Wednesday, November 05, 2014

So you want to go to space

Clay Anderson at ISS
Your dreams can come true…

Clay Anderson announced to the world on his 10th birthday, after watching Apollo 8, America’s first manned flight in 1968 that he was going to be an astronaut. It took him until June 8th, 2007 to realise his dream… 39 years!! Now that is persistence.

In his book The Ordinary Spaceman, due for publication on June 1st, 2015, Anderson talks about having applied to NASA fifteen times over fifteen years to become an astronaut before his ultimate selection.

Having held true to his dream for 40 years, Anderson offers a unique perspective on his life as a veteran space flier, one characterized by humility and perseverance.

What’s it like to travel at more than 1300 KPH, riding in a supersonic T-38 twin turbojet engine airplane? What happens when the space station toilet breaks? How do astronauts “take out the trash” on a spacewalk, tightly encapsulated in a space suit with just a few layers of fabric and Kevlar between them and the unforgiving vacuum of outer space?

The Ordinary Spaceman puts you in the flight suit of U.S. astronaut Clayton C. Anderson and takes you on the journey of this small-town boy from Nebraska who spent 167 days living and working on the International Space Station, including more than forty hours of space walks.

From the application process to launch aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, from serving as a family escort for the ill-fated Columbia crew in 2003 to his own daily struggles—family separation, competitive battles to win coveted flight assignments, the stress of a highly visible job, and the ever-present risk of having to make the ultimate sacrifice—Anderson shares the full range of his experiences. With a mix of levity and gravitas, Anderson gives an authentic view of the highs and the lows, the triumphs and the tragedies of life as a NASA astronaut.

The overall message is that you can achieve whatever you want, regardless of where you start in life, when you combine perseverance, diligence, the right skills and the will to achieve.