An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and being Prepared for Anything by Col. Chris Hadfield
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Col. Chris Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut who has been on three separate space missions. He has had an impressive career, but I had not become aware of him until his months as Commander of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2013. During this time my teacher friends often shared videos on social media of Hadfield demonstrating experiments & "normal" everyday activities in space, culminating with his popular performance of "Space Oddity" from space.
The book, written after Hadfield's final ISS mission, is broken up into four main parts. First, in the Introduction, he describes the path he took to becoming an astronaut (one does not simply become an astronaut, especially if one is Canadian). The other three sections describe the experiences of preparing to launch into space, living in space, then returning from space & integrating back into life here on earth. Throughout the book, Hadfield gives insights into how many of these experiences have influenced and taught him other life lessons.
This book was definitely an interesting read for me. I'm sure part of that had to do with the fact that I've always been intrigued & fascinated with the space program. But I also think that Chris Hadfield's style of writing had a lot to do with it too. His determination is inspiring & his stories are entertaining - he really kept me turning the pages.
"Square astronaut, round hole. It's the story of my life, really: trying to figure out how to get where I want to go when just getting out the door seems impossible. On paper, my career trajectory looks preordained: engineer, fighter pilot, test pilot, astronaut. Typical path for someone in this line of work, straight as a ruler. But that's not really how it was. There were hairpin curves and dead ends all the way along. I wasn't destined to be an astronaut. I had to turn myself into one." page 2
This is my eleventh book read for the 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge.