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Member Showcase: November 2015


John Newcomb

Author of

A Bunch of Plumbers


Tune in to XTRA 99.1FM to hear the Author interviewed by Neal Steele on CBW's Second Monday monthly broadcast, November 9th at about 8:05AM. If you missed the live broadcast, play the podcast here.


About the Book


A Bunch of Plumbers is the behind the scenes story of how NASA engineers, armed with butcher paper, slide rules, and punch card computers, accomplished two of the most successful missions of the 20th century. The first was the Lunar Orbiter Project whose purpose was to photograph the proposed Apollo Landing Sites, which was critical to Apollo’s success. The second was the Viking Project that succeeded, against all odds, in safely placing two landers on the surface of Mars in 1976.

Told by John Newcomb, a country boy who grew up in Gloucester, Virginia, it is a tribute to the Lunar Orbiter and Viking Project Teams and the thousands of other engineers who are the unsung heroes of the space race. Woven throughout this book are stories of heroes; Derwood, who launched rockets from Wallops and continued to play the violin even after losing an arm in a launch accident; a lucky coat, worn at every launch; and a save-the-day calculation by Newcomb involving rolls of butcher paper. A wild ride mixed with sobering realities of sacrifice and dedication, it is American history written about the people who lived it.



John Newcomb was a critical part of Viking and has done a brilliant job of capturing the heart and soul of the Viking project. -- Tom Young, Mission Director, Viking Mission; President and Chief Operating Officer, Martin Marietta Corporation, now Lockheed Martin Corporation


A Bunch of Plumbers will be featured in the website of the Air and Space Smithsonian Magazine – http://www.airspacemag.com


It will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and from the publisher. To order, send check or money order for $19.99 ($15.99+ $4.00 shipping) to High Tide Publications, 1000 Bland Point Road, Deltaville, Virginia 23043. Or order at our secure website at www.HighTidePublications.com.


About the Author


While attending Virginia Tech, John had many adventures, alternately working in the NASA, Langley Research Center’s wind tunnels, laboratories, and at Langley’s rocket launching site, Wallops Island. After graduating from Tech, John joined the Langley Research Center as a young engineer and quickly became involved in two of NASA’s early space missions - the Lunar Orbiter Project, which placed 5 Lunar Orbiters around the Moon and photographed the Apollo landing sites and the Viking Project which placed two landers on the surface of Mars, in 1976.

After Viking, John headed NASA’s Physics and Chemistry Experiments in the Space Program that performed experiments in the free fall environment of NASA’s Space Shuttle and The International Space Station. John and his wife Peggy live in Gloucester Point, Virginia.

Email the Author <-> Visit his Website <-> Buy Book at Amazon

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