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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth [Unabridged] [Hardcover]

Chris Hadfield
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 12.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 Oct 2013

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and become a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ in space. The secret to Chris Hadfield's success – and survival – is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst – and enjoy every moment of it.

In his book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement – and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Colonel Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights in this book will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth – especially your own.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Unabridged edition (29 Oct 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1447257103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447257103
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Houston, we have a superstar' Washington Post 'Hadfield has done more than probably any astronaut since the Apollo missions to transform the image of space exploration ... Space has rarely seemed to close, or the world so astonishing' Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Chris Hadfield is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. The top graduate of the U.S. Air Force test pilot school in 1988 and U.S. Navy test pilot of the year in 1991, Colonel Hadfield was selected to be an astronaut in 1992. He was CAPCOM for 25 shuttle launches and served as Director of NASA Operations in Star City, Russia from 2001–2003, Chief of Robotics at the Johnson Space Center in Houston from 2003–2006, and Chief of International Space Station Operations from 2006–2008. Hadfield most recently served as Commander of the International Space Station where, while conducting a record-setting number of scientific experiments and overseeing an emergency spacewalk, he gained worldwide acclaim for his breathtaking photographs and educational videos about life in space. His music video, a zero gravity version of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ received over 10 million views in its first three days online. Chris Hadfield’s book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, sees his lessons learnt in space applied to life on Earth.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophy of living 21 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a book about ambition. But not the sort of ambition we usually hear or read about - the climb over everyone else ambition of politics and is found in many organisations or the 'I want it so much' ambition of X factor. It is about the 'I've got to work hard' ambition.
Chris Hadfield wanted to go into space. But he knew things might not work out and he was not going to define his success in life by whether he got there. As he said (not an exact quote) he wasn't going to define his life by something that may happen once in 10 years, but by doing 10 good things every day. He valued working with people and not over them. He was happy to do seemingly menial tasks if it helped the greater goal of the team. He would be pleased for other people's success. And all the time he would go the extra mile to achieve success for himself (that's hours of hard work) - to be the best at whatever he did. He would work hard. Very hard. And when he got there he would give back.
But if you think this may be an 'Aren't I wonderful?' type book you'd be wrong. Although the book is about him, it certainly isn't an ego trip.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oscillates between fascinating and tiresome 17 Feb 2014
By Marek
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had heard Chris Hadfield in a number of interviews, in which he speaks very engagingly about space exploration and life on the ISS. But the book does not always match the high quality of his public appearances.

The book basically has two modes. It's at its best when talking about Chris Hadfields' personal experiences of going to space, the sheer awe produced by seeing Earth from space, the quirky aspects of the Russian space program, or the unexpected details of daily life in zero gravity.

It's at its worst Chris tries to draw conclusions and life advice from his experiences, as it really turns into a tiresome and contrived boyscout manual here. I got tired of reading about Always Being Prepared, and Giving It Your Best, and Always Looking Out For Your Teammates.

I still enjoyed the book overall, but often wished it was more of a straight telling of Chris' experiences as an astronaut. The book's concept feels somewhat forced.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book 7 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a really fantastic book with tons of insights into what it takes to achieve success. I loved the style of writing. Information about specific missions was nicely balanced with lessons about teamwork, attitude, dealing with problems, challenges and change.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 4 Nov 2013
By Gary S
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like reading books on space flight and after hearing a short piece read on Radio 4's Book of the Week I had to give it a go. I ordered it as soon as I got home from work and it arrived the following morning.

Well, two days later I've finished it because I couldn't put the thing down. Being an earthling with a fascination for rockets and the space staion with no chance whatsoever of going there myself I really liked the small details in this book. The small details add up to give you the bigger picture and now I even know what the ISS smells like!

As well as being a great book if you like space travel there are also some good lessons regarding life. Certain parts reminded me slightly of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance, although Zen is obviously far more detailed in philosophy and this far more detailed in space flight. But the Zen notion of being at your best when your stuck and looking at set backs in a positive way seems to be behind the thinking here as well. Lots of small sucesses in life are far better than one big one.

If you are into space books with some philosophy mixed in you will like this book. Go buy it now and smell the space station.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self Help Guide 21 Jan 2014
By Occibx
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
More like a self help guide than an entertaining and interesting read on modern space exploration. Found I had to force myself to finish and after reading Riding Rockets was somewhat disappointed with Chris Hadfields book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 9 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A present for my daughter who is a Chris Hadfield fan and was delighted to read the book. She insisted on sharing her favourite bits and read it cover to cover in a short time. It was then snapped up and read by a second daughter who enjoyed it equally.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 9 Jan 2014
By Mal
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great read and easy to read and very informative. Felt i was there with him. Can't wait for more from him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars real life 7 Jan 2014
By emlee
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
what makes this book so good is its down to earth storytelling as though he is a regular guy, which he is, only he has worked hard and achieved much in an area so few will ever get to see. and to share this in this book is fantastic, a great and insightful read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good item, as described
Published 11 hours ago by Amanda Farmery
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Slightly disappointing in content
Published 3 days ago by Mr Fixit
4.0 out of 5 stars What it says on the tin.
The title is not merely a lure into rocket anecdotes or a nod to Douglas Adams, though it's surely both of those. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Jason Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need To Read This
Wow. I feel compelled to honour the inspiration that this book has given me, although I think that I physically lack the ability. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic.
Great book, wonderful insight into his life and that of an astronauts in general. Expands on all otherwise available public knowledge with many anecdotes and references to other... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Dominic Giles
5.0 out of 5 stars An Astronauts guide to life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
One of those rare (for me) couldn't put down books describing one man's pursuit of his dream,of becoming an astronaut,overcoming all obstacles,not least him not being American but... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Adrian strand
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful!
I very much enjoyed this book. Insightful perspective on the experience of becoming an astronaut and life in space! Superb and inspiring.
Published 1 month ago by Louise
2.0 out of 5 stars To boldly go....into a world of self-obsession......
Chris Hadfield has always struck me as a pefectly decent sort of chap: affable, highly intelligent, eager to share his experiences with Joe Public and so forth. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matt
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
I bought this after meeting the man himself. The book is ok but a bit boring in places, it's like your dad giving you a lesson in life based on what he has done. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs D Craig
4.0 out of 5 stars A Clear and Entertaining Insight of an Astronaut's Career
A concise and amusing insight into what it takes to become an astronaut. An informative description of
professional training and everyday work-life balance. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Richard Graham
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