If you are on twitter and don’t know who Chris Hadfield is, then you are doing twitter wrong. He took the social networking site by storm when he started tweeting breath-taking pictures from the space through his personal account @Cmdr_Hadfield . He is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. He recently served as Commander of the International Space Station from where he tweeted all that stuff. It was at a bookstore I first noticed his book and read a couple of paragraphs from it and then decided to give it a shot.
The book is divided into three parts namely, Pre-Launch, Liftoff and Coming Down to Earth. As you can make out, these parts are about his life before he became an astronaut, while he was in space and when he came back from the space. In the introduction of the book, Hadfield shares that he first figured out at the age of 9 that he wants to be an astronaut. Son of an airline pilot, Chris was always interested in flying but everything changed for him when he first saw a man descending from the leg of a spaceship on the surface of the Moon. Then and there, he decided that he wants to be an astronaut and from that moment he started working towards it.
Being a Canadian, he knew it since the beginning that it is not going to be easy for him to achieve what he has dreamt of. At that time, Canada didn’t even had a space agency but as he delved deeper into the facts, he figured out that most of the Apollo-era astronauts were fighter and test pilots and this information is what gave him a platform to work his way forward. He did his majors in Mechanical Engineering and worked diligently towards his dream and finally it all came together though there was a time when his chance of becoming an astronaut got nearly jeopardised.
Once he got a confirmation from NASA that he has been selected and his training will begin shortly, then he realised that the actual road to become an astronaut has actually begun now. Intense and exhausting training sessions, achieving everything to the perfection, dealing with situations that would psyche out a person under normal circumstances and accepting that fact that you will be working in one of the most hostile environments known to the mankind and a lot more, Chris Hadfield mastered everything with the best of his abilities and has candidly shared his achievements as well as failures in this book.
One thing that I got to know after reading this book that there is nothing fancy about life of an astronaut. Even the simplest of mistake can cost you your life and billions of dollars spent on the mission. You are on your toes every single moment while you are in the space or otherwise as well. I wish this book had many more pictures in it which would have made a lot of things easier to understand.
Full on experiences, insights and anecdotes, Chris Hadfield’s an astronaut’s guide to life on earth is a riveting read. It is a candid account of a person who followed his dream with utmost sincerity and hard work and never failed to accept his mistakes. There is a lot that one can learn from his experiences by reading this book. I highly recommend it.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Pan Macmillan India
Genre : Non-Fiction
Price : Rs. 599/-