Saturday Jun 29, 2013
Loretta Hall signs her book.
Out of this World: New Mexico & Space Travel People have dreamed of traveling into space for thousands of years, but atmospheric flight by balloon was not achieved until the late eighteenth century. Powered flight took another 120 years to became a reality. Progress toward space travel accelerated rapidly during the twentieth century, with manned orbital flights being achieved less than sixty years after the Wright Brothers' first airplane flight. The amazingly quick development of the United States' space program resulted from the efforts of thousands of people scattered throughout the country. Many crucial experiments took place in New Mexico. Out of this World tells the stories-ranging from hair raising to humorous-of people and animals who worked to develop powerful liquid-fuel rockets, determine the hazards of cosmic radiation, examine the physical and psychological effects of weightlessness, test spacecraft components and safety equipment, devise and implement procedures to evaluate astronaut candidates, search the skies for destinations, scrutinize UFO appearances and possible alien landings on Earth, train astronauts for Moon missions, and-ultimately-construct the first purpose-built spaceport for recreational and commercial flights. New Mexico has provided fertile soil for cultivating space travel for fun and profit.
Formerly a high school math teacher, Loretta Hall started a new career as a freelance writer in 1990. She has written magazine articles on many topics, including travel, business, and construction. She has also written reference book chapters on such topics as Native American tribes, biographies of scientists and mathematicians, and how various products are made. When she gets intrigued with something and can't find a book to satisfy her curiosity about it, she does her own research and writes the book for others who want to know about that topic. For instance, In 2009, when plans for Spaceport America, the country's first purpose-built commercial spaceflight facility, began moving forward, she was fascinated to discover the important role New Mexico has played in the development of space travel. She decided to herald that unheralded history by writing Out of this World: New Mexico's Contributions to Space Travel, the only book to document the historic events in the state and the personal stories of the people who accomplished them. She also created a website, NMSpaceHistory.com, to supplement the book with news items and additional insights. She is a member of both the National Space Society and the Historical Society of New Mexico's Speakers Bureau.