What's it like to travel at more than 850 MPH, 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 US 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 40 hours of space walks. Having applied to NASA 15 times over 15 years to become an astronaut before his ultimate selection, Anderson offers a unique perspective on his life as a veteran space flier, one characterized by humility and perseverance.
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.
©2015 Clayton C. Anderson (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks
"Anderson provides a focused picture of how a fiercely dedicated individual became a spaceman." (Publishers Weekly)
"Clayton Anderson is no ordinary astronaut, and this is no ordinary book. It is an uncompromisingly honest rendering of a challenging and fulfilling life by someone with a singular dream and the moxie to pursue it to success." (Lincoln Journal Star)
"He may have been an ordinary spaceman, but The Ordinary Spaceman demonstrates he is certainly not ordinary." (Space Review)
I have always dreamt of being an astronaut and so when I saw that NASA is finally taking applications for new astronaut hopefuls I decided to do some research on what it would take. That is how I came across this audio book. This story of Clayton Anderson was very inspiring and help motivate me to reach for my dreams even if the dream is being an astronaut. I would recommend this book to anyone with a dream or a passion for outer space.
I enjoyed every moment of the time that I spent listening to the story of astronaut Clay Anderson. It was well narrated by Aaron Killian.
Evident throughout was the thoughtful perspective of astronaut Anderson as issues and circumstances unfolded. Some of which could only have been conveyed following his retirement/separation from the astronaut corp. Add to that the efforts of a man who achieved a lofty lifetime goal of becoming an astronaut during the era of the space shuttle and the building of the ISS. Truly a very good listen.
The technical issues were all explained in layperson terms and I left the audiobook with a much better understanding of the man, his spiritual strength, and sacrifices made in his personal life to live his lifelong dream.
Highly recommend to anyone who has a interest in space and what is required and what is sacrificed to become an astronaut.
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I loved the detail about his experiences as an AsCan. Having worked for NASA, I know that they are just about as screwed up as any Federal bureaucracy, even though I utterly worshipped them as a child of the Apollo Program. I liked that he was willing to talk about the political nonsense he endured as a NASA employee, and the adverse reaction to his willingness to point out incompetence, and actually expect improvements rather than punishment.
I loved when he described Mardi Gras with his fellow AsCans, and one of them attempting to get favors in exchange for mission patch stickers, which nobody there wanted. He should try that at Comicon! He would be draped in nerds, fighting for his stickers! :)
My biggest critique is the amount of time he spent talking about his religious faith. Why do extremely religious people always think that everyone wants to hear about this? I bought this book to hear about the experiences of an astronaut, AS an astronaut. If I wanted to read about religion, I would have bought a book about that. I do not mind him having mentioned it a couple of times, but towards the end, it gets to be about that. If he ran out of material, I would have been perfectly happy to have had it simply be shorter. Of course, I understand the pressure of editors to add more material. It must be a certain length. There is nothing like placing duration limits on a creative endeavor...
"Afghanistan seemed familiar. It had jagged blue-and-purple mountains, big skies, and bearded men in pickup trucks stocked with guns and hate for the government. It was like Montana - just on different drugs."-Kim Barker, Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Didn't really LOVE anything. I liked it, though.
Wheels Stop...which I thought was better.
Good voice. Was able to listen at times when I could not read...like driving.
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