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  Bold They Rise: Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972-1986 (David Hitt, Heather R Smith) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Bold They Rise: Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972-1986 (David Hitt, Heather R Smith)
ColinBurgess
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posted 09-19-2008 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As well as the volume on the Apollo program, "Footprints in the Dust," I'm proud to announce that yet another book in the Outward Odyssey series has also been approved for publication by the University of Nebraka Press's editorial board. This book, with the working title of "Bold They Rise," will relate the human story of the space shuttle and the people who designed, built and flew the winged spacecraft, along with many others who participated in this programme.

The book, to be written by David Hitt (whose series book "Homesteading Space" with Owen Garriott and Joe Kerwin is close to release) will tell the social history of the shuttle up to and including the loss of Challenger and her crew in January 1986. A second book, yet to be formally approved and announced, will be written by another author well known to collectSPACE regulars, and this will carry the story right through to the completion of the final space shuttle mission.

I know that David will do an exemplary job on this book, just as he proved with the Skylab volume. This now means that with the approval of this book and "Footprints in the Dust," nine out of the proposed twelve books in this series are under contract and are currently in various stages of research and completion. I hope to be able to name another book and author in the next few weeks.

cspg
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posted 09-19-2008 11:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is excellent news!

I'm a bit puzzled at the title "Bold They Rise" and its relationship with the space shuttle. Any particular reason why this (working!) title has been chosen? (I'm also thinking in terms of online bookstore searches for ex).

ColinBurgess
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posted 09-20-2008 02:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The title (as with a couple of other volumes in the series) comes from a poem and reflects the social or human aspect of the series. The subtitle is yet to be decided, but it will definitely contain the words "Space Shuttle" to identify its contents out there in the market.

DavidH
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posted 09-04-2013 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So yesterday I got a FedEx package with the final edits to the manuscript, and an e-mail with the proposed cover art (with which I was quite well-pleased). We're finally entering the endgame towards publication next year.

------------------
Homesteading Space | davidhitt.net

DavidH
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posted 10-24-2013 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UNP has updated the official page for Bold They Rise, including the official reveal of the cover art, which I must say I like very much.

GoesTo11
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posted 10-24-2013 01:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very much looking forward to it, David. Thanks for the update!

cspg
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posted 10-24-2013 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I had to keep one picture of the shuttle it would be the one on the cover your book.

ColinBurgess
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posted 10-24-2013 10:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although I've obviously had a lot to do with this book and its authors over the past few years, this was the first time I'd seen the cover artwork, and it is outstanding. Very appropriate to have an STS-1 photo on the cover with the foreword written by Bob Crippen. A truly great addition to the Outward Odyssey series, and I look forward to its coming release. Well done, David and Heather.

cspg
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posted 10-28-2013 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972-1986
by David Hitt and Heather R. Smith
Foreword by Robert Crippen
After the Apollo program put twelve men on the moon and safely brought them home, anything seemed possible. In this spirit, the team at NASA set about developing the Space Shuttle, arguably the most complex piece of machinery ever created. The world's first reusable spacecraft, it launched like a rocket, landed like a glider, and carried out complicated missions in between.

Bold They Rise tells the story of the Space Shuttle through the personal experiences of the astronauts, engineers, and scientists who made it happen—in space and on the ground, from the days of research and design through the heroic accomplishments of the program to the tragic last minutes of the Challenger disaster. In the participants' own voices, we learn what so few are privy to: what it was like to create a new form of spacecraft, to risk one's life testing that craft, to float freely in the vacuum of space as a one-man satellite, to witness a friend's death. A "guided tour" of the Shuttle — in historical, scientific, and personal terms — this book provides a fascinating, richly informed, and deeply personal view of a feat without parallel in the human story.

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (June 1, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0803226489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803226487

DavidH
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posted 10-28-2013 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Colin. You, as always, are the wind beneath our wings.

And thanks for the Amazon link. I had been keeping an eye out for it, but hadn't seen that it was up yet. (I'm amused by the results you get by searching Amazon for bold they rise.)

------------------
Homesteading Space | davidhitt.net

cspg
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posted 10-29-2013 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there a reason for this book to come out after "Wheels Stop"?

DavidH
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posted 10-29-2013 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes. Rick wrote faster.

DavidH
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posted 01-22-2014 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, how long ago did we first start posting about this book? The end is finally truly in sight. We received a package yesterday containing the page proofs from UNP, and we're doing one last review before shipping it back, with a deadline in two weeks. From there, UNP makes the changes, sets the pages, and starts printing. We're within four months of it going out.

Looking at the page proofs -- well, it looks like an Outward Odyssey book, of course, but I'm very pleased with what they've done with it. When I saw the title page, I ran and grabbed my copy of Homesteading to make sure it wasn't just my imagination that the BTR title page was that much better. (Answer: No, it wasn't my imagination.) I'm very pleased with the work they've done.

Also, while we're all waiting, may I cordially invite you to consider Liking our Facebook page.

------------------
Homesteading Space | Bold They Rise | davidhitt.net

DavidH
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posted 01-28-2014 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Without question, the last chapter of Bold They Rise was the hardest to work on.

Not because it required more effort or research or anything like that, but because every word hurt.

Our publisher defined the scope of the book from the outset -- the beginning of the program through the Challenger accident. Before we wrote the first words, we knew how the story had to end.

Writing the rest of the book, there was a lot of jumping around. Large portions of later chapters were written before earlier chapters. We just sort of put down the pieces where they fit.

Except the last chapter. Except the Challenger chapter. The end, we saved until last.

Which was pure procrastination. We knew we would have to write it, we just weren't in any hurry to do so.

Challenger had always been a personal thing for me (David). I was in middle school when it happened, and I can only imagine that it was for me what the Kennedy assassination was for a previous generation. I was a school kid, far from involved in it, but it hurt. It was a loss.

I've written about it every year since. For school writing assignments, newspapers columns, blog posts, I've paused today to put thoughts into words, to remember, to ponder the event, its meaning, the years since. I've gone from being a middle school student to being part of the team creating NASA's next launch vehicle. Challenger has gone from a national tragedy to a mandate. I'm not an engineer; I'm not designing the vehicle. But I try, every day, to hold myself to the standard I would want from those who do -- "Do good work."

The crew of Challenger's 51-L mission were names in the news to me, far removed from my life. Eleven years ago, working for NASA, I'd not met any of Columbia's final crew. But over the years, I begin to meet the men and women who were risking their lives. After Columbia, there were few flights for which I'd not seen in person members of the crews. It was no longer names in the news. It was people.

During those years, I've also had gotten to know people who were in the astronaut corps at the time we lost Challenger. I'd never talked to them about the accident; I'd never had any desire to do so. There were better things to talk about.

Working on this book, however, I did.

Joe Kerwin, one of my co-authors on Homesteading Space, was the medical examiner after the tragedy. For Joe, these were not names in the news. They were his colleagues. They were his friends. And he and his team had to identify what was left of them, and to try to determine what exactly had happened to them in their final moments of life.

We recorded the story. I cannot imagine the experience.

Capturing those stories, recording those moments 28 years ago and the months that followed, is something I'm honored to have done. But not something I care to repeat.

We first submitted the manuscript for the book three years ago today, picking this date as a small tribute.

Today, we're reading through the manuscript one last time, with a looming deadline to send it back in for publication.

Heather has that chapter in her pile today. I'll read it again soon. But not today. Not today.

Henry Heatherbank
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posted 01-30-2014 03:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said, David.

I very much look forward to reading your book, now with a poignant focus on that last chapter.

garymilgrom
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posted 01-30-2014 06:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like another winner in this series. Pre-order placed today.

DavidH
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posted 01-30-2014 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks so much! We're excited to have the release date drawing closer.

BMacKinnon
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posted 02-20-2014 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMacKinnon   Click Here to Email BMacKinnon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bummer, I just received an email from Amazon:
RE: Order placed - Hitt, David "Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972-1986 (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of S)"
Release date: June 01, 2014
I was hoping to have it a month earlier in time for Spacefest!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2014 07:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The last I heard was that the book will be out in time for Spacefest, so worst case scenario, you buy a copy at the show and then have enough time to cancel your Amazon order (if it doesn't ship earlier).

BMacKinnon
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posted 02-20-2014 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMacKinnon   Click Here to Email BMacKinnon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope it is out in time, otherwise I will follow your plan Robert!

ColinBurgess
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posted 02-20-2014 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The University of Nebraska Press will have a booth at Spacefest VI where attendees can purchase the Outward Odyssey series books for signing by the many series authors in attendance. I have been assured by UNP that the book "Bold They Rise" WILL be available at the show and it is now undergoing the production process. Barring any unforeseen commitments, the book's authors David Hitt and Heather Smith will be at Spacefest in May to sign this new series book.

Grounded!
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posted 04-17-2014 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Grounded!   Click Here to Email Grounded!     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought a copy of "Bold They Rise" at the Barnes & Noble in Albany, NY today. For those (like me) who don't have the patience to wait out the Amazon release date, your local store may have it.

The downside is the higher sticker price (around $10 over both Amazon and B&N internet prices.)

Greggy_D
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posted 04-17-2014 07:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Amazon has a June 1 shipping date. Seems rather odd on their part if you can buy the book at a brick and mortar store today.

Grounded!
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posted 04-17-2014 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Grounded!   Click Here to Email Grounded!     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed. Also, on the B&N website, it appears that the book is available now.

Greggy_D
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posted 04-20-2014 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Amazon just e-mailed me with a new ship date: April 23rd.

Edit to add: My copy shipped today.

DavidH
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posted 04-29-2014 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's also available for Kindle purchase now; Amazon delayed Kindle availability until after the first copies had shipped.

It's been exciting seeing it begin to get into people's hands; we hope you enjoy it!

MCroft04
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posted 04-29-2014 07:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm half way through it and enjoying it very much! Great job!

DavidH
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posted 04-30-2014 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks so much! Glad you like it!

DavidH
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posted 05-05-2014 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Emily Carney has posted a great review of "Bold They Rise" on AmericaSpace.

garymilgrom
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posted 05-19-2014 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Book review - hardback edition.

This book is a great companion to Rick Houston's Wheels Stop. Together they cover the Shuttle program from beginning to end. It doesn't matter in which order you read them.

Bold They Rise does a unique job of painting the background and emotions of the times during various eras of the Space Shuttle. It focuses on the shuttle's operations by detailing missions concerned with different aspects of the shuttle's capabilities.

It opens with chapters on the design and construction. These are very well done and I was surprised to learn that the thermal tiles used on the orbiter were related to tiles used on NASA's Saturn 1 booster. I've read a lot about these tiles and was surprised to find something new in this book, which is not based on engineering or the TPS itself.

These chapters are followed by the early test flights and then the early operational flights. The book again does a good job of painting the background stories to developing the shuttle, it's remote arm and other parts as an integrated working machine, and you feel immersed in the nuances of the program as it matures.

The program goes from strength to strength, but towards the end of the book you feel something new and different - risk. At first I did not understand why the writers covered missions that never launched, but after reading about plans for polar orbits or a liquid fueled booster in the payload bay, you get a good sense of the cannot-fail attitude that wrongly filled NASA at that time. They were not paying attention to the risks piling on top of other risks, and we all know that tragedy was just around the corner. The flight of 51-L is covered as well as can be, given that many entire books have been written on all aspects of this accident.

One thing bothered me and I'd like to ask the authors to clarify this. As the risk builds and NASA develops an unhealthy acceptance of this, the authors talk about the satellites flown on STS-51G. They say "The ARABSAT never passed a safety review. "It failed every one of its safety reviews," (MS John) Fabian said."

To me this is not explained clearly. Did the satellite not have a safety review (as the first sentence seems to imply)? Or did it have a review but fail to pass various tests or standards? I could almost understand the first instance given the schedule and political pressure NASA was under at this time (and which is well explained in the book) but I really have problems with the second scenario, where NASA seemingly OK's something that is known to be unsafe. This is a serious accusation and I'd like to know more about it and where it came from, especially given the Challenger accident looming 7 months down the line.

Overall thought - a very enjoyable history of the early shuttle program, which I highly recommend. Thank you.

Henry Heatherbank
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posted 05-20-2014 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gary, excellent review. My copy arrived in Australia today, and it is next on my list once I get through Wheels Stop.

DavidH
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posted 05-20-2014 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gary, thanks so much for the review. To your question, honestly, all I've got on that was Fabian's information, which was that it was the latter scenario. I'm trying to see if I can find more, but it certainly wouldn't be the only time a forgiving approach to safety was taken.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-22-2014 06:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronauts To Speak at Launch of Newly Released Space Shuttle Book

Astronauts Robert "Hoot" Gibson and Rhea Seddon will talk Saturday, May 31, 2014, at 2 p.m., about the early Space Shuttle program, in honor of the newly released book, "Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Program Early Years, 1972-1986" by David Hitt and Heather R. Smith.

"Bold They Rise" tells the story of the Space Shuttle through the personal experiences of the astronauts, engineers, and scientists who made it happen — in space and on the ground, from the days of research and design through the heroic accomplishments of the program to the tragic last minutes of the Challenger disaster.

"Although the shuttle program has now run its course, this wonderful book brings back the awe, the inspiration, the promise, and the sadness associated with the early history of those magnificent vehicles and the teams of ground and flight crews that flew them," said seven-time astronaut Jerry L. Ross.

The astronauts will talk about their experiences in the development phase of the space shuttle program and their missions, and also what it as like to be part of the first class of astronauts to include women.

In 18 years as an astronaut Gibson flew five spaceflights, four of them as Commander, aboard space shuttles Challenger, Columbia, Atlantis and Endeavour. His final spaceflight was the first mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir in 1995.

Gibson and Seddon are married. Both were selected as part of the 1978 class of astronauts; Seddon was one of the first six female astronauts selected by NASA. She flew as a mission specialist and as a payload commander on three missions between 1985 and 1993, performing the first echocardiography in space in 1985.

"Bold They Rise" is authored by Huntsville natives David Hitt and Heather R. Smith, with a foreword by the first Space Shuttle Commander, Robert Crippen.

The book is published by the University of Nebraska Press as part of Outward Odyssey: A People's History of Spaceflight Series.

Together with Skylab astronauts Owen Garriott and Joe Kerwin, in 2008 Hitt authored "Homesteading Space" about the Skylab program. Hitt currently supports NASA's Space Launch System Program as a member of the strategic communications team. He first began working at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 2002.

A former journalist, Smith's career has included writing for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, the U.S. Army's Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

fredtrav
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posted 05-30-2014 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any cS'ers going to be at the Space & Rocket Center tomorrow for the talk? I am trying to get out of a commitment and make it tomorrow.

fredtrav
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posted 05-31-2014 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a very nice event. Both Hoot and Rhea were interesting speakers and were very down to earth and generous with their time. I look forward to reading the book. It was also nice to meet Heather Smith and David Hitt. I did forget to ask David what his next project was going to be.

Scott Phillips was there and there should be another book signing coming up soon... hint.

While I was walking around the center I stumbled on the Space Camp Hall of Fame and in there was a display of little Bobby Pearlman, age 12.

ColinBurgess
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posted 06-01-2014 06:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did anyone take any photos of the event they could post here?

DavidH
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posted 06-02-2014 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fredtrav:
I did forget to ask David what his next project was going to be.
Thanks so much for coming! Hope you enjoy the book!

For the moment, I've been more involved in helping out with other people's work, like Scott Phillips' amazing memoir, than on my own. There is an idea, but it's very different from the last two.

Colin, pictures exist. I'll try and get them up here soon.

calluna79
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posted 06-03-2014 04:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for calluna79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

onesmallstep
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posted 06-03-2014 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking forward to Hoot's and Dr. Seddon's book, if they go ahead with writing and publishing it. I guess this was a 'preview' of their future book tour.

DavidH
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posted 06-06-2014 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Doing the pictures one better, if anyone is interested in watching the event, including Hoot and Rhea's joint talk, Vincent Vazzo has posted the full thing online!


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