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Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite
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, was an extremely detailed look at life on Earth and beyond. Through his description of the process of selecting a career, education, being selected, and going through the training of an astronaut, Hadfield paints a very vivid picture of a life characterized by vision, determination, and above all cooperation and service to others. Astronauts may be called upon to do anything on board, and once he had to fix a toilet and monitor two other men spacewalking, simultaneously. Training is very long, detailed, specific, and arduous as they have to simulate any possible thing that they may encounter and how they would resolve it.
Chris Hadfield describes his excitement during space launch, the view from the spacecraft, the interaction between astronauts of various countries and cultures, and the effects on a family on Earth and how they are a crucial part of his support system. I learned so much, more than I wanted to about peeing in space (astronauts even wear diapers if there is any chance they will be delayed in a no-bathroom situation), but also that weightless sleep is more comfortable than any bed on earth. Also, sinuses don’t drain and the natural lubrication of your eyes does not flow as it does in gravity situations. Muscle tone decreases rapidly while in zero gravity, so special modified exercise equipment is necessary to avoid atrophy. This is a great narrative on focusing on and achieving your dreams, and the pluses and minuses that may go along with that. This audio book is 7 CDs plus a .pdf CD of supplementary material. Highly recommended for all ages.