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Endurance
Cover of Endurance
Endurance
A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery
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NATIONAL BEST SELLERA stunning, personal memoir from the astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station—a message of hope for the future...
NATIONAL BEST SELLERA stunning, personal memoir from the astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station—a message of hope for the future...
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Description-

  • NATIONAL BEST SELLER
    A stunning, personal memoir from the astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station—a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come.

    The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both life-threatening and mundane: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home—an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on a previous mission, his twin brother's wife, American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space.
    Kelly's humanity, compassion, humor, and determination resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career, and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging, step in spaceflight.
    In Endurance, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the infinite wonder of the galaxy.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Prologue

    I'm sitting at the head of my dining room table at home in Houston, finishing dinner with my family: my longtime girlfriend, Amiko; my daughters, Samantha and Charlotte; my twin brother, Mark; his wife, Gabby; his daughter, Claudia; our father, Richie; and Amiko's son, Corbin. It's a simple thing, sitting at a table and eating a meal with those you love, and many people do it every day without giving it much thought. For me, it's something I've been dreaming of for almost a year. I contemplated what it would be like to eat this meal so many times, now that I'm finally here, it doesn't seem entirely real. The faces of the people I love that I haven't seen for so long, the chatter of many people talking together, the clink of silverware, the swish of wine in a glass—these are all unfamiliar. Even the sensation of gravity holding me in my chair feels strange, and every time I put a glass or fork down on the table there's a part of my mind that is looking for a dot of Velcro or a strip of duct tape to hold it in place. I've been back on Earth for forty-eight hours.

    I push back from the table and struggle to stand up, feeling like an old man getting out of a recliner.

    "Stick a fork in me, I'm done," I announce. Everyone laughs and encourages me to go and get some rest. I start the journey to my bedroom: about twenty steps from the chair to the bed. On the third step, the floor seems to lurch under me, and I stumble into a planter. Of course it wasn't the floor—it was my vestibular system trying to readjust to Earth's gravity. I'm getting used to walking again.

    "That's the first time I've seen you stumble," Mark says. "You're doing pretty good." He knows from personal experience what it's like to come back to gravity after having been in space. As I walk by Samantha, I put my hand on her shoulder and she smiles up at me.

    I make it to my bedroom without incident and close the door behind me. Every part of my body hurts. All of my joints and all of my muscles are protesting the crushing pressure of gravity. I'm also nauseated, though I haven't thrown up. I strip off my clothes and get into bed, relishing the feeling of sheets, the light pressure of the blanket over me, the fluff of the pillow under my head. All of these are things I missed dearly. I can hear the happy murmur of my family behind the door, voices I haven't heard without the distortion of phones bouncing signals off satellites for a year. I drift off to sleep to the comforting sound of their talking and laughing.

    A crack of light wakes me: Is it morning? No, it's just Amiko coming to bed. I've only been asleep for a couple of hours. But I feel delirious. It's a struggle to come to consciousness enough to move, to tell her how awful I feel. I'm seriously nauseated now, feverish, and my pain has gotten worse. This isn't like how I felt after my last mission. This is much, much worse.

    "Amiko," I finally manage to say.


    She is alarmed by the sound of my voice.


    "What is it?" Her hand is on my arm, then on my forehead. Her skin feels chilled, but it's just that I'm so hot.


    "I don't feel good," I say.


    I've been to space four times now, and she has gone through the whole process with me as my main support once before, when I spent 159 days on the space station in 2010–11. I had a reaction to coming back from space that time, but it was nothing like this.

    I struggle to get up. Find the edge of the bed. Feet down. Sit up. Stand up. At every stage I feel like I'm fighting through quicksand. When I'm finally vertical, the pain in my legs is awful, and on top of that pain I feel...

About the Author-

  • SCOTT KELLY is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. During the Year in Space mission, he set records for the total accumulated number of days spent in space and for the single longest space mission by an American astronaut. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2017
    A four-time veteran of off-planet missions, including a year aboard the International Space Station, offers a view of astronautics that is at once compelling and cautionary.Why go into space in the first place? Kelly ponders that existential question early on, the whys and wherefores of entering into the strangest of strange environments and potentially suffering all manner of consequences. He replies, "I have a few answers I give to this question, but none of them feels fully satisfying to me." Among those answers, perhaps, are because it's extremely exciting to go where no one--very few people, anyway--has gone before, and after all, Kelly still holds the American record for consecutive days spent in outer space. Naturally, that comes at a cost; his book opens with an alarming portrait of edema, rashes, and malaise, and hence another answer emerges: we can't go to, say, Mars without understanding what space flight does to a human body. Some of Kelly's descriptions seem a little by-the-numbers, the equivalent of a ball player's thanking the deity for a win--a spacegoing colleague is "sincere and enthusiastic without ever seeming fake or calculating," while a Russian counterpart is "a quiet and thoughtful person, consistently reliable." Nonetheless, Kelly's book shines in its depiction of the day-to-day work of astronautics and more particularly where that work involves international cooperation. On that score, there's no better account of the cultural differences between Right Stuff-inculcated NASA types and Yuri Gagarin-inspired cosmonauts: "One difference between the Russian approach to spacewalking and ours," he writes, "is that the Russians stop working when it's dark." It's fascinating stuff, a tale of aches and pains, of boredom punctuated by terror and worries about what's happening in the dark and back down on Earth. A worthy read for space buffs, to say nothing of anyone contemplating a voyage to the stars.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    September 15, 2017

    Inspired by Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff (1979), Kelly became a navy pilot and astronaut. Before retiring from NASA, he earned the record for the most total time spent in space, including 340 consecutive days at the International Space Station. This memoir is filled with stories of the daring, patience, and humanity necessary to be an effective leader in space, along with the stress of being away from family. His brother Mark Kelly is also a retired astronaut; Scott tells of hearing about the 2011 shooting of his sister-in-law U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, from afar and subsequently leading a moment of silence in honor of the victims. While Kelly's story is personal, it's also a cautionary tale about the future of space exploration, especially if deeper investment is not made. VERDICT Kelly's down-to-earth personality, humor, and blog SteveKelly.com have earned him a devoted following. Highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in memoirs or space travel.--Beth Dalton, Littleton, CO

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 23, 2017
    Kelly, a former astronaut who spent a record-setting year aboard the International Space Station (ISS), shares his experiences of space travel in this fascinating memoir. He shifts between the many aspects of his year-long project (“As much as I worked on scientific experiments, I think I learned at least as much about practical issues of how to conduct a long-range exploration mission”) and his early life. After growing up influenced by Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff, he pursued a career as a fighter pilot, a test, pilot, and finally an astronaut. Throughout, Kelly gives the reader a sense of what life is like inside the ISS, where there are “rooms upon rooms, each of which serve different purposes, its own equipment and hardware, and its own feeling and smell.” He is unsparing in detailing the danger that “space junk” presents to the space station (“If the satellite hits, the resulting destruction would be... akin to a nuclear explosion”), but he also often displays a sense of humor, especially when describing his capsule’s reentry into Earth’s atmosphere (“As soon as you realize you’re not going to die, it’s the most fun you’ll ever have in your life”). His is an inspirational story of true endurance under pressure.

  • Jaroslav Kalfar, The New York Times Book Review "Captivating, charming . . . . [Kelly] pulls back the curtain separating the myth of the astronaut from its human realities. . . . It is easy to imagine future generations of explorers and daredevils harnessing the lessons and truths within the pages of 'Endurance' as the blueprints for their own trips into the unknown."
  • The Wall Street Journal "[Endurance] is a memoir of the right stuff that will hypnotize any space geek."
  • The Financial Times "Kelly brings life in space alive--the wonder and awe of it, and also the jagged edges, the rough parts of living in confined quarters in an alien element, far from everything familiar and beloved. . . . Endurance, with its honest, gritty descriptions of an unimaginable life, a year off Earth, is as close as most readers will come to making that voyage themselves."
  • USA Today "Kelly's account is insightful, at times humorous, heart-tugging at others. And it's inspiring enough to change the life of some lost kid, just like The Right Stuff did for him."
  • Booklist "For space junkies, it's absolutely required reading. . . . We feel as though we're right there with him. A great book."

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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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