An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

Narrated by: Chris Hadfield
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (514 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth is an inspirational memoir of space exploration and hard-won wisdom, from an astronaut who has spent a lifetime making the impossible a reality. 

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and become a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie's ‘Space Oddity' in space. The secret to Chris Hadfield's success - and survival - is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst - and enjoy every moment of it. 

In his book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield takes listeners deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerising wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement - and happiness. 

His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Colonel Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights in this book will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth - especially your own.

©2013 Chris Hadfield (P)2013 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd
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Simply excellent

enjoyed every minute of this book. thank you Chris for sharing a piece of your fascinating life with us.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic story read by the author with passion!

What made the experience of listening to An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth the most enjoyable?

Listening to the details of space life from the author himself.

What was one of the most memorable moments of An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth?

Details of the re-entry of Chris Hadfield and his crew in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Which character – as performed by Chris Hadfield – was your favorite?

Himself!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really - it would have taken too long, but I liistened to it twice a day for a week and loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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An absolute must-listen to all the dreamers!

If there's one type of videos on YouTube that I can never get enough of, it's space themed videos about performing simple everyday life tasks in space. This book has those details – and so much more!

An absolute must-read (or rather, listen) for all the dreamers out there! Most of us won't ever get to go to space, but we can learn about it and get inspired to live on Earth by doing so.

The fact that Chris Hadfield himself narrates the book was the reason I've chosen an audiobook rather than a physical copy, and it didn't disappoint for a second. Loved it!

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Wow... Just wow 😀

Absolutely loved this book! I've always been fascinated by space and hearing stories from someone who's been there is just amazing. If Chris ever feels like telling more stories about his journey, I'm ready to listen.

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Enjoyed it!

A wonderful book. Real guide to improve yourselves and to be a really good earthling.

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Real Quality Reading

Couldn’t stop listening to this.. To me the book was very inspiring and awaking healthy curiosity.
Wish I have read something like this at the age of 15, but it’s never too late :-)

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Probably the best book I've listened so far

What an inspiring and lovable book! The book became even better when it was read by the author and astronaut itself. Chris really made it sound like he would telling his stories for you out of the memory instead of roboticlly reading from the computer.

I've listened many selfhelp and motivational books but this takes the cake. It is so much different when you are hearing concrete advices spiced up with the actuall experiences of Chris Hadfield. I'm probably sounding too praising but this really had a huge effect on me that no other book has had.

I deeply recommend for everyone interested in space and experiencing life more fully.

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  • G
  • 09-05-18

What a fantastic time I had....

I had a fantastic time listening to it and more so because it’s read by Chris Hadfield himself.
Just amazing.

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Awesome and absolutely motivating

This has audio book is by far, one the best treasures I've ever found. It just goes to show you that no matter who you are and what you are, we are all essentially just humans, people. I can't say much, you just have to read it or listen to it. Very down to earth

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A sensation to both read and listen

This is an excellent books not only for it's exceptionally recherché yet scintillating aphorisms it contains. Nonetheless, this book would be highly worthwhile to peruse.

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  • chikwan
  • 03-01-14

Thoroughly enjoyable

What made the experience of listening to An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth the most enjoyable?

He's got a great expressive voice for telling His story. It's much more than a narrative of his journey into space (although everything he does tell us about space is fascinating and even exciting), it explores his philosophy for life in general and gives much food for thought.

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  • Ben
  • 12-02-13

Inspiring, insightful and interesting

Would you listen to An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth again? Why?

From humble beginnings, here is someone who had a dream and followed it to completion. Often stating he has been lucky, which everyone needs a little of....but actually, I think it is more like inspiration and perspiration.

The book is very good, especially for anyone interested in the life of the modern day astronaut, and wants to delve deeper than simply knowing what it is like to take off and walk in space. At a time when I am finding elements of my job dull, it is refreshing to hear that, I am not alone out there, but as opposed to letting that get on top of you, you should always make the most of it....

What other book might you compare An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth to, and why?

Moondust

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  • D. Faulkner
  • 03-19-15

Interesting stuff

Interesting guy, interesting life, interesting book. More of a personal diary than a philosophical memoir but pretty good none the less

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  • Sue Bayliss
  • 03-13-14

Rocket Man

I remember when Chris Hadfield was in space. I remember watching the you tube videos and thinking how cool it looked. When I saw this audiobook I thought I would give it a go. I have never been one to dream about space or being an astronaut, so approached it with an open mind. Chris Hadfield was one of the first Canadian astronaut's and his story is excellent. It is has much a story about dedication and ambition as it was about space and being an astronaut.

Very good listen and very entertaining story.

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  • Kez
  • 03-13-15

More memoir than diary.

Any additional comments?

This book is more about the preparation for his mission to the ISS than a standard autobiography with many chapters about his life and upbringing, which I'm grateful for.

This is a very enjoyable listen for anyone interested in the space program and that side of science and engineering in general and I really appreciated the detail that Hadfield puts into this side of things in the book. I was interested in what astronauts do in the traning and prep time before their missions. I also appreciated the writing about the impact his choice of career had on his family, it's covered in a powerful and reflective, but never sappy way.

Hadfield is not the best narrator, but to be honest, this is to be expected, I'm pretty sure he makes a far better astronaut, so yes there are better narrations on the site, but I still thoroughly enjoyed listening to him read his book.

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  • David Hickey
  • 03-19-15

Best listen to date

Chris has done a remarkable job detailing his life up to this point. Just kind of person you want to be one if the pioneers a stand out from our time though I would guess he would disagree. Listening to this grips you from start to finish, an all round humbling experience that is made all the better with Chris himself being the reader. Enjoy.

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  • Martin
  • 03-16-15

Truly exceptional

Fascinating story. Inspiring messages. Exquisitely written and read. This guy should be a role model for us all. Definitely recommend.

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  • mr
  • 03-15-15

Enjoyed

Very interesting insight to astronauts life by a grounded thinking person, enjoyed the story and insight into space travel. Thanks

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  • Helen
  • 02-25-15

Excellent

This is a brilliant book which I couldn't stop listening to. I really liked listening to Chris Hadfield reading it.

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  • Thomas
  • 03-07-14

Well worth a listen

This was not the autobiography I expected. Hadfield gets that out of the way in about two chapters, and spends the rest of the book discussing the intricacies of preparing for and experiencing his final mission, and applying his philosophy to everyday life. In that regard, this book is unusually accurate to its title, and is a must-read for anyone pursuing a challenging career path.

Hadfield is excellent at demonstrating how every individual in the ISS project is playing an important bit-part, including the astronauts themselves. He speaks humbly to an almost infuriating degree - at times I found myself wishing he'd get on with acknowledging how awesome at everything he had to be to end up where he did. Occasionally his philosophy can be a little shallow, assuming that everything in life will turn out for the best (well, DUH, if it didn't you wouldn't have become an astronaut!) but he accompanies this with a very healthy acknowledgement of the risks that he would never have flown.

This wasn't the autobiography I expected, but the details on NASA are fascinating, and it is inspiring to listen to someone who aimed for the sky and made it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-17

A spectacular and humble insight into one continuous lifetime of applied dedication

This audio book is a must for anyone wanting to support their journey towards their aspirations. Chris' pragmatic and humble explanation of his story and the lessons he has learnt is a captivating and thought provoking narrative that parallels everyday life, despite the awe-inspiring nature of his adventures. You won't regret listening to this!

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  • Matt
  • 04-13-17

What a legend!

Mate - if there was ever a story of sheer determination and focus towards one's life goals, the story of Cmd Chris Hadfield's journey into space tops it!

I am not one to usually read biographies, but I remember the fantastic photography, and awesome 'in-school' Q+A sessions that Chris did whilst in space, and thought it would be an interesting character to read about.....I was not dissappointed. There was plenty of space related technical jargon to keep even the staunchest of space nerds (like me!) happy, but also a nice smattering of background story of the effect his single-minded drive had on his family and friends. He can do a pretty good job at narration too!

I heartily recommend this one to all.

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  • J Sklenars
  • 11-15-15

One Word: Wow!

I loved this book. Chris Hadfield's narration made it feel like I was actually having a conversation with him. I was gutted that it was over. Everyone should listen to this book. It is enjoyable, funny and inspiring.

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  • Jason
  • 04-25-15

Brilliant book by a brilliant human

Could have happily gone on listening to Chris' life well after the book was over.

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  • Julia from Oz
  • 06-01-20

Not my usual choice

It wouldn't be a title I would normally download but I saw the book referenced in an emergency medical presentation and thought I wonder what that is all about? I am so glad I downloaded and listened to Chris's book it's brilliant. Not only did it teach me a bit about space exploration it also taught me about life and learning to look more deeply into the way I look at my achievements. It's a story that has many layers and it's only after pondering those layers did I find myself agreeing and smiling. It's worth the time it takes to listen..space fan or not!

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  • VB
  • 03-09-20

Best Audible book

Content and narration were just amazing - Chris is genuine, witty yet humourous in this book. What I enjoyed most about this book is that he shares so many life lessons that the rest of us non-astronauts can relate to

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  • Daylan
  • 03-08-20

Absolutely fantastic

I could not stop listening to this. It was fascinating, relatable (oddly) and a glimpse at an achievement few have and will undertake. Super fun listen.

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  • YDN19
  • 06-27-19

Fascinating insight. A "down to earth" human!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book from start to finish. Chris speaks very well, his voice and his vocabulary is very pleasant to the ears. He gives the reader a nicely detailed account of everything from blasting off in a rocket, being in space, experiencing zero gravity, to returning back to earth in a Soyouz! I could truly imagine it in my mind. It's not too heavy for 'non astronauts' and not too light, it's just right. Can't recommend this book enough to everyone I know.

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  • Dan
  • 06-01-19

Amazing

gives you perspective not only on living on/off the earth but also on life and oursing dreams.

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  • Robert
  • 01-17-19

An amazing and inspiring book.

Absolutely loved this audio book. Chris is now my role model. His determination and dedication to his goals and life is an inspiration.