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The Ordinary Spaceman Audiobook

The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut

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Publisher's Summary

What's it like to travel at more than 850 MPH, riding in a supersonic T-38 twin turbojet engine airplane? What happens when the space station toilet breaks? How do astronauts "take out the trash" on a spacewalk, tightly encapsulated in a space suit with just a few layers of fabric and Kevlar between them and the unforgiving vacuum of outer space?

The Ordinary Spaceman puts you in the flight suit of US astronaut Clayton C. Anderson and takes you on the journey of this small-town boy from Nebraska who spent 167 days living and working on the International Space Station, including more than 40 hours of space walks. Having applied to NASA 15 times over 15 years to become an astronaut before his ultimate selection, Anderson offers a unique perspective on his life as a veteran space flier, one characterized by humility and perseverance.

From the application process to launch aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, from serving as a family escort for the ill-fated Columbia crew in 2003 to his own daily struggles - family separation, competitive battles to win coveted flight assignments, the stress of a highly visible job, and the ever-present risk of having to make the ultimate sacrifice - Anderson shares the full range of his experiences.

©2015 Clayton C. Anderson (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Anderson provides a focused picture of how a fiercely dedicated individual became a spaceman." (Publishers Weekly)

"Clayton Anderson is no ordinary astronaut, and this is no ordinary book. It is an uncompromisingly honest rendering of a challenging and fulfilling life by someone with a singular dream and the moxie to pursue it to success." (Lincoln Journal Star)

"He may have been an ordinary spaceman, but The Ordinary Spaceman demonstrates he is certainly not ordinary." (Space Review)

What Members Say

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    10/07/2017
    10/07/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An honest and insightful listen"

    I've listened to a number of great Astro biographies and this one stands out for me. Clay Anderson strikes a great balance between detail, process and the humanity of his amazing journey. Its very touching in parts and laugh out loud in others. I highly recommend this one for any of you space nuts out there as well as anyone who enjoys a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • April
    DAYTON, OH, United States
    21/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great easy to listen story."

    I have always dreamt of being an astronaut and so when I saw that NASA is finally taking applications for new astronaut hopefuls I decided to do some research on what it would take. That is how I came across this audio book. This story of Clayton Anderson was very inspiring and help motivate me to reach for my dreams even if the dream is being an astronaut. I would recommend this book to anyone with a dream or a passion for outer space.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lee
    Celina, TX
    10/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Astronaut 101: Professor Anderson"
    Where does The Ordinary Spaceman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This Memoir by Clayton C. Anderson easily ranks in the top 5 of all the books I have listened to or read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Easy, Clayton C. Anderson. This is a Memoir


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was my least favorite part of this book, Mr. Anderson has a lot of sarcastic tones throughout the book and a lot of humor, but the narrator does not emphatically hit these precise moments. On the other hand, the narrator was extremely clear and easy to understand.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I took my time with this book. Mr. Anderson and I are acquaintances, and by acquaintances, I mean we have chatted on Quora a time or two. He asked me to give an honest opinion of his book.


    Any additional comments?

    Mr. Anderson's Memoir captures the essence of letting the layperson understand the basics of how one becomes an AsCan...on the 15th try. He also describes perfectly what it takes and means to be selected to "fly" as a NASA Astronaut. If you want an inside scoop from how nicknames are given, to tragedy, to reprimands of NASA this book is for you. This is an extremely honest book in my opinion because Mr. Anderson not only highlights his successes, but also his short falls. If I am lucky enough to meet Mr. Anderson and his family, not only would I shake all of their hands proudly, but I would feel I knew them. Great book, and to quote Mr. Anderson "Keep looking up"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mitchell J. Drucker
    Spring, Texas
    17/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderfully Crafted Autobiographical Astronaut Story"

    I enjoyed every moment of the time that I spent listening to the story of astronaut Clay Anderson. It was well narrated by Aaron Killian.

    Evident throughout was the thoughtful perspective of astronaut Anderson as issues and circumstances unfolded. Some of which could only have been conveyed following his retirement/separation from the astronaut corp. Add to that the efforts of a man who achieved a lofty lifetime goal of becoming an astronaut during the era of the space shuttle and the building of the ISS. Truly a very good listen.

    The technical issues were all explained in layperson terms and I left the audiobook with a much better understanding of the man, his spiritual strength, and sacrifices made in his personal life to live his lifelong dream.

    Highly recommend to anyone who has a interest in space and what is required and what is sacrificed to become an astronaut.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel Cascaddan
    Vancouver, WA United States
    29/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NASA is as NASA does...."
    If you could sum up The Ordinary Spaceman in three words, what would they be?

    operational parameter specification


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the detail about his experiences as an AsCan. Having worked for NASA, I know that they are just about as screwed up as any Federal bureaucracy, even though I utterly worshipped them as a child of the Apollo Program. I liked that he was willing to talk about the political nonsense he endured as a NASA employee, and the adverse reaction to his willingness to point out incompetence, and actually expect improvements rather than punishment.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved when he described Mardi Gras with his fellow AsCans, and one of them attempting to get favors in exchange for mission patch stickers, which nobody there wanted. He should try that at Comicon! He would be draped in nerds, fighting for his stickers! :)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    My biggest critique is the amount of time he spent talking about his religious faith. Why do extremely religious people always think that everyone wants to hear about this? I bought this book to hear about the experiences of an astronaut, AS an astronaut. If I wanted to read about religion, I would have bought a book about that. I do not mind him having mentioned it a couple of times, but towards the end, it gets to be about that. If he ran out of material, I would have been perfectly happy to have had it simply be shorter. Of course, I understand the pressure of editors to add more material. It must be a certain length. There is nothing like placing duration limits on a creative endeavor...


    Any additional comments?

    "Afghanistan seemed familiar. It had jagged blue-and-purple mountains, big skies, and bearded men in pickup trucks stocked with guns and hate for the government. It was like Montana - just on different drugs."-Kim Barker, Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Frank Turner
    25/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining but choppy"

    Enjoyed it but found it choppy in content. Spent several chapter's on the space toilet operation. Not enough on the space experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Becky
    05/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty Good"
    What did you love best about The Ordinary Spaceman?

    Didn't really LOVE anything. I liked it, though.


    What other book might you compare The Ordinary Spaceman to and why?

    Wheels Stop...which I thought was better.


    What does Aaron Killian bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good voice. Was able to listen at times when I could not read...like driving.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    Nope

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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