Scott Kelly’s ENDURANCE

Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery
Author: Scott Kelly
Format: hardcover, courtesy of BookishFirst and Knopf Publishing Group
Secondary Format: audiobook, read by Scott Kelly
Start Date: November 25, 2017
End Date: December 1, 2017
Rating: 5 stars


Attempting something difficult was the only way to live. If you were doing something safe, something you already knew could be done, you were wasting time.

Scott Kelly’s memoir Endurance tells the inspirational and awe-inspiring story of his journey from an unmotivated kid growing up in New Jersey to one of the most recognized astronauts of our day.

Endurance, in my opinion, is the right blend of science and humanity. Scott Kelly’s story was informative and evocatively told, alternating between his year-long stay on the International Space Station and exploring the events in his life that led him to that moment.

I was particularly intrigued by this book because all I knew of Scott Kelly was that he was the astronaut who spent a year in space to study the effects it had on the human body, with his twin brother as the control on Earth. This book was well-worth the read.

Scott Kelly’s story is one of determination and grit. After watching his mother successfully become a police officer during his childhood, he was inspired by her strength and motivation to work hard and achieve her goal to pass both the written and physical tests. However, it wasn’t until it was in college, when he was adrift and didn’t know where he wanted to go in life, that he read Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff about early test pilots and astronauts in America, which made him realize that he could do anything he set his mind to.

He wanted to become a Navy pilot, so he did.

He wanted to fly a fighter jet, so he did.

He wanted to become an astronaut and fly a rocket, so he did.

Concurrent with his upbringing, he also writes about the everyday challenges faced in space, aboard the International Space Station. From living in close-quarters with other astronauts to adapting to live in zero gravity to being hundreds of miles away from loved ones for extended periods of time, being an astronaut is not all glamorous. But it’s so, so important for scientific advancement and even for healing relationships among nations, no matter how temporary.

Although space can be cruel, Kelly’s message is one of hope.

In a world of compromise and uncertainty, this space station is a triumph of engineering and cooperation. Putting it into orbit – making it work and keeping it working – is the hardest thing that human beings have ever done, and it stands as proof that when we set our minds to something hard, when we work together, we can do anything, including solving our problems here on Earth.

Thank you to BookishFirst and Knopf Publishing Group for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR (Source: BookishFirst)

Scott Kelly is a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. Kelly retired from the Navy at the rank of captain after twenty-five years of service. A veteran of four spaceflights, Kelly commanded the space shuttle Endeavour in 2007 and twice commanded the International Space Station. He has logged more than 520 days in space on four spaceflights and currently holds the records for total time in space and for single-mission endurance by a U.S. astronaut. Kelly spent 340 consecutive days in space, launching in March 2015 and returning home in March 2016. He currently resides in Houston, Texas.

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