Space Pioneers in Their Own Words
While researching my 2011 book, Out of this World: New Mexico's Contributions to Space Travel, I became aware of a valuable but underutilized resource for the history of the United States' space program. Since 1986, the New Mexico Museum of Space History staff have recorded oral history interviews of people involved in all aspects of space research since the 1940s. Some of the interviewees are well known, like Gene Kranz and Eileen Collins. Others are nearly anonymous but essential contributors like electricians and welders.

The interview transcripts are only accessible to researchers who can travel to Alamogordo in southern New Mexico. To make those experiences widely accessible, along with commentary that establishes the context for each period of development, I wrote Space Pioneers: In Their Own Words. It includes excerpts of varying lengths from nearly a hundred interviewees, along with historic photographs that bring their experiences to life.
Unless otherwise attributed, all SpacePioneerWords.com content is © Loretta Hall, 2013-2014.
Click to see who is in Space Pioneers: In Their Own Words
Inside the book:


Chapter 1: A Century of Paradigm Shift

Chapter 2: Life in the Trenches

Chapter 3: Taking over the V-2s

Chapter 4: Balloon Boosters

Chapter 5: Bopping the Daisies

Chapter 6: HSTT!

Chapter 7: Animal Pioneers

Chapter 8: Pilotless Rockets

Chapter 9: NASA Gets US off the Ground

Chapter 10: Paul Haney

Chapter 11: Walter Cunningham

Chapter 12: Gene Kranz

Chapter 13: Flying High

Chapter 14: Shuttling Pioneers

Chapter 15: Eileen Collins

Chapter 16: Stars in their Eyes

Chapter 17: Anyone Else Out There?

Chapter 18: Pioneers of the Future


Space Pioneers: In Their Own Words won the Science category of the 2014 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards and was also named "Best Book" of the contest.

Space Pioneers in Their Own Words
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Space Pioneers: In Their Own Words won a Silver Award in the Science category of Foreword magazine's 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.