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Publisher's Summary

A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station - a candid account of his remarkable voyage, of the journeys off the planet that preceded it, and of his colorful formative years.

The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now he takes us inside a sphere utterly inimical to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of depressurization or colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home - an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on another mission, his twin brother's wife, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space. Kelly's humanity, compassion, humor, and passion resonate throughout as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next ultimately challenging step in American spaceflight.

A natural storyteller and modern-day hero, Kelly has a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come. Here, in his personal story, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the boundless wonder of the galaxy.

©2017 Scott Kelly (P)2017 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great insights with bad audio quality

I really liked this one from a content perspective. I love anything space so I was very excited about this book and it fulfilled my expectations. What I cannot understand at all is how a 2017 audio book can sound so terrible? Most low budget podcasts sound better than this.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well told, in depth account of life on the ISS

This book is quite different from astronaut Mike Massimino’s book Spaceman, which I also enjoyed. Of course they have different backgrounds, and took different routes to becoming astronauts, but it’s more fundamental than that. Mike had almost unanimous pride and positivity about NASA, Scott was much more critical, at times even a bit angry and frustrated.

The book includes many fascinating insights into life on the ISS...the vast differences between the Russian and American ways of doing things, the intense camaraderie between these groups, and both the joys of the experience, as well as the often mundane and repetitive nature of many of the tasks required to repair and maintain the station.

The book jumps around a bit in time...from his pre NASA days, to his days on the Space Shuttle, to his time on the ISS in 2010, and then to 2015, his year in Space, at times it can be a smidge confusing regarding where he’s at in time with the audio version. His narration suits the book quite well, it all feels very personal, especially when he recounts some of the odd dreams he has while sleeping on the ISS, or something he is really frustrated with NASA about, or when he talks about his family and girlfriend. There is a brief passage actually narrated by his long time girlfriend...she reads a poem she wrote for him.

He covers his background in depth, and the simply extraordinary fact, that as of his freshman year in college he had poor grades, and no real plan, then suddenly he read The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe and then on separate but semi parallel paths he and his twin brother spent years becoming pilots and military officers and both end up accepted into the astronaut program at NASA.

If you read and enjoy the book I also recommend watching the two part documentary on PBS...A Year in Space, and Beyond a Year in Space.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A Truly Engrossing Adventure Into The Cosmos

Scott Kelly's intimate portrait of a long-lived and fascinating life of discovery through his days as a Navy aviator and NASA astronaut lends itself to fascinating stories. The way the book flows by interweaving stories of his past with the main star story of the book, being his year long stint at The ISS, is perfection. Everything from the mundane details of a routine repair on The ISS to space walks to piloting the space shuttle to looking for his friend's remains in the wreckage of The Columbia disaster are here in a wonderfully entertaining presentation. This book is honest, full of heart, and just a great journey taken with the author as he recounts a life filled with adventures taken by few.

I only docked it one star on the performance as author's tone is somewhat monotonous but it should in no way keep you from enjoying the story. It adds much to the story hearing the author tell HIS OWN story and I appreciate that in a memoir more than a polished audio book reader.

What an incredible journey this audio book takes you on! Close your eyes and travel into a frontier not yet conquered but well explored by Scott Kelly.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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amazing and insightful

I absolutely loved this book. Scott Kelly describes every aspect of his experiences before, during and after his year in space. If you are curious about what space is like, coming back from space, the ISS, feelings, smells, looks, jobs done in space and everything that goes into doing tasks and jobs, this book will be sure to answer every question you have. very well written, great narration by the author, I wish it wasn't over.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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narration painful to endure.

The facts within the book were interesting but it is amazing to me that an editor did not improve the readability of the book and that anyone would have allowed this horrible narration to be released. The narration was the most excruciating experience I have ever experienced with audible. The author read it like a text book with no punctuation, in a monotone, often reading until out of breath. If I wasn't reading this for book club I would never have finished it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Huge fan

I am a huge fan of Scott Kelly, it’s a treat to hear his voice narrate this unique story. He’s very personable and presents an amazing POV of his life up to and through this infamous year in space.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Pretty Good

I'm an Aerospace Engineer and a huge aviation/space nut. I was really looking forward to hearing about what it was like living in space for a year and what was learned. The stories that Scott told were interesting and some funny, but I was disappointed that only the epilogue was devoted to what was learned and it was literally an itemized list. I would have liked to hear more about the science that was performed as well rather than. How many times he fixed the CO2 scrubber. Overall though, I really enjoyed it. I especially liked learning how it was he became an astronaut as well as his experiences doing things like landing on carriers and performing space walks. As a narrator, Scott's voice is a little monotone and solemn sounding but not so much that it was hard to stay focused. Id recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Can still be anything you want to be in the USA!!

An incredible story of a directionless kid who became the longest time in space US astronaut - both total and consecutive days. If not for his mother (It's always the mothers!) Scott and his brother, Mark, could have ended up living out unremarkable lives in West Orange, New Jersey. But, the example of their mother's endurance and perseverance at least got them to college without making the tragic mistakes that setback too many lives. There Scott found a book in the college bookstore that made clear to him what his direction would be. And, through sheer perseverance he took each of the tens of difficult steps that got him incrementally closer to his new found goal.
I read recently that the one thing most likely to lead to success and the one thing missing in the makeup of too many people is 'grit, true grit.' Scott and Mark exemplify the term! And prove once again that anyone can still be anything they truly desire to be in the USA. 'Is this a great country or what!'
Story made even better by Scott Kelly's narration. Not a professional narrator, but the best to tell the many stories of his experiences and accompanying sense and emotions!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thank you

Scott, thank you. My first job out of college was Rockwell space shuttle, Downey Ca. Your reading and writing this book reminded me of the importance of the space industry. Your description of details was excellent. You gave me more insight to why all design was so critical. i had to give you all stars because I know how hard it is to narrate a book. But 15 stars are just not enough. 15 stars are nothing to what you saw out the ISS window.

I also thank you for the progress of advancing humanity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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First Realistic View of Life in Space I’ve Read

An excellent boook! As with the Chris Hadfield book, part of the book is about how these men overcame incredible odds to get into space. In Chris’ case, he started on the path at a time when Canada didn’t even have a space program and if they ever did he would have to be the one or two selected out of thousands. In Scott’s case it was about how he wandered aimlessly as far as early college, poor grade, somewhat of a screw off until he found a true calling. Both books should be mandatory ready by school kids. But the part I really liked was the frank description of living on the ISS, esp. for a long time. He is polite, but blunt about many issues. I really liked the discussion about the interactions with the Russians, mostly their on-board relationship. That is something you seldom read about. If we could only have the same relationship on Earth as they have in Space....
Can highly recommend this book for anyone

1 of 1 people found this review helpful