From late 2015 through 2016, I served as a researcher, writer, and fact checker for co-authors Stephen Sandford and Jay Heinrichs. Their collaborative title, The Gravity Well, offers an economic, academic, and diplomatic case for revitalizing America's underfunded space program. My production duties included:
- Crafting print-ready biographies on unsung heroes of the U.S. space program including Gerard K. O'Neill, Shelby Jacobs, and Waleed Abdalati
- Researching the history of the U.S. space program and writing a chapter that spanned from the first flying machines to the "space race" of the Kennedy years.
- Confirming the accuracy of cited names, dates, and mathematical equations.
A ghostwritten prose sample is viewable below:
"Samuel P. Langley was no stranger to the waters of the Potomac. The Boston-born astronomer and aviator had used the river as a launchpad for his homemade flying machines, the latest of which was large enough to accommodate a man. But on a raw December morning in 1903, the Potomac appeared less like a landing cushion and more like a watery grave. This was Langley’s do-or-die moment. Eight years prior, his work had caught the eye of President McKinley. A $50,000 research grant from the War Department gave Langley the resources to travel to Europe, conduct engineering research, and build bigger flying machines, which were called aerodromes. It was an inventor’s dream - being bankrolled with taxpayer dollars - until it came time to launch the first man-sized aerodrome. Piloted by Langley’s assistant, Charles Manley, the aerodrome crashed into the Potomac. Langley and his team managed to fish the aircraft from the water and ready it for a second launch attempt. Langley could only watch as the aerodrome hovered above the water before plummeting back into the depths.
$50,000, down the river.
It could have ended there, on the Potomac. This would be Langley’s last attempt at flight. But for the United States Government, it was a baby step towards catalyzing the study of aeronautics."