this book succeeded in convincing me that unmanned probes can be more exciting than the manned space program.

Jay, well done. This book is a cracker. I just need to find the time now to go back and read it a second time.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 03-06-2012 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Henry, thanks so much for taking the time to read Ambassadors and post your comments. I can't express how much it means. Your posting came at a good time - I'd just arrived home after four hours 'in the field' working on the sequel!

If you have any questions about the material, just let me know.

MCroft04
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posted 03-06-2012 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, looking forward to meeting you at Spacefest and getting you to sign my copy of Ambassadors. I liked your writing style! And I hope you like to visit the bar.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 03-07-2012 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking forward to meeting you as well!

The bar? My room IS the bar.

ColinBurgess
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posted 03-07-2012 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay is always one for raising the bar...

MCroft04
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posted 03-07-2012 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds like a party. I arrive Wednesday afternoon so will be looking for you that night, plus any other cS'ers who care to have a fun time. I'll also have a Canadian with me, and you can't better than that! Then there is Thursday night, Friday night....

Jay Gallentine
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posted 03-08-2012 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a little 'memory book' of stuff from Ambassadors I will bring along. It's got early draft materials, photographs, and some colorful feedback from interview subjects.

jiffyq58
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posted 05-14-2012 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jiffyq58   Click Here to Email jiffyq58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, I recently finished Ambassadors from Earth, and really enjoyed it. I look forward to meeting you at Spacefest soon and hearing about the new book.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 05-14-2012 10:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks very much for posting! I'm so glad to hear you liked the book and I look forward to meeting you as well. The second one is coming together and I'll be happy to report on its progress.

A story that is only slightly funny: my wife came home the other day and looked at the stack of new library books on the counter. From it she unearthed a copy of Ambassadors and asked, "You checked out your own book??"

I tried to explain that I had been wondering if our library had received the Emme stickers, and if they'd actually been applied to the covers. I said I was somewhat surprised that the stickers were put on over top of the clear dust covers, but pleased that they made it on at all.

But yes, I had to confess to her that I did indeed check my own book out of the library. What I didn't say is that during a quiet moment when nobody was around I sat with it outside on the deck and started reading through a random section. Instantly the research for that part all sprung back: interviews, poring through PDFs, clarifying details.

dss65
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posted 05-14-2012 10:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, it must be wonderful to be able to bask a little bit in the glory of your accomplishment. Don't be shy about it. You've earned it.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 05-14-2012 11:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don, much appreciated. It's still a bit surreal. Anne tells me to get over it!

I wrote major sections of Ambassadors while sitting at my son's gymnastics practices. The other parents spent about ten months wondering what in the world that guy was doing over there coming in with book bags full of binders and other materials and spreading them all out in front of a laptop.

Then about ten months later we were all volunteering at a meet and someone finally asked, "We're all kind of curious just what you're doing with all those materials day after day!" That was kind of funny because I'd been rather unaware of the mystery that a lot of those folks went home with. I was 'The guy who's working on something all the time.' A few people thought I was a teacher prepping never-ending lesson plans.

Well, my son left gymnastics and joined the circus. No, really. So now I sit at circus practices for hours on end and when the first quizzical looks started coming, I tried to explain what I was up to right away. This has resulted in some interesting behavior. A few people have been conspicuously trying to use big words when talking with me. MANY have asked for advice on how to phrase a certain part of some e-mail, or how to say something delicate to a friend or co-worker: "What would you say to a cubicle neighbor who kind of smells?". The circus group also asked me to write a script for a show, which I had to politely decline until 2014.

Philip
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posted 05-15-2012 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Superb Jay, any chance the second book will make it under our Christmas trees 2012?

Jay Gallentine
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posted 05-15-2012 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Philip - sorry, no. Still conducting interviews. I will post an update in that book's thread.

Jay Gallentine
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posted 04-15-2013 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On January 10th of this year, I was served with papers indicating that Michael Minovitch had filed suit against me in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. His Causes of Action were the following:

- Libel
- Slander of Title
- Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
- Misappropriation of Right of Publicity
- Unfair Competition
- Declaratory Relief

Dr. Minovitch demanded a jury trial on the above-named charges. He sought to halt publication of Ambassadors from Earth and, in his words, "Disgorge me of my ill-gotten gains." He wanted a large settlement, along with a determination by the court of who actually 'invented' gravity assist.

In addition to myself, he also sued Caltech (in their entirety), along with 'John Does No. 1-20' whom, he alleged, were un-named co-conspirators, along with myself, in a plot to deny him 'official credit' for the invention of gravity-assist propulsion. I had thirty days to respond or he could petition the court for a default judgement against us.

A couple days before the deadline, both Caltech and myself did submit responses and request hearings.

On February 26th, Dr. Minovitch voluntarily dismissed the case. I am now back to writing.

This has made for an interesting start to the year!

canyon42
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posted 04-15-2013 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on your book, and on his own website, and on this latest action, this is pretty clearly an individual with some issues. Among them is a complete misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "invention." The idea that a person can "invent" something that occurs as a consequence of natural forces is ludicrous. Investigate and explore the possibilities, or discover new ways of exploiting the consequences? Certainly. Invent? Not hardly.

Philip
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posted 04-16-2013 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All's well that ends well.

Looking forward to the second book!


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