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.


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

Not really so ordinary...

To call any human selected to be an astronaut "ordinary" seems odd. Given the rigors of what it takes to even apply, you already have a person of great drive and self awareness. Let's not even talk about what it takes to be selected for a flight.

What Clayton Anderson so wonderfully captures in this heartfelt and personal telling of his journey is how the ordinary part of all of us are capable, if we *really* *truly* work to our best, can find the extraordinary within us. Yes, Clayton, as he keeps reminding us, is "just a small town Nebraska boy", but what emerges from this book is the tale of an extraordinary human that with humility and grace was able to make his boyhood dreams come true. Yes, he is human and that got in the way sometimes, but was always simply working on everything being the best for his family, his crew mates and anyone else that touched his life. A five star story told from "ground level" because he deftly takes you with him on his journey from ordinary to the extraordinary.

Very well read and no problem with the audio book. Highly recommended to Space lovers and anyone else simply interested in a wonderful journal of a person living an "extraordinary" life.
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- Martin J. Lollar

Book Details

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