Out of this World
New Mexico’s Contribution to Space Travel
by Loretta Hall

175 pages 30 illustrations; 7 x 10
ISBN 978-1-890689-79-7 ($19.95 pb) 978-1-890689-86-5 ($27.95 hb)



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. From Goddard’s early flights to today’s Virgin Galactic’s pioneering commercial flights, New Mexico has provided fertile soil for cultivating space travel for fun and profit.

What People are Saying about this Book
“We must rekindle the sense of adventure and the irresistible urge for exploration beyond this planet that took us to the Moon and, I hope, will take us to Mars. In her entertaining, inspiring Out of this World, Loretta Hall reveals the grit, determination, daring, and down-to-earth humanness of adventurers who brought us to the verge of making space travel available to everyone.”
Buzz Aldrin, Gemini and Apollo astronaut

“I knew Spaceport America was an extension of important New Mexico space history. I had heard the names and I knew the basic storylines: Goddard, von Braun, Stapp and Ham. But I didn’t know, in detail, the drama, the intrigue, and the level of risk and passion until I read Loretta Hall’s Out of this World: New Mexico’s Contributions to Space Travel. I know it’s a cliché, but here goes: I couldn’t put this book down. I was absolutely riveted by the very human stories. Goddard battling tarantulas and rattlesnakes in Roswell. Kittinger’s parachute line wrapping his neck on his first jump. Ham dodging the reporters and cameras after his successful launch, flight and recovery. And Stapp’s eyes filled with blood after his record-breaking rocket-sled ride. Most importantly, this book truly establishes New Mexico’s vital role in the history of space travel. It makes me very proud to be a New Mexican and honored to help carry on the state’s leading role through our work at Spaceport America.”
Rick Homans, Founding Chairman, New Mexico Spaceport Authority

Recipient of the 2011 Best New Mexico Book Award, New Mexico Book Awards
Recipient of the 2011 Best History Book Award, New Mexico Book Awards
Recipient of the 2012 Best General Non-fiction Book Award, New Mexico Press Women
Recipient of the 2012 Second Place History Book Award, New Mexico Press Women
Recipient of the 2012 Third Place General Non-fiction Book Award, National Federation of Press Women

Loretta Hall is 2016 NFPW Communicator of Achievement | New Mexico Press Women 2
Loretta Hall is 2016 NFPW Communicator of Achievement | New Mexico Press Women

"Merging the events and technical details of New Mexico's contributions to space travel with the drama and intrigues of the people involved makes this book come alive. The writing is good everywhere and excellent in some places." -- judge in the 2012 New Mexico Press Women's Communications Contest

"This fine collection of stories reports on New Mexico's space history, from the testing of Robert Goddard's liquid-fuel rockets to the building of Spaceport America." --
Air & Space Smithsonian magazine

"I enjoyed your book! In 2003, Space Adventures gave me 10 zero-g sessions over Star City,and the next day I reached 80,000 ft in a MiG-25. I can agree with Kittinger, et al., about the dark sky! Thanks again!" -- Virgin Galactic ticket holder #157

Out of this World is not just for aficionados of space, but also for those interested in any history. [Loretta Hall's] telling reads like a thriller, with humor that will amuse any reader." -- Michael Shinabery, New Mexico Museum of Space History educational specialist

"Hall has fashioned a book that's a welcome explanation of the state's many contributions to space travel." -- David Steinberg, books editor for The
Albuquerque Journal

"Linking New Mexico and space in the same sentence conjures up visions of aliens and mysterious goings on, especially in places like Roswell, home of a UFO museum and festival. However, this reputation belies how much New Mexico has actually contributed to our understanding of science, aviation and space over the 80 year period (from 1930 until 2010) covered in this book. . . . The author, Loretta Hall, a former high school math teacher turned freelance writer, researched through archives and media and personal interviews how aerospace endeavors in her state ultimately led to the approval for a spaceport in 2010. She has brought these milestones to life in her book,
Out of this World: New Mexico's Contribution to Space Travel. . . . [T]his is a clearly understandable account of how research and development of simple rockets has led to the prospect of a real spaceport in New Mexico. Young adults and adults will enjoy learning all the breakthroughs that occurred here." -- Susan Raizer, book reviewer for the National Space Society (See the entire review at http://www.nss.org/resources/books/children/CB_043_newmexico.html)

"This is a well-written, engaging and informative look at New Mexico's past, present, and future ties to space. A special tip of the helmet visor goes to Hall for her excellent research and writing skills. It's a must-have book to carry along on any voyage to New Mexico, the sign post up ahead that marks the history-making and future-creating role of the state." -- Leonard David, book reviewer for the Coalition for Space Exploration (see the entire review at http://spacecoalition.com/blog/book-review-out-of-this-world-%E2%80%93-new-mexico%E2%80%99s-contributions-to-space-travel)

"Award-winning author Loretta Hall has written a unique and compelling account of the hard science and soft eccentricities that punctuate New Mexico's space history. Her lively style and historical precision will engage readers on many levels." -- Ann Giblin, Winterlake Associates.

"The other day I sat down with a warm plate of nachos and the book
Out of This World by Loretta Hall. Thirty minutes later I have a half plate of cold nachos and am still reading Loretta's book. . . . This book gives well written and informative information about New Mexico's involvement in the hardware and human aspects of space development. . . . She also gives a nice overview of the creation of Spaceport America and the commercial companies that will fly spacecraft from there." Mat Adams, NewSpace magazine