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Publisher's Summary

In this moving, inspirational memoir, a former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, examining the intersecting roles of community, perseverance, and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.
Leland Melvin is the only person in human history to catch a pass in the National Football League and in space. Though his path from the gridiron to the heavens was riddled with setbacks and injury, Leland persevered to reach the stars.
While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. Leland was relegated to earthbound assignments but chose to remain and support his astronaut family. His loyalty paid off. Recovering partial hearing, he earned his eligibility for space travel. He served as mission specialist for two flights aboard the shuttle Atlantis, working on the International Space Station.
In this inspirational memoir, the former NASA astronaut and professional athlete offers an examination of the intersecting role of community, perseverance, and grace that align to shape our opportunities and outcomes. Chasing Space is not the story of one man but the story of many men, women, scientists, and mentors who helped him defy the odds and live out an uncommon destiny.
As a chemist, athlete, engineer, and space traveler, Leland's life story is a study in the science of achievement. His personal insights illuminate how grit and grace are the keys to overcoming adversity and rising to success.
©2017 Leland Melvin (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 03-28-18

Fantastic read!

Leland’s story kept me wanting to hear more. I loved learning all about his NASA experiences and the technical side of everything. The most admirable qualities of Leland as evident in his writing is his passion for discovery, his authenticity, patience and sheer brilliance. Not only was his delivery easy to follow but I felt like I was getting to know Leland personally through his sharing. My favorite moments are when he speaks about his relationship with his parents and feathers in his faith; both he acknowledges have shaped him into the man he is today. I will recommend this book to many!!! Susan

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Bharath on 04-27-18

it's not really about space

As an aspiring astronaut, I really wanted to like this book. but instead of telling the details about Melvin's path to becoming an astronaut, the training he had to go through, and the missions on which he flew, the book mostly meanders through the less-interesting parts of his life. It might be good for the very casual listener with little to no background knowledge about NASA. He spends too much talking about the celebrities he met and the TV shows he appeared on. It's not at all the deep-dive into spaceflight or life in the astronaut office that I was looking for. I feel bad leaving a review like this for a member of an astronaut corps whom I idolize so much, but I really wouldn't recommend this to a friend. Instead, check out the books by Mike Massimino or Gene Kranz.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By steve_h on 02-06-18


Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This is not a story about an Astronaut,
this is a story about a Black Astronaut.

I was quite shocked how in this day and age somebody is still segmenting and differentiating themselves and their achievements based upon the colour of their skin.

Would you recommend Chasing Space to your friends? Why or why not?

Not really.
This guy has led one of the most interesting and exciting lives,
but if you were to replace every occurrence of the word black, with the word green,
it would soon becoming an awkward read.

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