Jonathan H. Ward
AUTHOR

Jonathan H. Ward

American author Jonathan Ward spent several years of his childhood in Japan, lives in Greensboro, NC, and considers the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC to be his hometown. Although he has a wide variety of interests and has worked in many fields, space exploration is his lifelong passion. His joy of bringing the space program to life for the general public began in high school, when he served as a volunteer tour guide at the National Air and Space Museum during the Apollo 15 and 16 missions. He continues his public outreach today, as a Solar System Ambassador for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as a frequent speaker on space exploration topics to interest groups and at regional conferences, and as an author of space histories that concentrate on the human element in space exploration. Jonathan is also a frequent contributor to online space exploration forums. Jonathan's current book is "Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission," which is the memoir of astronaut Eileen Collins. Eileen and Jonathan collaborated on this book during the Covid-19 pandemic, taking advantage of the relative "down time" to catch a collective breath and bring Eileen's story to light. Reviewers from Tom Hanks to singer Judy Collins to General Les Lyles have praised the book in advance of its October 2021 release. Jonathan's book "Bringing Columbia Home: The Final Mission of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew," was co-authored with former Space Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach. The previously untold story of the largest search and recovery operation in US history won the 2018 Book of the Year award by the 20,000-member Space Hipsters Facebook group. It has received rave reviews from space history enthusiasts as well as people who wish to learn about disaster recovery operations on an immense scale. It tells the tale of American people at their best -- cooperative, selfless, determined, and caring. Jonathan's first two books, "Rocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center," and "Countdown to a Moon Launch: Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey" were published by Springer-Praxis in 2015. The books have been widely acclaimed in the space history community for their unique perspective—frequently in the everyday workers' own words—on the heroic behind-the-scenes efforts needed to send Apollo to the Moon. Jonathan brings a unique perspective to his writing that marries a systems view of the topic, fascination with the technology, passion for space exploration, and deep respect for the people who make it all happen. He holds an MS in Systems Management from the University of Denver and a BS in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is professionally certified as an executive coach by the International Coach Federation and serves on the adjunct faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership. His professional experience includes extensive work with leadership teams and several years with Boeing on the Space Station Freedom program. Jonathan and his wife Jane now reside in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is fiercely proud of his two grown children and their families, and he wishes they lived closer to him. He maintains web sites at www.apollo-saturn.com and www.apollolaunchcontrol.com to document his research on the Apollo era at Kennedy Space Center. He collects and restores artifacts from the Apollo era, including several control panels from the Firing Rooms. Jonathan also notes that he might possibly be the only current author about Apollo who has appeared on two GRAMMY-winning albums, which were recorded during his years as a Bass II section leader, soloist, and eventually president of The Washington Chorus.
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