Sky Walking HB an Astronauts M

Sky Walking HB an Astronauts M

3.87 (165 ratings by Goodreads)
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Astronaut Tom Jones had trained for years for one climactic moment: his first step through an airlock into the vast nothingness of space. What neither he nor anyone else had counted on was a door that refused to open. But that is the nature of space flight (as recent experience tragically proves) -- anything can, and sometimes does, go wrong. Fully aware of the possibility of disaster, astronauts still dare to venture to the edge of the cosmos in search of knowledge and adventure. Sky Walking is the story of one of those brave explorers. Jones spent eleven years in the NASA astronaut program, making four trips into space. He ultimately spent fifty-two days orbiting Earth, including more than nineteen hours outside during extravehicular activity -- that is, sky walking. Jones's readers get the inside story, written with a lyrical pen, on life in the new century with NASA, the space shuttle, and the International Space Station.

They'll read about the shock and thrill of liftoff, find out how strange it was for a former Cold Warrior to find himself working hand-in-hand with his former rivals, the Russians, and get a vicarious feel for the overwhelming experience of a walk in space -- orbiting Earth at more than 17,000 miles per hour, 200 miles up, with only a spacesuit separating Jones from oblivion.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 369 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 31.5mm | 671.31g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 006085152X
  • 9780060851521

Review Text

Shuttle veteran Jones reminisces about rocketing into space. Jones tells his story with no unnecessary drama-no filigree or chest-pounding here. Unfortunately, he doesn't provide much excitement either. The author seems like the prototypical guy whom NASA would hire. An air force pilot and CIA scientist-he can't go into much detail on the latter, more's the shame-he was picked to join the 1989 crop of "Ascans" ("astronaut candidates"), nicknamed the "Hairballs," for foggy reasons. Not until 1994 was Jones finally allowed to head into space aboard the shuttle Endeavour. He renders that trip rousingly, but it's the first of four, and Jones makes little attempt to add a human touch that might have differentiated them. Plenty of time is spent on the mechanics of space flight, including descriptions of pulling six Gs on liftoff and the painful wear and tear that the "launch and entry suit" exacts on anyone stuffed inside it. In the process, Jones reminds readers of the unbelievable patience that shuttle astronauts most possess; he characterizes one especially difficult space station mission as, "like backing a Lamborghini out of the garage with your eyes closed, knowing that if you dented a fender, the nearest body shop was 240 miles away-straight down." The unfailingly decent author has little bad to say about anybody and takes his duties as an astronaut extremely seriously. Lacking the touch of the true writer, this sober approach results in something less like a book than a setup for a NASA fundraiser. For the true space enthusiast only. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Rating details

165 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 26% (43)
4 43% (71)
3 25% (42)
2 3% (5)
1 2% (4)
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