The Ordinary Spaceman

  • by Clayton C. Anderson
  • Narrated by Aaron Killian
  • 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great easy to listen story.

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.
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- April

Astronaut 101: Professor Anderson

Where does The Ordinary Spaceman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This Memoir by Clayton C. Anderson easily ranks in the top 5 of all the books I have listened to or read.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Easy, Clayton C. Anderson. This is a Memoir


What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The performance was my least favorite part of this book, Mr. Anderson has a lot of sarcastic tones throughout the book and a lot of humor, but the narrator does not emphatically hit these precise moments. On the other hand, the narrator was extremely clear and easy to understand.


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

No, I took my time with this book. Mr. Anderson and I are acquaintances, and by acquaintances, I mean we have chatted on Quora a time or two. He asked me to give an honest opinion of his book.


Any additional comments?

Mr. Anderson's Memoir captures the essence of letting the layperson understand the basics of how one becomes an AsCan...on the 15th try. He also describes perfectly what it takes and means to be selected to "fly" as a NASA Astronaut. If you want an inside scoop from how nicknames are given, to tragedy, to reprimands of NASA this book is for you. This is an extremely honest book in my opinion because Mr. Anderson not only highlights his successes, but also his short falls. If I am lucky enough to meet Mr. Anderson and his family, not only would I shake all of their hands proudly, but I would feel I knew them. Great book, and to quote Mr. Anderson "Keep looking up"

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- Lee

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-11-2016
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks