William Sims Bainbridge is the author or co-author of 21 social scientific books and over 200 articles or book chapters. He earned his doctorate from Harvard University with a dissertation about the social history of space exploration, published as The Spaceflight Revolution. The starting point of his field research for that project was watching the last launch to the moon from a Florida beach, in December 1972. In 1986 he was visiting Jet Propulsion Laboratory to assess to possibility of a research project about JPL, and was there watching the televised feed from the Cape of the Challenger launch, when the vehicle exploded. The shock of the accident motivated him to carry out a complex multi-phase questionnaire project to chart the multiple values that space exploration may serve for humanity, resulting in the book, Goals in Space. In that period he was also writing software, which led to major textbooks on questionnaire surveys and statistical data analysis that included software packages. In 1992 he left academia to run the Sociology Program at the National Science Foundation, and in 2000 moved to NSF's computer science directorate where he currently directs the Human-Centered Computing Program. Among recent projects were writing the 2011 book, The Virtual Future, about online virtual worlds that depict extraterrestrial societies, and editing Leadership in Science and Technology, a reference work with 725,000 words in 100 chapters by 123 authors. Space Futures is part of a new project, to combine insights from conventional random-sample public opinion polls having questions about space exploration, with richer attitudinal data collected through the new information technologies following innovative methodological paradigms.