An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth (Life Lessons from Space) by Chris Hadfield.
I’m not going to lie folks, I enjoyed ‘The Martian’ so much that I went on a space hype. I spent a good couple of weeks watching various documentaries about Space missions and numerous Ted talks on all things space related. And I even cried a few times, that’s right, I’m one of those people that gets emotional about how beautiful the planet is. The incredibly awesome Chris Hadfield came to my attention around the time he popped up on everyone else’s radar (well their YouTube page at least) when he became an internet sensation for his performance of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ on board the International Space Station.
The great thing about this book is it follows Chris’ journey from the moment he made the decision as a child to become an astronaut. But he doesn’t disillusion us into thinking it was easy, like many people in other careers have done, and he had the opportunity to. He writes about the long, hard hours of work, training, learning, spending time away from his wife and children in order to take one step closer to his dream job. But what’s even more refreshing is how ‘down to earth’ Chris Hadfield is, he never once felt that if he didn’t become an astronaut that he would have failed at life, but instead felt that there’s always something else and that every opportunity you are given is to be grasped and cherished.
‘In my next line of work, it wasn’t even optional. An astronaut who doesn’t sweat the small stuff is a dead astronaut.’
I don’t feel whilst reading this book that there was ever a section that was negative or uninspiring. But it’s when he realised his dream and describes seeing the world from outside the ISS clearly for the first time that for me, really captured the beauty of his hard work.
‘Of course I’d peered out of the Shuttle windows at the world, but I understood now that I hadn’t seen it, not really. Holding onto the side of a spaceship that’s moving around the Earth at 17,500 miles an hour, I could truly see the astonishing beauty of our planet, the infinite textures and colours. On the other side of me, the black velvet bucket of space, brimming with stars. It’s vast and overwhelming, this visual immersion, and I could drink it in forever – only here’s Scott, out of the airlock, floating over toward me. We get to work.’
Regardless of your career goals, this book is inspirational and will teach you the importance of enjoying every moment, learning what you can and taking pleasure in everything you experience, instead of only celebrating the ‘big’ moments. This book is a testament, not only of what human beings have achieved to gain a clearer understanding of our existence, but also what any human being is capable of with the right attitude and by aiming to be a zero.
Star Rating out of 5: 5
‘It’s every science fiction book come true, every little kid’s dream realized: a large, capable, fully human creation orbiting the universe.’
An incredibly enjoyable and immersive read, it’s hard not to look up in wonder after reading this. If any of you have read it, please do let me know in the comment section below.