Out of this World: New Mexico & Space Travel People have dreamed of traveling into space for thousands of years, but atmospheric flight by balloon was not achieved until the late eighteenth century. Powered flight took another 120 years to became a reality. Progress toward space travel accelerated rapidly during the twentieth century, with manned orbital flights being achieved less than sixty years after the Wright Brothers' first airplane flight. The amazingly quick development of the United States' space program resulted from the efforts of thousands of people scattered throughout the country. Many crucial experiments took place in New Mexico. Out of this World tells the stories-ranging from hair raising to humorous-of people and animals who worked to develop powerful liquid-fuel rockets, determine the hazards of cosmic radiation, examine the physical and psychological effects of weightlessness, test spacecraft components and safety equipment, devise and implement procedures to evaluate astronaut candidates, search the skies for destinations, scrutinize UFO appearances and possible alien landings on Earth, train astronauts for Moon missions, and-ultimately-construct the first purpose-built spaceport for recreational and commercial flights. New Mexico has provided fertile soil for cultivating space travel for fun and profit.