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New Book By Retired NASA Historian Who Lives In Ventura County Looks At The History Of Spacecraft

A U.S. Vanguard rocket used in some of the initial efforts by America to put satellites into orbit, Eight launches ended in failure, but four were successful.

It’s been six decades since NASA was created, and more than five decades since America’s first manned space flight gave the U.S. a firm stake in what was dubbed the “space race.” Now, a Ventura County man who spent nearly three decades as an Air Force, and NASA historian has co-authored an ambitious new book looking at the history of man in space. Michael Gorn’s new book is called “Spacecraft: 101 Iconic Rockets, Shuttles, and Spacecraft That Put Us In Space."

Gorn says the book, which is now in bookstores and available online, is a celebration of some major space exploration milestones. This historian says NASA was so good at doing what it did, the public really lost sense of how dangerous manned space flight could be. Up until the Space Shuttle missions, the only astronauts lost were three who were killed during a fire during a ground based training exercise.

A new and already critically acclaimed movie coming out next month, called “First Man” tries to show what the dangers were really like. It stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, and Clare Foy as his wife.

The Ventura County author says while we’ve seen a number of movies in recent years about manned missions to other planets, especially Mars, he doesn’t think it will happen in our lifetime. Gorn says there are issues like the intense radiation, and difficulties in resupplying a mission to that planet.

He believes in the next few years, we will have a return effort to the moon, and possibly a base there. The new book “Spacecraft” is in bookstores now, and is also shipping online for the first time this week.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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