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  Liberty Bell 7: The Suborbital Mercury Flight of Virgil I. Grissom (Colin Burgess) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Liberty Bell 7: The Suborbital Mercury Flight of Virgil I. Grissom (Colin Burgess)
ColinBurgess
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posted 11-08-2013 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm pleased to announce that I have now completed work on this new book, the follow-up to my recently-released effort on the flight of Freedom 7/Alan Shepard, and the manuscript has now gone off for copyediting. It should be released sometime around April next year.

hermit
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posted 11-08-2013 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The editor developed a headache within an hour!

ColinBurgess
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posted 11-10-2013 02:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hasten to point out that this was due to technical and ISP problems - not with the quality or otherwise of my manuscript.

cspg
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posted 12-06-2013 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Liberty Bell 7: The Suborbital Mercury Flight of Virgil I. Grissom
by Colin Burgess
This volume in the Pioneers in Early Spaceflight mini-series continues and concludes the flight history of the pioneering Mercury-Redstone program and relates the full story of the flight of the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft and NASA astronaut Capt. Virgil ("Gus") Grissom in July 1961.

Only the second manned flight in NASA history, on the heels of the flight of Alan Shepard aboard the Freedom 7 spacecraft two months earlier, this is a rich and previously neglected piece of space exploration history. Burgess draws on first-person interviews with a vast number of people associated with every phase of the flight of Liberty Bell 7 to fully explore the lead-up to this second and final suborbital manned space mission.

Particular scrutiny is given to the near-loss of the astronaut Grissom after his hatch blew prematurely, with observations on this almost fatal incident provided by those who can provide their thoughts about how this came to pass, including Marine helicopter pilot Jim Lewis, who tried to rescue the now-unoccupied spacecraft from the Atlantic but eventually had to release it into the water.

The final chapter in this amazing story is the retrieval 38 years later of the sunken spacecraft by an indomitable team of adventurers who managed to locate the craft on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Here at last is a book which focuses on the legacy of Liberty Bell 7 at the time before the mounting pressure of Soviet space achievements shifted NASA's priorities to orbital missions.

  • 2015, 250 p. 126 illus.
  • Springer, Softcover
  • ISBN 978-3-319-04391-3

Lasv3
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posted 12-06-2013 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the release date really 2015?

cspg
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posted 12-06-2013 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't understand the Springer system. There's a difference between "publication date" and "copyright date", when you make a search on their website. The 2015 presumably refers to the copyright date.

Colin wrote that it would be released in the Spring if I recall. And also, Colin's Freedom 7 book was published this year but has a copyright date of 2014.

(Thanks for the confusion — same thing for Robotic Exploration of the Solar System, Part 4, which also has a copyright year of 2015 but the authors indicated here that it was due early 2014. Springer's website indicates January 2015 as a release date.)

Despite all the confusion, Springer indicates that the softcover version of Liberty Bell will be available on October 30, 2014, in Europe. November 27 in the USA. I'm sure Amazon will come up with another different date.

Lasv3
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posted 12-06-2013 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your efforts to explain how a rather simple thing can turn into an unbelievably complicated matter.

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-06-2013 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure if they based any of those dates on the contracted manuscript submission date. For instance I had contracted for "Freedom 7" to be submitted in September 2013. I actually submitted it for copyediting in May 2013 and it came out in September 2013, despite a projected late 2014 release. Similarly, my contract called for submission of the "Liberty Bell 7" manuscript in May 2014 and it has already been submitted and has gone through the copyediting stage. If the same production timetable holds true, I would expect copies to be available for purchase around March/April 2014.

hermit
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posted 12-06-2013 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my experience of editing Springer-Praxis, any title that will be released in the final quarter of a year is given a publication date of the following year.

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-06-2013 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The other related news is that I approached Springer-Praxis to ascertain their interest in continuing this series through the four orbital Mercury missions, but even though the Praxis arm of the publishing venture was all for it, Springers eventually decided to end the series with the two historic and landmark suborbital missions, as they felt books on the four orbital flights would not have strong enough sales. Perhaps they are right, so I'll have to look elsewhere for future book projects.

Ronpur
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posted 12-06-2013 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope you can find someone to publish the orbital missions. I would be very disappointed if they didn't happen. But, I am very much looking forward to this book.

lordolsen
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posted 12-07-2013 01:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lordolsen   Click Here to Email lordolsen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Collin, why not try to publish it your self? A print-on-demand?

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-08-2013 08:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While self-publishing is a commendable thought, there's too much going against it, apart from the fact that I'm already flat to the boards on different book and editing projects. The thing is that further books in the series would be very expensive to produce and there is hardly any interest in space books here in Australia. Coupled with that, the cost of mailing anything overseas is quite prohibitive.

I believe Springer will be having a stall at Spacefest VI so I'll get into their ears on the subject.

jjknap
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posted 12-08-2013 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jjknap   Click Here to Email jjknap     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about Apogee? I have purchased pretty much every space book they have produced.

cspg
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posted 12-13-2013 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
I'm sure Amazon will come up with another different date.
Amazon.co.uk gives October 30, 2014 as a release date.

cspg
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posted 01-10-2014 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good news, the release date on Springer's website is now April (beginning or end depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on!).

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-21-2014 07:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Springer confirmed to me today that the scheduled release date of this book will be April. I still have to check the page proofs for any typos and such, but once this is completed and returned the printing process happens very quickly.

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-28-2014 05:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cover can now be seen on Amazon.com (reprinted below), and a release date of 2 April is given.

jjknap
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posted 01-28-2014 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jjknap   Click Here to Email jjknap     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fantastic cover!

Ronpur
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posted 01-28-2014 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great! Would you recommend getting direct from Springer? Or has the dark photo problem with Amazon been fixed?

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-28-2014 11:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can only say that Springer expressed their dissatisfaction to Amazon over recent POD versions of their books, and I believe one recent Springer book that came from Amazon was quite okay. So hopefully the issue has now been resolved.

ColinBurgess
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posted 03-10-2014 08:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm delighted to say that I have received confirmation from Springer that the Liberty Bell 7 book has now been published, so it will be available for purchase momentarily. And of course in time for Spacefest VI.

I will also be giving a talk and signing at the Kansas Cosmosphere on 1-2 May for a very special (and so far secret) event involving the spacecraft, and I will post final details here once they have been settled with the organisers over there.

MCroft04
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posted 03-10-2014 08:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another must read. If you have not seen Liberty Bell 7 (restored), then you need to see it. And I can't think of another time to see it than when Colin is there. Wish I could make it.

moorouge
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posted 03-24-2014 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have just ordered my copy from Amazon with a projected delivery date of 8th May.

But here's a funny thing. If you have a Kindle you can download a huge lump of the book as a free sample now and get the whole book early April for about 150% of the price quoted by Amazon for the hard, paperback copy.

PeterO
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posted 03-24-2014 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting! Today on Amazon USA, the Kindle version is slightly less expensive than the print version, and is scheduled for release on March 27, versus April 30 for the print edition. This is the first time I can recall a Kindle version being released prior to the print edition. In my experience though, Kindle books can never be sampled before they are released, but they can be pre-ordered like print books.

hermit
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posted 03-31-2014 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received "Liberty Bell 7" from Springer and on first inspection it looks pretty good.

Ronpur
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posted 04-30-2014 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UPS just dropped my copy off at my front door, just two days after I ordered it from Springer! A quick thumb through shows the pictures aren't dark like the first volume from Amazon. I am very excited to get this book!

moorouge
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posted 05-01-2014 05:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to note that my copy arrived from Amazon in the UK this morning. Great!!

jjknap
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posted 05-01-2014 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jjknap   Click Here to Email jjknap     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got mine today from Amazon!

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-01-2014 06:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good to hear that the books are arriving safely and that so far the interior images are not as poorly printed as in some earlier Springer books. But I'd certainly appreciate any comments on the actual contents of the book itself.

Ronpur
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posted 05-02-2014 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, so far, Colin, I have made it through Chapter 2. And as with the first book, I love the personal stories about Gus. Like taking the scuba trainer up in his T-33 to show him his "pool'. I can't wait to read more. Too bad I have to work this weekend, lol.

Ronpur
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posted 05-07-2014 06:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finished up the book last night! I am so sad it is over! I have read so many books about space flight technical stuff, but these two books have made me really feel like I get to know the people involved. And since every time I open the Space Explorers and Workers thread, there is another obit, I feel this is so important. I can feel myself next to them as they fly the recovery helicopters or on the deck of the recovery ship, sitting in Mercury control, etc. I felt like I just met Gus and got to know him a little, and that really makes me happy. We need more books like this! Thanks, Colin!

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-07-2014 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you too Ron for those very kind words about the two Mercury suborbital flight books and the pioneering work of Al Shepard and Gus Grissom. I was amazed at being able to contact several people who were closely involved in both flights and getting their stories, many of which I'd never heard before.

By the way, if anyone has ever doubted Gus Grissom's bravery and commitment, I urge you to read the comments made by those interviewed for "Liberty Bell 7" and you will change your mind. This was not a panicky astronaut; this was a remarkably brave and fearless man, and I salute him.

Ronpur
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posted 05-07-2014 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ColinBurgess:
This was not a panicky astronaut; this was a remarkably brave and fearless man, and I salute him.
Exactly. The helicopter pilot's descriptions of him swimming to the capsule after he bailed out to help attach the recovery cable just blew me away! That takes a lot of courage! It makes me dislike "The Right Stuff" movie even more than I did.

PeterO
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posted 05-09-2014 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For anyone interested in the electronic edition, I've discovered that Springer's price is much lower than Amazon's Kindle price: $19.99 versus $27.99. The Springer ebook is available in PDF and ePub formats. ePub works with iBooks on Apple devices.

moorouge
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posted 05-10-2014 05:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ColinBurgess:
This was not a panicky astronaut; this was a remarkably brave and fearless man, and I salute him.

All the more reason to continue the series with the flight of Aurora 7. There are many misconceptions about Carpenter that need correcting too.

Rick Boos
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posted 05-11-2014 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Colin, glad people are finally reading your nook on Liberty Bell 7 and learning the "true" story of a very brave man that was character assassinated by the "Right Stuff" book and movie! Sadly many people believed that piece of literary trash. Hope to get a copy of your book soon.

GoesTo11
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posted 05-11-2014 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Boos:
...the "true" story of a very brave man that was character assassinated by the "Right Stuff" book and movie! Sadly many people believed that piece of literary trash.

Not trying to divert this thread from Colin's book (which I haven't picked up yet, but intend to), but I have to respectfully disagree on The Right Stuff book, Rick. I thought Grissom and the blown hatch controversy were dealt with fairly by Wolfe, and my impression is that Grissom's contemporaries and colleagues generally agree.

The movie, of course, is a different discussion entirely. It's a virtuoso technical triumph that still holds up well today as a cinematic experience, but as history it's problematic to say the least. It does trouble me that someone who knows nothing of Gus Grissom other than what the film portrayed would come away with an impression of him as an embittered screw-up rather than the man in whom NASA had sufficient faith to entrust with command of the first crewed flights of Gemini and Apollo. I'm still perplexed when confronted with someone who professes to love the movie...but hasn't read the book.

Ronpur
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posted 05-11-2014 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep, have to agree about the book, it has always been that portrayal in the movie that has saddened me. How ironic that I am watching the Apollo 1 episode of From the Earth to the Moon right now.

And Colin, you didn't mention the USS Grissom from Star Trek III:The Search for Spock in the tributes!!

Maybe when the film rights to Colin's book are sold, we will get an accurate film version!

Lasv3
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posted 05-25-2014 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished reading this excellent book and I am surprised that after so many years there are still things I did not hear or read about, like for instance the MA-3 launch incident involving astronauts Grissom and Cooper...

What a pity that Springer is not interested in finishing this Mercury missions series. It would certainly deserve to be completed.


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