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Mike Gruntman is professor of astronautics in the Viterbi School of Engineering of the University of Southern California. Mike is actively involved in R&D programs in space science and space technology. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 publications in the areas of astronautics, space physics, space technology, scientific instrumentation, space sensors, astronautical education, and rocket and space history.
Mike's books on rocketry and space history provide an unusually broad view of the realization of the space age. This breadth reflects the author's truly unique personal experience, a life journey from a child growing on the Tyuratam (Baikonur) launch base in the 1950s and early 1960s to an accomplished space scientist and engineer to the founding director of a major nationally recognized academic program in space engineering in the heart of the American space industry. He is certainly the only American space scientist or engineer or historian who grew up in Tyuratam (Baikonur) and Podlipki near Moscow. (Podlipki, also known as Kaliningrad, is the home of the Korolev's space and rocket enterprise.)
Such a unique personal background, combined with the broad scientific and historical interests of the author, has clearly contributed to his books. The International Academy of Astronautics recognized Mike's "Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry" with the Luigi Napolitano Book award in 2006.