A gripping first-hand account of life in space and the making of an astronaut. What is it like to fly the space shuttle and work on and in the International Space Station? Veteran NASA astronaut Tom Jones is uniquely qualified to give the details: he flew four shuttle missions and led three space walks to deliver the US Lab to the Station. . From B-52 pilot during the Cold War, to a PhD in planetary science, to the unbelievable rigors of astronaut training, his career inevitably pointed him toward the space shuttle. Until the Challenger exploded. Jones's story is the first to candidly explain the professional and personal hardships faced by the astronauts in the aftermath of that 1986 tragedy. He certainly has 'The Right Stuff' but also found himself wondering if the risks he undertook were worth the toll on his family. Liftoffs were especially nerve-wracking (his mother, who refuses to even get on a plane, cannot watch) but his 53 days in space were unforgettable adventures. Jones uses his background as a scientist to explain the practical applications of many of the shuttle's scientific missions, and describes what it's like to work with the international crews building and living aboard the space station. Tom Jones returned from his space station voyage to assess the impact of the 2003 Columbia tragedy, and prescribes a successful course for the U.S. in space. Stunning photographs, many taken in space, illustrate his amazing journey.
About the Author
Born and raised in Maryland, Tom Jones is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. During his career, he has piloted B-52s, earned a doctorate in planetary science, and worked for the CIA. He entered the NASA astronaut program in 1990, flew four missions on the space shuttle, and helped build the International Space Station. He is a space consultant, author, public speaker, and a senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.
“A‘tell it like it is’ flight crew report of living and working in space . . . An inside story—well told!” Neil Armstrong
“It’s a story filled with excitement, disappointment, frustration, danger, triumph, and tragedy… It’s a thrilling ride.” Dale Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Act of War
“…Tom Jones got to live the dream. Here is his extraordinary story, told with vivid clarity, candor, and style.” Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon
“I can recommend no better read for the armchair astronaut than Sky Walking!” Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys
“What it’s like to be ‘in-the-program.’ ...an excellent account.” John H. Glenn
“Tom Jones has set the benchmark for [describing life as] an astronaut in the shuttle era.” Bruce Betts, Planetary Report
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