En­durance: A Year in Space, a Life­time of Dis­cov­ery

The Week (US) - - 21 - By Scott Kelly

(Knopf, $30)

un­der­take such a chal­lenge, said Jac­que­line Cut­ler in the New York Daily News. Grow­ing up in West Or­ange, N.J., he and his twin brother, Mark, were dare­dev­ils— “the kind of kids known well in emer­gency rooms.” Scott, an aim­less stu­dent un­til he reached col­lege, found his call­ing when he picked up a copy of Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff, and he joined the Navy at 23 to be­come a test pi­lot. Twelve years later, he made his first Space Shut­tle jour­ney and dis­cov­ered that the air in space smelled vaguely metal­lic, and that the bath­rooms we know on Earth should not be taken for granted. Dur­ing his full year aboard the Space Sta­tion, he started to see Earth in a whole new way—as an in­tri­cately tex­tured bor­der­less sphere that some­how sus­tained ev­ery­one he’d ever known.

Kelly, to his credit, “aban­dons the PR talk of many as­tro­nauts,” said Alessan­dra Potenza in TheVerge.com. He crit­i­cizes cer­tain NASA poli­cies, and he makes clear that the mis­sion and the ex­pe­ri­ence of read­just­ing to Earth were gru­el­ing. Still, he re­mains thrilled that his year­long trip could help pave the way for a manned mis­sion to Mars. “It will be very, very dif­fi­cult, it will cost a great deal of money, and it may cost hu­man lives,” he writes. “But I know now that if we de­cide to do it, we can.”

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