Saturday, April 10, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM PDT
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Events/Program Chair, LA, AIAA Los Angeles Las Vegas section 
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Los Angeles - Las Vegas Section 
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(April 10, 2021) In Honor of the 40th Anniversary of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle:
The Outward Odyssey Authors Present
"Columbia and the Legacy of the Space Shuttle Program."



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Early on the morning of April 12, 1981, two astronauts sat strapped into their seats on the flight deck of Columbia, a radically new spacecraft known as the space shuttle.

John Young, the commander, had already flown in space four times, including a walk on the moon in 1972. Bob Crippen, the pilot, was a Navy test pilot who would go on to command three future shuttle missions. But nothing either man had done or would do was quite like this.

Please join the authors of the Outward Odyssey Spaceflight series and AIAA / LA-LV for a delightful and exciting Anniversary Celebration for this historic and ground breaking event!

Geoffrey Bowman is a retired lawyer who lives with his wife Sandra in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He spent many years defending mainly shipyard asbestos claims (which usually involved calculating the size of the settlements). A lifelong space enthusiast, Geoffrey (just about) remembers the flights of Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard, and has many fond and vivid memories of the Apollo missions. He finally got to see a Saturn launch - the Apollo-Soyuz launch in July, 1975. Having contributed two chapters to Outward Odyssey's "Footprints in the Dust" Geoffrey has submitted the manuscript for his first complete book, a biography of Apollo 17 astronaut Ron Evans (working title: "A Long Voyage to the Moon") which is due to be published later this year. His research included a 2019 meeting with Ron's widow, Jan Evans, and their daughter Jaime in Scottsdale, Arizona."

Colin Burgess is a prolific author who has written over 30 books on the subject of human space exploration and whose titles include "Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America’s First Astronauts," "Teacher in Space: Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Legacy," "Fallen Astronauts." and most recently "Shattered Dreams." Residing in Sydney, Australia, and a familiar face at many past Spacefest gatherings, Burgess has also served for the past 17 years as founder and Series Editor for the University of Nebraska’s ongoing Outward Odyssey series of books, tasked with locating and mentoring new spaceflight authors and guiding them through the publication process.

Jay Chladek is a spaceflight historian and a regular contributor to the online forum collectSPACE. In his Outward Odyssey volume" Outposts on the Frontier," Chladek documents the historical tapestry of the people, the early attempts at space station programs, and how astronauts and engineers have contributed to and shaped the ISS in surprising ways.

Melvin Croft has over forty years of experience as a professional geologist, with twenty-seven years working in industry and twelve years teaching geology at a small college in Maine. He holds BA and MS degrees in geology from the University of South Florida and Florida State University. He’s been an avid space fan since the beginnings of human space flight, and is fortunate to have met many astronauts and cosmonauts. Mel, along with John Youskauskas, is presently collaborating on another addition to the University of Nebraska Press Outward Odyssey book series which will chronicle the story of extravehicular activity.

Michelle Evans is the founder and president of Mach 25 Media and is an aerospace writer, photographer, and communications specialist. She has written the Outward Odyssey book “The X-15 Rocket Plane, Flying the First Wings into Space.” Michelle's background in aerospace engineering includes serving in the US Air Force working on missile systems, and later in private industry. Michelle is a Distinguished Lecturer with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and her book was a finalist for the Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Literature. She has appeared in numerous publications, and was also a technical consultant on the Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man” and for National Geographic television.

Francis French brings international experience in relating science, engineering, music, astronomy, art, and wildlife to general audiences through classes, workshops, public speaking, television and documentary productions. He is the author of numerous bestselling history books, including "In the Shadow of the Moon" for the Outward Odyssey series, and is an international keynote speaker at conferences.

Chris Gainor is a historian of technology and writer specializing in space exploration and aeronautics. He is the editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly, and he is also past president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Chris holds a PhD in the history of technology from the University of Alberta. His sixth book, "Not Yet Imagined: A Study of Hubble Space Telescope Operations," has just been published by the NASA History Program Office. His book “To A Distant Day: The Rocket Pioneers,” was published in 2008 as part of the Outward Odyssey series.

Jay Gallentine focuses his space research on unmanned lunar and planetary programs of the United States and former Soviet Union. He's known for deep dives into narrow topics, relatable explanations of technology, and for his lively public presentations. Jay has published two books in the Outward Odyssey series, "Ambassadors From Earth" and "Infinity Beckoned: Adventuring Through the Inner Solar System." A third is on the way.

David Hitt is co-author of two books, “Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story,” written with astronauts Owen Garriott and Joe Kerwin, and “Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years.” David has worked as a contractor at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center since 2002, and currently supports the center's Human Exploration Development and Operations office, responsible for human spaceflight efforts ranging from science operations on the International Space Station to development of future space habitats. A contractor with MTS, David is a recipient of NASA's Silver Snoopy Award, presented by the agency's Astronaut Office.