Former NASA astronaut and retired U.S. Navy Captain Scott Kelly shares the remarkable story of his “Year in Space” mission and how personal determination and a never-quit attitude helped him achieve his professional and personal goals. He holds the record for the single longest mission of an American astronaut in space; previously he held the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space.
With stories from his rough-and-tumble childhood in New Jersey as the son of two police officers, Scott Kelly shares how despite starting out life as a poor student, he was able to become a U.S. Navy fighter pilot flying the F-14 Tomcat, then a test pilot and finally a NASA astronaut.
When he and his twin brother Mark were selected to become astronaut candidates in April of 1996, they were the first relatives ever selected. After completing his training, Kelly became the first American in his class of 44 prospective astronauts assigned to a space flight as the pilot of STS-103, an emergency repair mission to the Hubble Space telescope in 1999.
On his second mission, Kelly was assigned to command space shuttle mission STS-118, a rare feat given that most shuttle commanders are assigned after two flights as a pilot.
Kelly recounts the challenges that he and his crew faced on his four missions to space and considers the traits that helped him overcome those obstacles. With humor and visual storytelling, he describes the effects of isolation, the physical impact on the body and the psychological pressures of living in a confined space. He vividly describes the many dangers — from the constant risk of collision with space debris to the potential for depressurization, fire or system failures — any of which could have meant catastrophe.
Chief among the lessons Kelly shares: the importance of preparation, attention to detail and teamwork — any of which can mean the difference between life and death or success and failure for a team.
Kelly is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, including his memoir, “Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery,” and the companion collection of images published as “Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut's Photographs from a Year in Space.” He is also the author of two children’s books, “My Journey to the Stars” and “Goodnight, Astronaut.” His newest book, “Ready for Launch: An Astronaut’s Lessons for Success on Earth,” was published in early 2022.
Kelly’s story is featured in the award-winning Time magazine and PBS documentaries “A Year in Space” and in the Universal Pictures theatrical release of the 2021 documentary “The Wonderful: Stories from the Space Station.” In 2021, he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.