An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Chris Hadfield
This is one book I’d highly recommend for all science aficionados. if you are like me and have seen far too many videos of Astronauts doing spacewalks and floating around at the International Space station.
This book will literally blow your mind, Virgin Galactic is now offering space flights for as little as 200,000$ and the price is dropping exponentially, Russian Companies offering the same space flights for much less. What was until a few years ago only possible for large governments is now within the realm of possibility for many space dreamers. This book comes in at such a time and lightens up all our space travel dreams.
This autobiography book takes you through Chris’s life from a farm boy in Canada as he grew up to be the commander of the International Space Station.
Chris is an unbelievably driven and motivated guy we could all learn a lot from. See the two extracts below as examples of how methodical and driven his approach is to everything in his life.
In general the book is a journey into Chris’s life from the ground up to the time he reaches stratospheric heights. As a plus for general non scientific readers, This book is more about Human Psychology and motivation than about physics and rocket science.
Here’s an extract that demonstrates how he approaches every problem and situation in life something we could all learn and emulate from.
Think about Survivor, which Helene and I have been known to watch on occasion. The show has been on for years now, so everybody knows some of the skills you need in order to win: how to make a fire, for instance, and build a shelter out of branches. And yet, year after year, contestants show up without knowing the basics. I don’t get that. You knew you were going to be on Survivor—were you just counting on good looks and charm to catch a fish? Knowing that the stakes are a million dollars and a whole different life, why not come prepared?
To me, it’s simple: if you’ve got the time, use it to get ready. What else could you possibly have to do that’s more important? Yes, maybe you’ll learn how to do a few things you’ll never wind up actually needing to do, but that’s a much better problem to have than needing to do something and having no clue where to start.
This isn’t just how I approach my job. It’s how I live my life. For instance, a few years ago I was invited to take part in an air show in Windsor, Ontario, that was scheduled to overlap with an Elton John concert. The organizers decided to try to get him to cross-promote the air show. I thought the chances of a superstar interrupting his performance to promote a regional air show were quite slim, but then I started wondering: What if he agreed? What if it turned out that Elton John was a fanatic about airplanes or, secretly, a space geek—what was the most extreme thing that might wind up happening?
I’ve played the guitar since I was a kid. While I’m not the best guitarist in the world, I do love it, and for years I’ve played and sung in bands on Earth, including the all-astronaut band Max Q, and in space, too. A vision, not an entirely pleasant one, flashed before my eyes: Elton John somehow finding this out and inviting the guitar-playing astronaut from the air show up on stage to strum a few bars with him. The likelihood of that was almost zero, I knew that, but I’d performed with the Houston Symphony, so I also knew that unlikely things do occur sometimes. So my next thought was, “All right, let’s say that did happen—what song would he ask me to play?” There was only one possible answer: “Rocket Man.” So I sat down and learned how to play it and practiced to the point where I was reasonably confident I wouldn’t be booed off the stage. I actually started kind of hoping I would get to go up and play “Rocket Man” with Elton John.
As it happened, I did wind up at the concert, and Helene and I did get to meet Elton John and we had a very nice, normal 10-minute conversation with him. But I never got anywhere near the stage nor, to this moment, is Elton John aware that I can pull off a respectable rendition of his song. But I don’t regret being ready
It’s an interesting contrast from my previous read along similar lines, The Right Stuff, which was the book about Swashbuckling Shoot from the hip fighter pilots and first few men with the Right Stuff to do things like break the sound barrier.
Get it, Read it!!