A book by Melvin Croft, an instructor in the Department of Geology, was recently published in the University of Nebraska’s Outward Odyssey: A People’s History of Spaceflight Series. Come Fly With Us: NASA’s Payload Specialist Program details “an elite group of space travelers who flew as members of many space shuttle crews from pre-Challenger days to Columbia in 2003. Not part of the regular NASA astronaut corps, these professionals, known as ‘payload specialists,’ came from a wide variety of backgrounds and were chosen for an equally wide variety of scientific, political, and national security reasons,” according to the University of Nebraska Press.
Croft is a retired geoscientist, having worked for Chevron around the globe, and joined Colby’s ranks 10 years ago. An avid scientist, he has used his “retirement” to move from the terrestrial to the extraterrestrial and examine the history of U.S. spaceflight, culminating in the release of this book.