Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly

Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery

A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station--a candid account of his remarkable voyage, of the journeys off the planet that preceded it, and of his colorful formative years.The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things...

Title:Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery
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Edition Language:English

Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery Reviews

  • Rebecca

    I received a free copy of this e-book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

    I’m an absolute sucker for astronaut biographies, so I had to read this. There haven’t been a ton of books written by astronauts who have flown on the ISS. Scott Kelly is a Shuttle astronaut as well as a Russia-launched ISS astronaut, so he speaks about spaceflight from multiple perspectives. His military background comes across strongly in the way he writes – straight forward, tell it like

    I received a free copy of this e-book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

    I’m an absolute sucker for astronaut biographies, so I had to read this. There haven’t been a ton of books written by astronauts who have flown on the ISS. Scott Kelly is a Shuttle astronaut as well as a Russia-launched ISS astronaut, so he speaks about spaceflight from multiple perspectives. His military background comes across strongly in the way he writes – straight forward, tell it like it is. I initially had a hard time getting into this one, but I became engrossed at about the 30% mark, then tore through the rest.

    For those expecting a book just about the Year in Space program, you may come away disappointed. The book really wasn’t centered on that program, and he didn’t really give a lot of detail about what went on, experiment wise. He does talk a lot about life on the ISS, so that was very interesting. We get his life story, his military career story and the story of how he was selected to be an astronaut. This book gave the best descriptions about life on the ISS that I’ve encountered so far. It was really neat to see the difference between how the Russian modules are run versus the US run modules.

    I think this book will appeal to non-fiction fans, especially those interested in NASA, the ISS and space science. I’m not sure this will appeal to a wide variety of people, but it is what it is.

  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    You might have noticed that when I read nonfiction, I read some pretty crazy topics all over the place. This time! We're delving into space.

    And this is precisely

    Space just got real, and it's meaner than you've ever thought.

    For those who don't know what I'm talking about – this is the review of Scott Kelly's memoir, and he is the cool dude who spent a year in spac

    You might have noticed that when I read nonfiction, I read some pretty crazy topics all over the place. This time! We're delving into space.

    And this is precisely

    Space just got real, and it's meaner than you've ever thought.

    For those who don't know what I'm talking about – this is the review of Scott Kelly's memoir, and he is the cool dude who spent a year in space.

    After having cancer.

    So let's get to the reasons why you should read his book!

    Well... NOPE.

    The lack of gravity will even break your body in time. It will reduce you to basically a squid. Did you know that? Let me give you a list of things that are

    not completely true about being in space, and yet are constantly used in fictional space:

    ✬ Hot sci-fi chicks gracefully moving around on spaceships?

    ✬ Long hair looking good in space?

    ✬ Scratch that. Hair in general looking good? Even staying clean and being washed?

    ✬ Toned muscular bodies in space?

    ✬ Actually, rethink everything you've ever read about people eating on no-gravity spaceships. And about fresh food on spaceships.

    ✬ A quick suit up before going out of the ship?

    ✬ I will not begin ANY SUCH conversation about sexual activity in space because you do not want to think about fluid dynamics OR the lack of weight you're experiencing. Neither do I.

    Personally, I loved finding out about this.

    Because sci-fi makes it seem soooo easy. That's the last thing it is.

    Actually, I thought that only 20:20 vision ripped young boys and girls go to space. Probably, so did you.

    Turns out, nope – young folks don't go to space.

    That is another lie by the media, fed to us to think that only youngsters can do anything in life, and if you're not doing it, you're living your life all wrong.

    Years of it. Most people go to space sub-40. By that time, they probably don't have 20:20 vision anymore. They don't have perfect health either.

    People went to space after having cancer! People went to space with glasses. Wanna know what? If you're short, you're a preference for going to space! Ha. I found all of that

    empowering.

    Okay, so... The political arena these days is not something I want to even remotely hear about.

    Which is why I found it unbelievably uplifting to know that while we squabble about whose president is less qualified for their job or... more qualified for totalitarian world domination, the

    Turns out, the Americans can't even go to space without the Russians. They have been going to space on a Russian ship for aaaaages now that the Shuttle has been decomissioned. Fancy that, huh? So much for diplomacy... This is the true team spirit of advancing humanity.

    I think Scott Kelly puts it better than me, so check out this quote:

    "When people ask whether the space station is worth the expense, this is something I always point out. What is it worth to see two former bitter enemies transform their weapons into transport for peaceful exploration and the pursuit of scientific knowledge? What is it worth to see former enemy nations turn their warriors into crewmates and lifelong friends? This is impossible to put a dollar figure on, but to me it’s one of the things that makes this project worth the expense, even worth risking our lives."

    – an experience I'm also familiar with – and it's truly great to hear that high achievers can be people just like me, people who might have often felt that achievements are for "the better kind", the kind of people who come from proper homes

    Side by side, he tells two stories – one of actually being in space, and one of preparing himself to go there –

    No astronaut has ever come back to Earth and said, to hell with global warming, it doesn't exist!

    It's directly visible, juxtaposed to the coldness, vastness and inhabitability of space. It baffles you how powerless we really are out there – for all our almighty hubris.

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  • Toni

    Scott Kelly has done a very good job of relating his experiences as an astronaut in a way that someone without technical knowledge can understand. Some of his stories made me laugh out loud. It did kind of drag for me near the end, but his book sparked my interest in the ISS, NASA, and a possible mission to mars.

  • Nikki

    An excellent slice-of-life view aboard the International Space Station - along with smoothly interwoven stories through Scott Kelly's life to how he got to the opportunity to spend a year in space. I can't wait to see if an audiobook version comes out, if it does and Scott Kelly reads it, fantastic!

  • Monica Fumarolo

    *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley - thank you! This in no way impacted my opinions of this book.*

    Astronauts are always going to be a mystery to me. After all, there's nothing really on earth that can compare to visiting the stars, for however long or short a time. Kelly's journey to becoming an astronaut as well as his year aboard the ISS is nothing short of amazing. Yet, at the same time, it helped de-mystify this illusive group to me - astronauts are people too, and they only get to

    *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley - thank you! This in no way impacted my opinions of this book.*

    Astronauts are always going to be a mystery to me. After all, there's nothing really on earth that can compare to visiting the stars, for however long or short a time. Kelly's journey to becoming an astronaut as well as his year aboard the ISS is nothing short of amazing. Yet, at the same time, it helped de-mystify this illusive group to me - astronauts are people too, and they only get to where they are as a result of incredibly hard work and determination. Definitely buying this one for my library, and I'd recommend it to space lovers I know as well!

  • Mieke Schepens

    Een jaar in de ruimte beschrijft de gevoelens, verwachtingen en ervaringen van Scott Kelly. Vanaf zijn moeilijke jeugd in New Jersey met zijn tweelingbroer Mark, tot aan het moment waarop hij dit boek is gaan schrijven.

    De hoofdstukken met een chronologische terugkijk naar het verleden zijn een mooie afwisseling met de hoofdstukken waarin verteld wordt over de tijd die hij in de ruimte doorbrengt. De schema’s en prachtige kleurenfoto’s zijn goed geïntegreerd in de tekst en een goede aanvulling op

    Een jaar in de ruimte beschrijft de gevoelens, verwachtingen en ervaringen van Scott Kelly. Vanaf zijn moeilijke jeugd in New Jersey met zijn tweelingbroer Mark, tot aan het moment waarop hij dit boek is gaan schrijven.

    De hoofdstukken met een chronologische terugkijk naar het verleden zijn een mooie afwisseling met de hoofdstukken waarin verteld wordt over de tijd die hij in de ruimte doorbrengt. De schema’s en prachtige kleurenfoto’s zijn goed geïntegreerd in de tekst en een goede aanvulling op hetgeen je leest.

    Toevallig leest Kelly als kind een boek van Tom Wolfe met de titel The Right Stuff dat gaat over testvliegers, over straaljagerpiloten bij de marine en over astronauten. Op dat moment denkt hij te weten wat zijn levensdoel is.

    Lees verder op mijn blog:

  • Jennifer

    is a memoir written by

    . A former NASA astronaut, Scott Kelly is best known for spending nearly a year on the International Space Station (ISS) and (as of October 2015) for spending more time in space than any other American. He's also a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired U.S. Navy captain, a twin to another NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, a father, a son, and an ex-husband. This book is not only about Sc

    is a memoir written by

    . A former NASA astronaut, Scott Kelly is best known for spending nearly a year on the International Space Station (ISS) and (as of October 2015) for spending more time in space than any other American. He's also a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired U.S. Navy captain, a twin to another NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, a father, a son, and an ex-husband. This book is not only about Scott and his year in space. It's about all of the above. It's about his upbringing, his inspiration past and present, the other career roles that have served as stepping stones, the sacrificing family that watched him leave the planet over and over for work, the toll outer space takes on the body, mind, and relationships, and it's about Russia, science, perspective, and gratitude.

    Overall, I found

    to be a well-rounded memoir that covered many more topics than I expected. Based on my personal reading experience, many sections felt dry which caused me to pause the audiobook (narrated by Scott himself) several times due to a lack of engagement; however, a few parts were surprisingly touching and made up for it. My favorite parts included the exploration of relationship factors suffered by Scott and his now ex-wife as a result of the sacrifices required by this career, the physical accommodations necessary when in space (things many of us surely take for granted), and the nightmarish reaction Scott's body had upon his return to earth after almost a year of no gravity.

    is a perfect title for this book.

    Photo Source:

  • Michelle Mallette

    Scott Kelly has spent 340 continuous days on the International Space Station - more than any other American astronaut. That record is likely to stand for a while, since his honesty and candour in describing the experience could give other candidates second thought! Along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail “Misha” Kornienko, there for the same length of time, and other astronauts on shorter missions, Kelly faced mind-blowing challenges while maintaining the ISS and conducting numerous science experim

    Scott Kelly has spent 340 continuous days on the International Space Station - more than any other American astronaut. That record is likely to stand for a while, since his honesty and candour in describing the experience could give other candidates second thought! Along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail “Misha” Kornienko, there for the same length of time, and other astronauts on shorter missions, Kelly faced mind-blowing challenges while maintaining the ISS and conducting numerous science experiments, including on their own bodies. Kelly, with the help of co-author Margaret Lazarus Dean, alternates chapters between a narrative of his time on the ISS with a biographical take that dates back to his rough childhood in New Jersey with twin brother Mark (famously also an astronaut). He makes no apologies for being a military fighter pilot first, one who initially resisted the idea of a months-long mission on the ISS. Over several missions, he develops respect and appreciation for the work of scientists, though he peppers his book with criticisms of the bureaucracy of NASA and the Russian space agency. The writing is solid, and it’s interesting reading, but doesn’t get quite the recommendation I’d give to Chris Hadfield’s biography, a shorter but a more powerful memoir. I found Kelly’s impatience and complaints wearying, even occasionally arrogant. Read it yourself and let me know what you think. My thanks to Knopf Doubleday Publishing for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. See my full review at

  • Monnie

    Almost every review of this book, I'll bet, will begin something like this: "When I was a kid, outer space was fascinating...I dreamed of being an astronaut." I wholeheartedly agree with the first part; it was true of me then - back in the '50s when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded, and it is true now that I've reached septagenerian status. But beyond that, flying 900 feet in the air under a parasail firmly attached to a heavy cable is about as high as I ever want to

    Almost every review of this book, I'll bet, will begin something like this: "When I was a kid, outer space was fascinating...I dreamed of being an astronaut." I wholeheartedly agree with the first part; it was true of me then - back in the '50s when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded, and it is true now that I've reached septagenerian status. But beyond that, flying 900 feet in the air under a parasail firmly attached to a heavy cable is about as high as I ever want to go (and don't care to go ever again, thank you very much). Besides that, just thinking about stuffing my body into one of those capsules that carry astronauts to and from terra firma makes me break out in a cold sweat.

    Truth is, I'm quite content to read about other people's experiences - and this account is one of the best I've encountered since Tom Wolfe's 1979 classic,

    . So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Wolfe's book served as the impetus that turned Kelly's life around - from a kid who had no plans for his future and didn't much care for education to one singularly focused on a very lofty and difficult-to-reach career goal and knew education was the key to reaching it.

    In this book, Kelly, who holds the American record for consecutive days spent in space, tells it like it really was - both in his personal and professional life. For those who might not know, he is the twin brother of astronaut Mark Kelly, also the husband of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011. The prologue of the book hooked me immediately: now back on earth for 48 hours, Kelly was suffering the effects of a return to gravity after a year of looking down on civilization as we know it from the International Space Station (which he notes is today the longest-inhabited structure in space by far and the largest peacetime international project in history).

    That's impressive in and of itself, but along the way - maybe because I spent my youth in the throes of the Cold War, crossing my fingers that school desks would protect me from a nuclear blast - I was blown away by one comment in particular: That Kelly found himself heading to space with two Russian companions, all of whom not that long ago might have been ordered to kill each other. Now, their very lives depended on total cooperation and trust.

    Chapters shift from Kelly's pre-astronaut years to his experiences on four space flights including his final mission aboard the ISS. Although I'm sure he left out plenty of classified details, he pulls no punches when it comes to describing what it's really like in a confined space in zero gravity (right down to how human waste is contained and what happens to any of it that isn't). Some happenings are day-to-day routine and others have the potential to make the writing of this book not a happening thing, but all share a common bond: not a single one is boring. I finished the book as fast as I could, and when I got to the last page, I wished there were more to read. As I said at the beginning, space - and Kelly's part of exploring it - are nothing short of fascinating.

    Now that his in-space voyages have come to an end, to Kelly I say thank you for your service and your wonderful book. Oh yes, and one other thing.

    Live long and prosper!

  • Phil

    I found this to be a very enjoyable and educational read about Kelly, and Russian Misha Kornienko's record breaking year in the ISS. His writing style is 'astronaut-like' down to business. At the same time he frankly reflects on how his career upended his family and marriage. And then there is the camaraderie with his colleagues and stationmates. The year does not go quickly. Thirteen other astronauts and cosmonauts would come and go as he and Kornienko stayed put, each dealing with separate dut

    I found this to be a very enjoyable and educational read about Kelly, and Russian Misha Kornienko's record breaking year in the ISS. His writing style is 'astronaut-like' down to business. At the same time he frankly reflects on how his career upended his family and marriage. And then there is the camaraderie with his colleagues and stationmates. The year does not go quickly. Thirteen other astronauts and cosmonauts would come and go as he and Kornienko stayed put, each dealing with separate duties in their respective Russian and U.S. modules.

    Given Kelly’s history growing up, the book’s biggest surprise may be that he even made it into space. Graduating from a New Jersey high school in the bottom half of his class, he was about to flunk out of college — until he came upon Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff” in the campus bookstore. Books it seems can be the stuff that dreams and careers, are made of.

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