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Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it. In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.
About the Author
Chris Hadfield is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. In May, Hadfield returned to Earth after serving as Commander of the International Space Station, where he and his crew lived for six months (it was his third trip). The top graduate of the U.S. Air Force test pilot school in 1988 and U.S. Navy test pilot of the year in 1991, Hadfield was selected to be an astronaut in 1992. He served as Director of NASA Operations in Star City, Russia from 2001-2003, Chief of Robotics at the Johnson Space Center in Houston from 2003-2006 and Chief of International Space Station Operations there from 2006-2008. The former President of the Association of Space Explorers (2007-2011), Hadfield is also a fully qualified flight engineer cosmonaut, is fluent in Russian, and is designated a "specialist" on "all" Space Station systems, meaning that he has earned the highest qualification level possible for every imaginable task onboard.
A Slate Staff Pick for Best Books 2013
"A very human glance into a rarified world.... The vacuum of space is unforgiving and brutal. Life on earth isn't easy, either. Mr. Hadfield has genuinely and refreshingly increased our understanding of how to thrive in both places." -- Wall Street Journal
"This memoir is part fascinating view, part Boy Scout manual." -- New York Times
"A satisfying behind-the-scenes look at the life of an astronaut.... A page-turning memoir of life as a decorated astronaut." -- Kirkus
"Hadfield proves himself to be not only a fierce explorer of the universe, but also a deeply thoughtful explorer of the human condition, capable of articulating those most universal of inquiries in simple yet profound language.... The book itself is absolutely spectacular." -- Brain Pickings
"Hadfield is a genius, a man of science and technology and no first-timer to the universe." -- New York Post
"Thoroughly engaging.... In a low-key style, he makes a persuasive case that the oft-derided Space Station is both a marvel of engineering and a triumph for science, and he paints the cartoon heroism of the NASA astronaut corps in a much more realistic, and yet in many ways even more admirable, light."—Corey S. Powell, American Scientist
"Lessons from his new book, AN ASTRONAUT'S GUIDE TO LIFE, are so inspiring that it's hard to decide which one to tell you about." -- USA Today
"Hadfield is a good writer with an engaging style.... From his photos of Earth from space to his videos showing the daily grind of life on a 100-meter wide orbiting tin can, he is all about real life." -- Slate
"Riveting, dramatic and intensely engrossing, Hadfield's engaging style as a writer puts you right alongside this almost absurdly compelling gentleman as he climbs the ladder from Canadian fighter pilot through two space shuttle missions and, ultimately, his serving as commander of the ISS." -- The Huntington Beach Independent
"Hadfield takes readers on a fascinating and exciting journey while offering insightful-if somewhat unconventional -- wisdom applicable to everyday life here on Earth." -- Bookpage