About the author

Australian author Colin Burgess grew up in Sydney’s southern suburbs. Initially working in the wages department of a major Sydney afternoon newspaper (where he first picked up his writing bug) and as a sales representative for a precious metals company, he subse­quently joined Qantas Airways as a passenger handling agent in 1970 and two years later transferred to the airline’s cabin crew. He would retire from Qantas as an onboard Customer Service Manager in 2002, after 32 years’ service. During those flying years several of his books on the Australian prisoner-of-war experience and the first of his biographical books on space explorers such as Australian payload special Dr. Paul Scully-Power and teacher – in-space Christa McAuliffe had already been published. He has also written extensively on spaceflight subjects for astronomy and space-related magazines in Australia, the United Kingdom and the Unites States.

In 2003 the University of Nebraska Press appointed him series editor for the ongoing Outward Odyssey series of 12 books detailing the entire social history of space explora­tion, and he was involved in co-writing three of these volumes. His first Springer-Praxis book, NASA’s Scientist-Astronauts, co-authored with British-based space historian David J. Shayler, was released in 2007. Freedom 7 will be his sixth title with Springer-Praxis, for whom he is currently researching two further books for future publication. He regularly attends astronaut functions in the United States and is well known to many of the pioneer­ing space explorers, allowing him to conduct personal interviews for these books.

Colin and his wife Patricia still live just south of Sydney. They have two grown sons, two grandsons and a granddaughter.

[1] For a full description of the selection and candidate testing process, see the author’s earlier pub­lication, Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America’s First Astronauts (Springer – Praxis, 2011).

[2] The “island” of a carrier includes the command center for flight deck operations, captain’s bridge, admiral’s bridge, and the navigation, meteorology and signal bridges.

[3] Shepard and his fellow astronauts were later awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor that was authorized by the U. S. Congress in 1969. Shepard received his from President Jimmy Carter in 1978.