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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.
©2015 Clayton C. Anderson (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"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

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By April on 02-21-16

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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By Andrew Scott McClanahan on 11-24-17

A nice blueprint for high school students

When an astronaut came to your school and you raised your hand with a question, was it "How do you go to the bathroom in space?" This is the book for you. Not to detract from the other content, this might be your reaction, too. I was so relieved when I finished the book.

On the serious side, the journey to becoming an astronaut is not like being a sports star. It is a great deal of work and persistence, not to mention actually getting a degree, and this aspect is the book's greatest value. Applying for the astronaut corp 15 times? Clayton got it done. He did the education requirements, too. Take note high schoolers. Life does not serve on a silver platter. I taught high school math and wish now to have the recommended reading list that has developed since. Jane Eyre is not on the list.

The other lesson for high school students is how one stupid email can ruin one's career. But I highly sympathize with Clayton about web technology. I worked in Mission Control, and web technology does not work with people the caliber of astronauts and flight controllers. The Audible site works great, but it is almost unique. At least at NASA we tested everything. Clayton's reaction to his disciplinary action, calling everyone offended, was to give him the list of names and he would set up a face to face meeting. No list was ever delivered. Says a lot about the phone culture and having a spine. Advantage Clayton.

The narrator is a bit syrupy. This is what made me stop listening and then trying again later after a rest. Makes me wonder how Clayton sounds, as I do in all autobiographies. Is Aaron Killian from Nebraska, too? I'd like to see a word count of "Nebraska" in this book.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Anonymous User on 07-10-17

An honest and insightful listen

I've listened to a number of great Astro biographies and this one stands out for me. Clay Anderson strikes a great balance between detail, process and the humanity of his amazing journey. Its very touching in parts and laugh out loud in others. I highly recommend this one for any of you space nuts out there as well as anyone who enjoys a good story.

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