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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything Hardcover – October 29, 2013
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"A very human glance into a rarified world.... The vacuum of space is unforgiving and brutal. Life on earth isn't easy, either. Mr. Hadfield has genuinely and refreshingly increased our understanding of how to thrive in both places." -- Wall Street Journal
"This memoir is part fascinating view, part Boy Scout manual." -- New York Times
"A satisfying behind-the-scenes look at the life of an astronaut.... A page-turning memoir of life as a decorated astronaut." -- Kirkus
"Hadfield proves himself to be not only a fierce explorer of the universe, but also a deeply thoughtful explorer of the human condition, capable of articulating those most universal of inquiries in simple yet profound language.... The book itself is absolutely spectacular." -- Brain Pickings
"Hadfield is a genius, a man of science and technology and no first-timer to the universe." -- New York Post
"Thoroughly engaging.... In a low-key style, he makes a persuasive case that the oft-derided Space Station is both a marvel of engineering and a triumph for science, and he paints the cartoon heroism of the NASA astronaut corps in a much more realistic, and yet in many ways even more admirable, light."―Corey S. Powell, American Scientist
"Lessons from his new book, AN ASTRONAUT'S GUIDE TO LIFE, are so inspiring that it's hard to decide which one to tell you about." -- USA Today
"Hadfield is a good writer with an engaging style.... From his photos of Earth from space to his videos showing the daily grind of life on a 100-meter wide orbiting tin can, he is all about real life." -- Slate
"Riveting, dramatic and intensely engrossing, Hadfield's engaging style as a writer puts you right alongside this almost absurdly compelling gentleman as he climbs the ladder from Canadian fighter pilot through two space shuttle missions and, ultimately, his serving as commander of the ISS." -- The Huntington Beach Independent
"Hadfield takes readers on a fascinating and exciting journey while offering insightful-if somewhat unconventional -- wisdom applicable to everyday life here on Earth." -- Bookpage
About the Author
More About the Author
Astronaut, Former Commander of the International Space Station
"Good morning, Earth." That is how Colonel Chris Hadfield--writing on Twitter--woke up the world every day while living aboard the International Space Station for over five months. Since blasting off from Kazakhstan in December 2012, Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions and infusing a sense of wonder into the collective consciousness not felt since man first walked on the moon. Called "the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong" by the BBC, Hadfield, now safely back on Earth, continues to bring the glory of science and space travel to everyone he encounters.
Hadfield is the pioneer of many firsts. In 1992, he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as a NASA Mission Specialist - Canada's first fully-qualified Space Shuttle crewmember. Three years later, he was the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in space, and the first Canadian to board a Russian spacecraft as he helped build the Russian space station 'Mir'. In 2001, he performed two spacewalks - the first Canadian to do so - and in 2010 the CSA and NASA announced Hadfield's third mission: commanding the International Space Station (ISS)--again a first for a Canadian.
Hadfield launched into space on December 19, 2012 and took command of the ISS in March. His multiple daily Tweets and photographs from space made people see the world differently. His accessibility, whether answering questions such as, "How do you wring out a washcloth in space," via Skype or collaborating with The Barenaked Ladies for a song sung by nearly a million people simultaneously, endeared him to all while he orbited Earth.
A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Hadfield's many awards include receiving the Order of Ontario, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and has been inducted into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. He is also commemorated on Canadian postage stamps, Royal Canadian Mint silver and gold coins, and on Canada's new 5 dollar bill.
Top Customer Reviews
Most of what people love about Hadfield appears here: him playing the guitar while looking out the cupola's window; looking down upon the beauty of earth during a spacewalk; problem solving everyday situations that we take for granted here on earth. Hadfield relays the story of his life and tells of the obstacles he's overcome, along the way laying down practical pieces of advice. He tells us to prepare for every possible scenario, work diligently toward our goal, and enjoy even the smallest pieces of life along the way.
Readers not already familiar with Hadfield, but are fans of space travel and life in space will still love this book. He remains true-to-form in this book, with the similar voice from YouTube videos and other online appearances. He talks about everything from clipping his nails to fixing a toilet while in space. Along with the mundane facts, come riveting adventures like traveling in the new Russian Soyuz (or better yet, the fear of coming back down) and walking out in space to fix a mission-threatening ammonia leak.Read more ›
Chris Hadfield knew he wanted to be an astronaut when he was nine years old. In fact, he remembers the exact moment he knew. It was late in the evening on July 20, 1969. That's when his entire family, spending the summer in Stag Island, Ontario, "traipsed across the clearing" to their neighbour's cottage so they could crowd themselves in front of the television and watch the moon landing. "Somehow," he writes, "we felt as if we were up there with Neil Armstrong, changing the world."
Hadfield writes about this early experience--and many, many of the other experiences that have led him to become the world's most recognized astronaut since Armstrong himself--in his new book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.
I would have read this book a lot faster if I hadn't kept stopping every few pages to run out to tell my family what I'd just read. Magda didn't mind. She asked me to read aloud to her from the book every chance I got. At 4, I'd venture to say she knows more about space than most Canadians ten times her age, and we have Colonel Chris Hadfield to thank for that.
His videos from space captured her imagination and mine. Thanks to him, Magda has spent the better part of the year learning everything she can about space exploration and astronauts, and has even composed several songs dedicated to female astronauts she admires ("Julie Payette Rocket" and "You are the Moon, I am the Sun [for Suni Williams]").Read more ›
This book, however, is not merely a glossy, feel-good piece of fluff. Hadfield directly addresses life's dark sides too - the chapter on the power of negative thinking is one of the most insightful examinations of the topic I have ever read, while other passages about the space shuttle tragedy and the preparation of "death plans" that every astronaut makes prior to going into space are among those that show Hadfield is the real deal when it comes to a thorough examination of life. His voice has a certain authenticity, making you feel as though he is sitting in the chair next to you, reviewing in full detail the experiences he has had - the positive, the negative, and even the mundane - and weaving a portrait for you of your spot in the cosmos.
I read this in one sitting, over the course of several hours, interrupted by only my frequent pauses from reading to write notes and questions for review later. Because, in the end, Hadfield never tells us how to live or what we should change. His voice shares his stories, turning them into the bigger pictures, and then it gently prompts us to reflect and ask ourselves questions we have never thought to ask ourselves before. One of the best books I have ever read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Astronauts are a bunch of freaks training for these fantastic adventures up there in space. The ultimate human exploration demands the best people. Here we have one. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Roberto Rigolin Ferreira Lopes
I'm absolutely stunned that there are so many 5-star reviews. It's clear I'm not the average reader of this book. Please allow me to give my perspective. Read morePublished 11 days ago by J. Bell
Great book with excellent lessons for people of all walks of life. This man accomplished so much and yet still remained humble and ready to do what every was necessary for the... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Hercules
A very well written, gripping, absorbing and entertaining insight into what it takes to be an astronaut, how to focus on your goals and deal with adversity. Read morePublished 16 days ago by D. Churchett
A truly absorbing read! Hadfield humbly tells his story and gives a unique look into the life of an astronaut, in a way that leaves you with a sense of admiration and having... Read morePublished 17 days ago by William Shaw
This book has something for everyone, as it is part science manual, part memoir, and part motivational guide. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Julie Merilatt