This nonfiction picture book is a children’s version of NASA astronaut Jerry L. Ross’s autobiography, Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer, designed for ages 7–12. Told in friendly first-person narration, it represents how Ross followed his dream from rural 1950s northern Indiana to Purdue University and then outer space. The forty-page book is illustrated with personal photos and memorabilia. It is formatted into twenty-three narratives organized in chronological order illustrating events and experiences in Ross’s life. Pages attractively interweave photos and text while prompts encourage readers to engage in in the story. Ross possessed specific character traits that helped him make choices and overcome obstacles as he struggled against the odds to realize his dream: curiosity, persistence, and believing in oneself. As the story unfolds and readers begin to make personal connections with Ross, his approach to problem solving and working through setbacks provides a powerful example for children. Content area concepts are integrated throughout the story, including but not limited to science, technology, engineering, math, visual literacy, financial literacy, geography, flight, and the race to space. Gravity, for example, is a major theme illustrated within the content of the story. Online guides for teachers using the book in a classroom setting (third to fourth grade recommended) are linked to throughout.A map of the United States on the inside front cover invites children to follow the path of Ross’s journey from Crown Point, Indiana, to Kennedy Space Center. A timeline on the inside back cover compares and contrasts benchmark events in Ross’s life and career with important events in flight and space travel history. Further electronic materials are available at www.jerrylross.com.
Unlike other American astronauts, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom never had the chance to publish his memoirs—save for an account of his role in the Gemini program—before the tragic launch pad fire on January 27, 1967, which took his life and those of Edward White and Roger Chaffee. The international prestige of winning the Moon Race cannot be understated, and Grissom played a pivotal and enduring role in securing that legacy for the United States. Indeed, Grissom was first and foremost a Cold Warrior, a member of the first group of Mercury astronauts whose goal it was to beat the Soviet Union to the moon. Drawing on extensive interviews with fellow astronauts, NASA engineers, family members, and friends of Gus Grissom, George Leopold delivers a comprehensive survey of Grissom's life that places his career in the context of the Cold War and the history of human spaceflight. Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom adds significantly to our understanding of that tumultuous period in American history.
This is the true story of a young boy from Posey County, Indiana, who had a dream to fly. The outbreak of World War II enabled him to fulfill that dream. Cheerio and Best Wishes is told entirely through the letters he wrote to his family and friends. Detailed narrative and commentary provide explanation and background information. One hundred thirty-eight letters are presented in this book. It is highly unusual to find this many letters from one person, curated by his family and recently rediscovered by his son, along with carefully created photograph albums. The story starts in rural southern Indiana and follows the young volunteer as he goes westward to California and New Mexico to be trained to fly bombers. From the United States, he travels via South America and North Africa to England and deploys with the Eighth Air Force. The accounts of his journeys and experiences are detailed, ranging from entertaining to spine-tingling. Moments of high drama intermingle with the mundane nature of war. Together the letters and pictures in this book (the originals are now preserved for posterity in the Purdue University Flight Archives) offer a comprehensive and cohesive story of how US airmen were prepared and trained for war, and detail the daily experience of a bomber pilot flying missions over Germany. The letters of one young flyer reflect the experience of thousands of Americans who volunteered to go to war in the 1940s. His experiences were those of a generation.
With air travel a regular part of daily life in North America, we tend to take the infrastructure that makes it possible for granted. However, the systems, regulations, and technologies of civil aviation are in fact the product of decades of experimentation and political negotiation, much of it connected to the development of the airmail as the first commercially sustainable use of airplanes. From the lighted airways of the 1920s through the radio navigation system in place by the time of World War II, this book explores the conceptualization and ultimate construction of the initial US airways systems. The daring exploits of the earliest airmail pilots are well documented, but the underlying story of just how brick-and-mortar construction, radio research and improvement, chart and map preparation, and other less glamorous aspects of aviation contributed to the system we have today has been understudied. Flying the Beam traces the development of aeronautical navigation of the US airmail airways from 1917 to 1941. Chronologically organized, the book draws on period documents, pilot memoirs, and firsthand investigation of surviving material remains in the landscape to trace the development of the system. The author shows how visual cross-country navigation, only possible in good weather, was developed into all-weather “blind flying.” The daytime techniques of “following railroads and rivers” were supplemented by a series of lighted beacons (later replaced by radio towers) crisscrossing the country to allow nighttime transit of long-distance routes, such as the one between New York and San Francisco. Although today’s airway system extends far beyond the continental US and is based on digital technologies, the way pilots navigate from place to place basically uses the same infrastructure and procedures that were pioneered almost a century earlier. While navigational electronics have changed greatly over the years, actually “flying the beam” has changed very little.
Purdue University has played a leading role in providing the engineers who designed, built, tested, and flew the many aircraft and spacecraft that so changed human progress during the 20th century. It is estimated that Purdue has awarded 6% of all BS degrees in aerospace engineering, and 7% of all PhDs in the United States during the past 65 years. The University’s alumni have led significant advances in research and development of aerospace technology, have headed major aerospace corporations and government agencies, and have established an amazing record for exploration of space. More than one third of all US manned space flights have had at least one crew member who was a Purdue engineering graduate (including the first and last men to step foot on the moon). The School of Aeronautics & Astronautics was founded as a separate school within the College of Engineering at Purdue University in 1945. The first edition of this book was published in 1995, at the time of the School’s 50th anniversary. This corrected and expanded second edition brings the School’s illustrious history up-to-date, and looks to Purdue’s future in the sky and in space.
Thomas O. Paine grew up an ordinary boy in northern California during the Great Depression of the 1930s. He would go on to serve as NASA’s third administrator, leading the space agency through the first historic missions that sent astronauts on voyages away from Earth. On his watch, seven Apollo flights orbited our planet and five reached our moon. From those missions came the first of twelve men to walk on the moon. Years later, in 1985, the Reagan administration would call on Paine again to chair the nation’s first-ever National Commission on Space. The Paine Commission Report of 1986 challenged twenty-first-century America to “lead the exploration and development of the space frontier, advancing science, technology, and enterprise, and building institutions and systems that make accessible vast new resources and support human settlements beyond Earth orbit, from the highlands of the Moon to the plains of Mars.” In Piercing the Horizon, Sunny Tsiao masterfully delivers new insights into the behind-the-scenes drama of the space race. Tsiao examines how Paine’s days as a World War II submariner fighting in the Pacific shaped his vision for the future of humankind in space. The book tells how Paine honed his skills as a pioneering materials engineer at the fabled postwar General Electric Company in the 1950s, to his dealings inside the halls of NASA and with Johnson, Nixon, and later, the Reagan and Bush administrations. As robotic missions begin leaving the earth, Tsiao invites the reader to take another look at the plans that Paine articulated regarding how America could have had humans on Mars by the year 2000 as the first step to the exploration of deep space. Piercing the Horizon provides provocative context to current conversations on the case for reaching Mars, settling our solar system, and continuing the exploration of space.
From the age of ten, looking up at the stars, Jerry Ross knew that he wanted to journey into space. This autobiography tells the story of how he came not only to achieve that goal, but to become the most-launched astronaut in history, as well as a NASA veteran whose career spanned the entire US Space Shuttle program. From his childhood in rural Indiana, through education at Purdue University, and a career in the US Air Force, Ross charted a path to NASA after overcoming many setbacks—from failing to qualify for Air Force pilot training because of “bad” eyesight, to an initial failure to be selected into the astronaut program. The majority of the book is an insider’s account of the US Space Shuttle program, including the unforgettable experience of launch, the delights of weightless living, and the challenges of constructing the International Space Station. Ross is a uniquely qualified narrator. During seven spaceflights, he spent 1,393 hours in space, including 58 hours and 18 minutes on nine space walks. Life on the ground is also described, including the devastating experiences of the Challenger and Columbia disasters. For readers who have followed the space program from Mercury through the International Space Station and wonder what comes next, this book provides fascination; for young people interested in space exploration and reaching for their dreams, whatever they might be, this book provides inspiration. Full of stories of spaceflight that few humans have ever experienced, told with humor and honesty, Spacewalker presents a unique perspective on the hard work, determination, and faith necessary to travel beyond this world. Key Points: An insider’s account of the US Space Shuttle program, from before its first launch through the final landing, and the building of the International Space Station. A firsthand account of life in space from the first human to fly seven missions. An inspirational story of a personal journey from rural Indiana to outer space, powered by a deep Christian faith. Digital versions available: Enhanced versions of this book are available as e-books through the Apple iBookstore, Kobo bookstore, and Nook bookstore. They contain almost 30 videos and over 50 still images, most with commentary by Jerry L. Ross. An iPad App is also available in the Apple App and iTunes Store. Non-enhanced versions are available for e-readers that don't support imbedded video including the Amazon Kindle. Plain e-Pub and e-PDF versions can be purchased directly through our website. These are essentially facsimiles of the print book optimized for electronic delivery.
Throughout flight’s first 100 years, Purdue University has propelled unique contributions from pioneer educators, aviators, and engineers who flew balloons into the stratosphere, barnstormed the countryside, helped break the sound barrier, and left their footprints on lunar soil. In Wings of Their Dreams, author John Norberg follows the flight plans and footsteps of aviation’s pioneers and trailblazers across the twentieth century—a path from Kitty Hawk to the Sea of Tranquility—and beyond. Norberg reminds readers that the first and last men to land on the moon first trekked across the West Lafayette, Indiana campus on their journeys into the heavens and history. Norberg describes how, in every small step and giant leap in our country’s pilgrimage from the dawn of human flight to the space age, Purdue people and programs pushed aviation’s evolution to new heights and helped expand the frontiers of flight. This is the story of an aeronautic odyssey of imagination, science, engineering, technology, adventure, courage, danger, and promise. It is the story of the human spirit taking flight, entwined with Purdue’s legacy in aviation’s history and its horizons. At last, Norberg’s book captures Purdue’s proud and important role as a launch pad for countless individuals past, present, and future, inspired to soar on the wings of their dreams.
Clarence “Cap” Cornish was an Indiana pilot whose life spanned all but five years of the Century of Flight. Born in Canada in 1898, Cornish grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He began flying at the age of nineteen, piloting a “Jenny” aircraft during World War I, and continued to fly for the next seventy-eight years. In 1995, at the age of ninety-seven, he was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest actively flying pilot. The mid-1920s to the mid-1950s were Cornish’s most active years in aviation. During that period, sod runways gave way to asphalt and concrete; navigation evolved from the iron rail compass to radar; runways that once had been outlined at night with cans of oil topped off with flaming gasoline now shimmered with multicolored electric lights; instead of being crammed next to mailbags in open-air cockpits, passengers sat comfortably in streamlined, pressurized cabins. In the early phase of that era, Cornish performed aerobatics and won air races. He went on to run a full-service flying business, served as chief pilot for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, managed the city’s municipal airport, helped monitor and maintain safe skies above the continental United States during World War II, and directed Indiana’s first Aeronautics Commission. Dedicating his life to flight and its many ramifications, Cornish helped guide the sensible development of aviation as it grew from infancy to maturity. Through his many personal experiences, the story of flight nationally is played out. Recognitions Earned by “Cap” Cornish “Cap” Cornish earned accolades during his seventy-seven active years in civilian and military aviation: · Who’s Who in Transportation and Communication in 1942. · Father of Fort Wayne Aviation by OX5 Aviation Pioneers, Indiana Wing, May 24, 1975. · Commendation by Art Smith Aeroplane Society in 1978. · Inductee, OX5 Hall of Fame, San Diego, September 1986. · Recognition by City of Indianapolis when Mayor Stephen Goldsmith proclaimed June 9, 1992, “Colonel Clarence F. Cornish Day.” · Recognition as a pioneer in the development of aviation as a means of transportation by the Indianapolis Aero Club at a banquet in his honor held the same day. · Three times Sagamore of the Wabash—1978, 1988 and 1992. · Honored Founder Member at the 1993 banquet of the Order of Daedalians,* Air Force Museum, Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton. · Indiana Aviation Person of the Year by the Aviation Association of Indiana in 1994. · World’s Oldest Actively Flying Pilot, Guinness World Records, 1997–2003. * The Order of Daedalians honors, as its Founder Members, all WW I aviators who were commissioned as officers and rated as military pilots no later than the Armistice on 11 November 1918. It perpetuates their names as the first to fly our country's airplanes in time of war.