"Linking New Mexico and space...conjures up visions of aliens and mysterious goings on, especially in places like Roswell. This reputation belies how much New Mexico has actually contributed to our understanding of science, aviation and space over the 80 year period covered in this book."--Susan Raizer, National Space Society reviewer
"Out of this World
is not just for aficionados of space, but also for those interested in any history. [Loretta Hall's] telling reads like a thriller, with humor that will amuse any reader." -- Michael Shinabery, New Mexico Museum of Space History educational specialist
From the Author
What does New Mexico have to do with space exploration? A lot. Between 1930 and 1971, New Mexico researchers found answers to the most pressing challenges of manned spaceflight, including rocket design and propulsion; effects on the human body from cosmic radiation, prolonged weightlessness, acceleration and deceleration forces; psychological effects of confinement and isolation in a space capsule; and criteria for selection and training of astronauts. Those answers provided essential support for NASA's mission of sending Americans to explore the moon. During the rest of the twentieth century, organizations in the state provided crucial support for the Space Shuttle program and constructed important observatories including the Very Large Array and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope. In the early twenty-first century, New Mexico entrepreneurs and politicians tackled new questions as NASA encouraged the commercialization of the nation's space program and private companies sought to offer space tourism flights to the general public. Construction of Spaceport America positions this state to be a leader in commercial spaceflight for both scientific research and recreation in the decades to come. This book provides an inside look at fascinating people who helped get this country's space program off the ground and who are now leading the way in commercial space travel.