Most of us would have to agree with Charlotte Kelly when she referred to her dad Scott Kelly as “out of this world” while speaking to Time. Astronaut Scott Kelly has set a record for the most consecutive days in space, 340 to be exact.
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You may or may not have heard of NASA’s ongoing twins studies. Scott Kelly and his brother Mark are twins and Jersey boys who both fell in love with space travel. The intention behind NASA’s twin study is to monitor the effects of long-term space travel on the human body by comparing the twins after the duration. One twin stays in orbit while the other stays here on Earth. Kelly has written a memoir called Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. The book chronicles not just his time in space but how space travel has affected his life on Earth.
Endurance promises to be a less technical read than The Martian was. Although the work in space was technically demanding, while speaking to NPR, Kelly described his daily duties like chores you’d do at home. In space, though, your day-to-day may range from fixing a toilet to doing a scientific experiment. Many men say a business suit is uncomfortable. Try a space suit. Space suits are complicated and hard to work in. He did, however, manage to keep his Twitter game going strong (@stationCDRKelly) with the help of his fiancée.
While Kelly admits that writing a book is harder than he thought, the consequences of a poorly written sentence aren’t nearly as serious as a mistake in orbit. Kelly has been an adrenaline junkie since childhood. As a result, he and his brother were always getting hurt. Professionally, he went from test pilot to Navy captain and even worked as an EMT.
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It’s ironic that such a big personality was ultimately inspired by a book. Fellow astronaut Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff helped inspire Kelly to pursue the art of astronaut-ing. But what’s Kelly’s key to getting through life in space? Learning to focus and compartmentalize. According to Kelly, a person must realize and accept the things they have no control over. That’s some solid advice, even for those of us remaining safe and sound here on the ground.
Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery is available now here!
Feature Image Via NASA