The Ordinary Spaceman

9780803262829: Hardback
Release Date: 1st June 2015

9780803277311: EPUB
Release Date: 1st June 2015

35 figures (all photographs), 25 color plates (includes 20 photographs)

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 400

UNP - Nebraska

The Ordinary Spaceman

From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut

Written by
Clayton C. Anderson
Foreword by
Nevada Barr
Hardback / £23.99
EPUB / £23.99

What’s it like to travel at more than 850 MPH, riding in a supersonic T-38 twin turbojet engine airplane? What happens when the space station toilet breaks? How do astronauts “take out the trash” on a spacewalk, tightly encapsulated in a space suit with just a few layers of fabric and Kevlar between them and the unforgiving vacuum of outer space?

The Ordinary Spaceman puts you in the flight suit of U.S. astronaut Clayton C. Anderson and takes you on the journey of this small-town boy from Nebraska who spent 167 days living and working on the International Space Station, including more than forty hours of space walks. Having applied to NASA fifteen times over fifteen years to become an astronaut before his ultimate selection, Anderson offers a unique perspective on his life as a veteran space flier, one characterized by humility and perseverance.

From the application process to launch aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, from serving as a family escort for the ill-fated Columbia crew in 2003 to his own daily struggles—family separation, competitive battles to win coveted flight assignments, the stress of a highly visible job, and the ever-present risk of having to make the ultimate sacrifice—Anderson shares the full range of his experiences. With a mix of levity and gravitas, Anderson gives an authentic view of the highs and the lows, the triumphs and the tragedies of life as a NASA astronaut.


Clayton C. Anderson retired in 2013 after a thirty-year career with NASA and two missions to the International Space Station. He currently lives in Houston with his wife and two children.
Nevada Barr is an award-winning novelist and the best-selling author of the Anna Pigeon series.

“Learn about the excitement, the awe, the thrills, the suspense, and the experiences unique to the astronauts in the shuttle program. Clay blends his personal stories with his professional challenges. I am especially impressed with his persistence in applying for the astronaut program: Clay’s experience will be motivation for anyone to never give up!—Eileen Collins, retired NASA astronaut and USAF colonel and the first female pilot and commander of the Space Shuttle


Eileen Collins

“Clay has truly had an exciting life full of adventure and challenges. He tackles each moment in life with ambition and optimism. His life stories can inspire each of us to reach further, dig deeper, and fly higher. From his days growing up in Nebraska and his family life to his time on the International Space Station, Clay proves that life is what you make of it.”—Curt Tomasevicz, Olympic gold medalist and fellow Nebraskan

Curt Tomasevicz

“Clay’s great example shows that a small town kid can achieve big dreams. I can’t think of anything bigger than being an astronaut. This book leaves nothing out of Clay’s journey to becoming one of the lucky and blessed few who get to experience God’s handiwork from the darkness of space. It’s funny, entertaining, and well worth the read.”—Dan Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy), stand-up comedian and actor

Dan Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy)

“This is The Right Stuff for a new generation. Clayton Anderson is an astronaut for the rest of us; a regular guy from a small Midwestern town who set the bar high for himself and never lost sight of a lofty goal—even when most of us would have given up. As it turns out, it is not so much about having ‘the right stuff’ as it is about never doubting yourself and never settling for less.”—Miles O’Brien, award-winning science journalist for PBS, the National Science Foundation, and CNN


Miles O’Brien