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Author Topic:   Bringing Columbia Home (Leinbach, Ward)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39871
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-30-2016 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bringing Columbia Home: The Final Mission of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew
by Michael D. Leinbach and Jonathan H. Ward
A powerful look at a shared national disaster and its legacy.

Mike Leinbach was the launch director of the space shuttle program when Columbia disintegrated on reentry before a nation’s eyes on February 1, 2003. And it would be Mike Leinbach who would be a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history.

For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Bringing Columbia Home shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible.

Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, this is an incredible narrative about best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.

  • Hardcover, 352 pages
  • Skyhorse Publishing (January 2, 2018)
  • ISBN 978-1-5107-2265-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-1628728514

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39871
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-30-2016 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The book also has its own website, Bringing Columbia Home, where Mike Leinbach and Jonathan Ward are sharing stories about the lost space shuttle and its crew. From Jonathan on Facebook:
Mike and I are going to tell the story of Columbia's recovery and reconstruction in "real time" next year, leading up to the publication of the book at the end of the year.

David C
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Posts: 821
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 12-30-2016 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks very interesting.

lspooz
Member

Posts: 353
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 12-30-2016 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm very excited about this book although it'll be a long year waiting for publication. I briefly met Mike Leinbach at my last visit to KSC this summer, an eloquent and personable man, and regret that my schedule precluded attending his Launch Director Tour.

Jonathan Ward's prior books were well done and the knowledge of this pair should yield some great stories about the recovery.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 669
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 12-30-2016 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a difficult story but it very much needs to be told, and I'm glad to know it will be. Looking forward to reading this.

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1958
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 12-30-2016 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the privilege of reading through the extensive and beautifully-presented proposal for this book earlier this year when it was under serious consideration as a volume in the ongoing Outward Odyssey series. Unfortunately it went to another publisher, but if that submission and the detailed descriptions of how each chapter would unfold were anything to go by, this will be an amazing book recounting the loss of shuttle Columbia and the subsequent search for debris showered across huge tracts of land beneath the path of destruction.

It is a very intense and truly human story as told by someone very close to this tragic event who brings it to life through his words and those of his colleagues from that time, and in collaboration with his talented co-author Jonathan Ward. It will be worth the wait, I can assure you.

SpaceCadet1983
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Posts: 147
From: United States
Registered: May 2012

posted 12-31-2016 12:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceCadet1983   Click Here to Email SpaceCadet1983     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39871
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-14-2017 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Mike Leinbach on the book's website:
I am pleased to report that Jonathan and I submitted the manuscript for "Bringing Columbia Home" to our editor yesterday.

We've been working on this book for nearly two years. In fact, it was two years ago today that we first met, at the funeral of our mutual friend, Norm Carlson...

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1519
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 09-06-2017 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bringing Columbia Home is just about to go into production. We've reviewed the final proofs. Official release date is January 2, 2018, but Mike Leinbach and I hope to have signed copies available from our website available in time for the holidays.

------------------
Jonathan Ward
http://www.bringingcolumbiahome.com

capoetc
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Posts: 2075
From: Plano TX (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 11-07-2017 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I attended the presentation given by Mike Leinbach and Jonathan Ward at the recent ASF Space Rendezvous. The presentation was given in a "Huntley-Brinkley Report" back-and-forth manner, which was compellingly effective.

I presume future presentations will be given in a similar manner, and I highly recommend attending one if you can. I think their book will be well worth the wait.

lspooz
Member

Posts: 353
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 11-09-2017 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was also fortunate to attend their presentation at the Astronaut Rendezvous, and really look forward to the book — they balanced emotional vignettes with well-researched details, and having the perfect audience stirred up some good questions about the recovery efforts. Several people there have suggested it would make a superb movie.

The cover design is finalized, and their website reports shipping date Feb. 1, 2018.

Reportedly both authors plan several appearances:

  • Jan. 16: Presentation at the George W. Bush Presidential Library

  • NASA Day of Remembrance: Attending at Kennedy Space Center

  • Feb. 1: Hemphill, Texas: Jonathan Ward and Michael Leinbach will sign books after Columbia 15th anniversary memorial

  • Early February: Presentation at Johnson Space Center

lspooz
Member

Posts: 353
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 12-20-2017 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike and Jonathan with their new book, and their first signing party in St. Augustine, enhanced by champagne and featuring family assistance.

I hope the ones I ordered in July are somewhere on that table...

Daugherty54
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Posts: 524
From: Cabot, Arkansas, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 12-22-2017 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daugherty54   Click Here to Email Daugherty54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've received and read my copy. This is a must have book! I cannot offer enough praise for this work — reading it was an emotional experience for me. I would urge everyone to get a copy.

jjknap
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Posts: 255
From: Bourbonnais, IL USA
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 12-23-2017 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jjknap   Click Here to Email jjknap     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just received an email stating that I would receive the book from Amazon this coming Friday!

FFrench
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Posts: 3146
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-29-2017 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Columbia tragedy, and its aftermath, was emotional and deeply personal to the NASA family, as well as requiring immediate, clear-eyed forensic specialism. It is this combination of feeling the deep wound while deploying a massive hunt for evidence and answers that Leinbach and Ward relate so well. With a sharp memory that makes you feel like you are a witness to events, they lead us through a search and investigation that changed the space program forever.

Francis French, author, “In The Shadow of the Moon.”

dogcrew5369
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Posts: 746
From: Statesville, NC
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 12-30-2017 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received my signed copy Thursday after ordering it Tuesday! But Greensboro’s not that far from me. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book all year.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 669
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 01-04-2018 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy arrived today with two very nice inscriptions. A quick skim through the book shows it's vital for anyone interested in Columbia, and I look forward to giving it the read it merits. I strongly recommend both the book and the chance to buy signed copies through Mike and Jonathan's website. You won't be disappointed.

lspooz
Member

Posts: 353
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 01-24-2018 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently the first printing sold out quickly, and now the book tour has been expanded over the next month to include signing at National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy and some fundraising at the American Space Museum.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39871
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-05-2018 07:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Shuttle launch director tells untold story of recovery in 'Bringing Columbia Home'

Michael Leinbach didn't want the book to be about him.

A key leader in NASA's efforts to recover from the loss of space shuttle Columbia on Feb. 1, 2003, Leinbach knew the story of the accident's aftermath was bigger than just him. He was not aware, though, just how much larger it really was.

"When I say I did not appreciate it, that is really true. I did not appreciate what all of those people did for us out in Texas to get the debris, which I then in turn, was responsible for reconstructing to figure out what happened," he says.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1519
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 02-09-2018 06:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A recent TV interview by our local Fox affiliate also highlighted some of my space collection!

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1960
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 02-09-2018 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a superb book. Francis French's words above capture the spirit of the book perfectly so I'll just add that in my opinion this belongs on the "holy grail" list of spaceflight books. Well done Mike and Jonathan.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39871
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-14-2018 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Air and Space Museum video
Mike Leinbach was the launch director at NASA when Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry on February 1, 2003. Joined by his "Bringing Columbia Home" co-author Jonathan Ward, Leinbach talks about the search and recovery effort in the wake of the tragedy.

Leinbach will share his first-hand account of how NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Services and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies worked together to bring Columbia home and search for answers. This program is made possible through the generous support of Boeing.

ColinBurgess
Member

Posts: 1958
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 08-07-2018 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a much-delayed review of a truly wonderful book. I knew Mike and Jonathan were going to be at this year's Spacefest, so I held off ordering a copy until I could organise a signed one through a friendly fellow countryman who kindly purchased one there for me.

Earlier in these posts I wrote a review of the publishing proposal that Mike and Jonathan had put together, and now that I have finished reading "Bringing Columbia Home" I know that this is a true classic of spaceflight literature. It is an incredibly absorbing book, which not only discusses the last flight of Columbia, and the causes of the tragedy that took place over Texas in 2003, but reveals the involvement of so many dedicated, selfless and determined people involved in the painstaking search and recovery process. They not only located (and treated with the greatest of respect) the remains of all seven crewmembers, but recovered tens of thousands of pieces of Columbia, from large components through to tiny fragments. This is a very emotional part of the book to read, which not only vividly brings to the reader the shock, agony and tears of so many searchers, but also their desperate need to be involved in that mammoth process.

This is a book that no one with the slightest interest in human spaceflight history should miss. It is not only an incredible and moving story, but has been written by two exemplary and truly gifted authors.

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