In this final episode of 2020, we welcome author Phil Stamper onto the show for a discussion of adapting space history into fiction for a modern young adult audience, the literary inspirations for his book The Gravity of Us, and the realities LGBTQ+ astronauts faced throughout NASA history from Sally Ride all the way back to the days of Project Mercury.
Special thanks to the Museum of Flight’s donors, who make this podcast possible. Learn how you can support the podcast and The Museum’s other initiatives at this link.
Interested in The Gravity of Us?
You can purchase the book at The Museum of Flight’s store at this link.
Rather patronize your local library? Awesome! Our friends from the King County Library System’s podcast The Desk Set (listen to their show at this link) have put together a reading list of all the books Phil and Sean reference or discuss in this episode, including The Gravity of Us and a variety of other fiction and non-fiction stories. Get the list here. Even if you’re not local to us here in Seattle, you can probably find these books at your local library. (If you’re looking for even more books, check out their list of 2020’s best reads at this link).
Interested in space history?
The Museum of Flight is home to several galleries and exhibits on space exploration, from the earliest days of rocketry through the achievements of NASA and New Space companies working to bring people back to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond. Explore the Museum virtually until your next visit at this link.
We’ve also talked a lot of space history on the podcast in the past. If you liked this episode, you might also enjoy “SoYeon Yi,” a conversation with the first Korean astronaut. Her story is so awesome we kept coming back to it for several episodes. You can find the first in that series at this link.
We also covered the story of the Mercury 13, the shadow space program set up by private funders to get women into the early NASA space program. Hear this story, part of our 2019 coverage of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, at this link.
Finally, members of The Museum of Flight should check the Priority Boarding website for the details on host Sean Mobley’s January 26, 2021 member exclusive talk on LGBTQ+ stories in aerospace history, including Sally Ride as discussed in this episode. Check your membership emails for details. Not a member? Join today at this link and get access to this talk and many other unique benefits!
I want to drop the awkward third-person for a moment and say thank you directly to you, our awesome listenership, for your support and patience 2020. To say it’s been such a bonkers year is both an understatement and a cliché at this point, but I am so grateful for what you have let this podcast accomplish over the past 12 months. It has not been easy, and I’m proud of every episode we’ve put out over the past few years otherwise I wouldn’t put my name on them, but the episodes we released this year feel so special and so different yet so relevant to The Museum of Flight’s mission and vision. Learning about Peggy Phillips’ story and her experience as a woman in a warzone where women were not supposed to be to the four-episode Collections Miniseries over the summer to this episode here, I am just so thrilled and excited by the stories we’ve been able to tell and explore. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. – Sean
Host/Producer: Sean Mobley
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