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  Orbit of Discovery: The All-Ohio Space Shuttle Mission (Don Thomas)

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Author Topic:   Orbit of Discovery: The All-Ohio Space Shuttle Mission (Don Thomas)

Posts: 5139
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 02-12-2013 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Orbit of Discovery: The All-Ohio Space Shuttle Mission
by Don Thomas
Astronaut Don Thomas grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. As a kindergartner, he watched Alan Shepard become the first American in space. He witnessed the historic careers of fellow Ohioans, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, rocket to the moon. Thomas wanted to do what they had done.

In the Footsteps of Neil Armstrong and John Glenn is the story of the dedication and hard work that eventually made Thomas an astronaut who logged more than one thousand hours in space. Even more, the book is a firsthand account of the all-Ohio shuttle mission highlighting the state's contributions to NASA space program.

Written in an engaging manner, the book is a must for those who want to feel what it was like have a dream and make it a reality.

Donald A. Thomas is the director of the Willard Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science at Towson University. A veteran astronaut, he joined NASA in 1988 as a materials engineer for the Space Shuttle Program. In 1990 he was selected to be a mission specialist astronaut in NASA's thirteenth group of astronauts.

He is a veteran of four space shuttle missions and has logged over one thousand hours in space. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Case Western Reserve University, and his master's and doctoral degrees in materials science from the School of Engineering at Cornell University.

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Akron Press (October 1, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1937378721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937378721

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 33525
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-11-2013 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don Thomas' book has been retitled, "Orbit of Discovery: The All-Ohio Space Shuttle Mission."
The desire to beat gravity is a Buckeye tradition. After all, Orville and Wilbur Wright were Dayton, Ohio, boys who went to Kitty Hawk in 1903 to get things off the ground. When space became the next frontier, John Glenn, who was born in Cambridge, Ohio, on July 18, 1921, became the first American to orbit the earth in his Friendship 7 spacecraft. A Wapakoneta, Ohio, resident, Neil Armstrong, born in 1930, followed in the footsteps of Glenn by being the first human to step onto the moon’s surface during the summer of 1969.

Don Thomas, a Cleveland native, saw other Ohioans in space and set his sights on becoming an astronaut. After years of hard work and dedication, he became part of the 1995 All-Ohio space shuttle Discovery mission. Orbit of Discovery provides a first-hand account of this mission. Written by Thomas with the assistance of journalist, Mike Bartell, the book is a lively and entertaining must read for individuals who want to experience a ride into space.

Orbit of Discovery is augmented with a foreword by astronaut and Senator John Glenn and an introduction by Senator George Voinovich.


Posts: 2432
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 11-19-2013 04:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Four time shuttle flyer Don Thomas is about to be publishing a book on his space experience: "Orbit of Discovery".
Don's book, Orbit of Discovery, will be published by the University of Akron Press and will be available in December 2013. The book chronicles Don's second flight which was aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission was noteworthy for being declared "The All-Ohio Space Shuttle Mission" and is also remembered as "The Woodpecker Flight".


Posts: 678
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 12-01-2013 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The book is scheduled to be released on December 17th according to Barnes & Nobles.


Posts: 402
From: Apalachin, NY USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 12-04-2013 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy from University Of Akron Press shipped today.

Hart Sastrowardoyo

Posts: 2847
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 12-04-2013 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The funny thing is, Kevin Kregel, who piloted STS-70, is actually from Lawn Guyland (Long Island), NY....

According to a newspaper article:

"I went to school in Colorado, so I had to drive through Ohio back and forth. I guess that's my connection to Ohio, but it is an honor to be a member of the Ohio family."


Posts: 653
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: May 2007

posted 12-05-2013 06:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wrote about Kevin Kregel's non-Ohio origins in my first book. Then Ohio Govenor George Voinovich declared Mr. Kregel an honorary Ohioan prior to STS-70 and was at Kennedy Space Center for Discovery's launch.

Ken Havekotte

Posts: 2163
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 12-21-2013 02:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just got my copy of Don Thomas' new book "Orbit of Discovery" two days ago and I just started reading it; Wow!

It was personally delivered by Don himself as a gift to my wife and I at our home here on the Florida Space Coast! He told us during his visit and dinner together that it was one of only three books signed by him, inscribed to us both, while in the state of Florida, thus far.

There is a forward by astronaut pioneer and former U.S. Senator from Ohio, John Glenn, along with a nice tribute to Neil Armstrong.

Thomas had invited the first lunar explorer, another Ohioan astronaut, to attend his third shuttle launch in April 1997.

The "First Man," along with his wife Carol, had accepted and were able to visit with Don and his wife, Simone, the day before the launch.

From the book, "Neil and Carol couldn't have been nicer. When it was time for them (the Armstrongs) to leave (from crew quarters at Kennedy Space Center), Neil wished me a great flight. I asked him how long are you going to be in Florida? He looked me straight in the eye and, with a slight grin, replied, "How long are YOU going to be in Florida?" I was so flattered that he was planning to stay as long as it took to get us (the STS-83 crew) off the ground."

Great reading thus far and I can't wait to read it all.


Posts: 1803
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 01-20-2014 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just finished reading this book and it is without doubt one of the best and highly-readable astronaut biographies out there. I certainly give it full marks. Don Thomas guides us through the youthful inspiration created by Alan Shepard's Mercury suborbital flight that set him on the long path to achieving his ambition of one day becoming an astronaut, through to his selection and training and his first flight on STS-65. However this book is principally about his second mission, STS-70, the mission that became infamously known in NASA history as the Woodpecker flight, when an overly-ambitious would-be Woody Woodpecker tried to make a home in the shuttle's foam-covered fuel tank, creating a lengthy delay.

The beauty of this book is that Thomas takes us through virtually every aspect of being an astronaut and flying on the shuttle, with wonderfully descriptive narratives on day-to-day living aboard a space shuttle - even including such little known facts as the selection of their daily wake-up music. I particularly loved the story of their pre-launch T-38 flight from Houston to KSC, during which they diverted to Orlando Airport due to torrential rain, and had to hire a van and drive down to the Cape to complete their delayed journey, even having to pay road tolls along the way. Talk about "Trains, Planes and Automobiles"!

I truly enjoyed every part of this very human story and would recommend "Orbit of Discovery" to anyone interested in knowing about life aboard one of America's iconic space shuttles.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 33525
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-21-2014 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Newsradio WTAM1100 Cleveland:
Listen to astronaut Don Thomas talk about his new book "Orbit of Discovery: The All Ohio Space Shuttle Mission" and his visit to the Great Lake Science Center.


Posts: 181
From: Waterford, MI. USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 02-21-2014 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMacKinnon   Click Here to Email BMacKinnon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After purchasing a copy of "Orbit of Discovery" directly through Don on his website, I read the entire book in less than a week. I found it thoroughly engaging and well written to the point that I almost felt as I was on STS-70 with him and his crewmates. Everything from the Woodpecker incident to what he did on board when he was first to wake up early was quite fascinating.

I highly recommend his book to all to read.


Posts: 2343
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 02-05-2015 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One Giant Leap is helping to bring Don Thomas to the New England Air Museum in March so I hope everyone will come out and pick up his book.


Posts: 678
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 11-28-2015 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finished reading Don's book and it was a great book to read. Very informative!

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