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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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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.
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.