I'm feeling rather more upbeat about the dissertation - and its possibility of it evolving into a book further down the line.
Weirdly, that feeling was boosted by an event I attended at the British interplanetary Society at the beginning of the month following the fortunes of women in space. The audience was older, knowledgeable and eager for information - but neither the presenter or his colleague who facilitated the Q&A were that great.... I've always been a bit daunted that my understanding and enthusiasm for the history of the Space Race might be a bit noddy when placed alongside those who make a living writing about it. And while my detailed grasp of the minutiae may pale beside those who spend their lives in the more geeky aspects of space research, I've actually found that the knowledge I have of the period and the politics around the space programme is actually pretty good - and the perspective I bring as one born during the Gemini programme gives me a slightly different outlook to those who were adults already when the Cold War dawned.
I was furthe bouyed up by a good old dose of Apollo TV over the weekend when I caught up on Discovery's NASA's greatest missions. Now I've seen more or less all of the original foorage in other packages before, but these were good programmes, well researched - and it's always good to see the likes of Kranz, Aldrin, Armstrong (a rarity!), Duke and Cernan enthusing about the missions.
My final bouancy device is to find there's a possibility that my own university may part-fund next Spring's research trip to Washington and Austin. It'll be a great relief to secure even partial funding and while confirmation is far from certain, things are looking a tad more hopeful.