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Publisher's Summary

A wildly entertaining account of the rules, lessons, procedures, and experiences of space travel, How to Astronaut is an audiobook that will appeal to anyone - male or female, young or old - with even a passing interest in space. Written by Col. Terry Virts, a former astronaut, space shuttle pilot, and International Space Station commander who spent 200 consecutive days in space, it answers all of our curious questions and much more: Here’s how to survive that first brush with weightlessness (in the so-called vomit comet); the nearly indescribable thrill of a first blastoff; managing the daily tasks - eating, bathing, doing chores, going to the bathroom - that are anything but ordinary when you’re orbiting the earth at 17,000 miles per hour; how to don your space suit and head out to work on a spacewalk (“alone in the vacuum”); how to prepare for emergencies of all kinds, from managing “space brain” to dealing with a dead crew member; and what it’s like to return to Earth, including something as seemingly simple as walking after spending six months in zero-g.

A born storyteller, Virts reveals the often-untold side of space travel in 51 short chapters filled with a mix of you-are-there detail, a dose of science made simple, and the inherent drama of describing something few will ever know firsthand.

©2020 Terry Virts (P)2020 Workman Publishing

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  • james s.
  • 26-12-2020

The Merits of Discipline

Col. Virts gives his first person accounts in a story-telling mode and does a good job of speaking to a general audience. He speaks often of the frame of reference for his entire career, which is that of a highly trained fighter pilot, and later astronaut. The value of that training and the discipline which accompanies it come thru as a principle of choice. Reflecting on his response to various events in his career, one is reminded of the great advantages of preparation--a factor which is often ignored in everyday life. Virts gives insight into space flight that our curiosity naturally demands. He also serves up a reminder that in many ways we actually can prepare for the challenges we all face in less dire circumstances. HIs observations on the existential questions which the space experience must inevitably imprint on adventurers such as he, are treated lightly, but with enough scope to underscore the deeper meaning that follows from someone fortunate enough to have glimpsed the universe in ways which others never will.

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  • michael cassettari
  • 01-12-2020

Awesome book! Loved it.

Good sense of humor and
awesome information!
Defiantly a great listen.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in these kinds of things. It does not read like a manual which is nice.
Thank you for writing this book Terry,
I enjoyed it very much. :D

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  • Todd R Fredricks
  • 27-03-2021

A Tough Review to Write

There is a saying; Not everyone gets to be an astronaut.

Terry Virts seems like a very nice fellow. I suspect he is very genuine and approachable. But this book is an example of how celebrity gives access to levels of notoriety that must be earned through hard work by all others.

Virts is an author. But he’s not a front table at Barnes and Noble author. In fact he might not actually be a Barnes and noble author, period.

This book is a chore. It’s not enjoyable and through the listening experience I found myself trying to like it simply because Virts seems very likeable. But I know a lot of USAF pilots I like and most can’t write. Virts writes with the worst of active voice and operational experience combined.

And this was hard to balance against his narration. I wish he had chosen an actual voice actor, experienced audio book reader. Virts inflections actually work against him because he cannot capture the patterns of emphasis in his sentences. This makes capturing the emotions that drove his writing very difficult. Where’s the emphasis?

I’m not sure how to fix this.

I suppose a different reader would be a start. A reader that understands how to read the written word to translate mental emphasis into words would help and that might make this book better.

The next thing I would do is find an unsympathetic editor who isn’t captivated by celebrity or what I assume is Virts genuine and compelling personality. If Virts is serious about being an author he needs to go find an editor that hates or is indifferent to space. That individual will be invaluable in making this book work for the audience for whom it’s intended.

That’s tough because as a celebrity he’ll have no lack of willing and eager people who want to associate themselves with his work. So I’d find some latter career, jaded small, private Midwestern creative writing professor to review all future works.

Mr Virts if you read this please understand I truly think you must be a very nice person, but I lost money on your book. As one military guy to another, work harder. I wish you well and truly hope you find literary success based upon value given to your readers.

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  • Tobin Roggenbuck
  • 12-02-2021

Wonderful book!

A fun and interesting book, one you can put down and pick up days later with no loss in continuity. I highly recommend it.

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  • Desantik
  • 30-01-2021

Solid book!

Great book about how to astronaut, just like the title says. Lots of interesting information, colorful descriptions. Good humour - though the narrator ruins most of it.

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  • Mr A
  • 16-01-2021

Interesting and fastinating. An excellent listen.

Not particularly an astronaut I had heard of, his background and experience made this a very interesting and fascinating listen. Also with the benefit of having the author read the book that I find enhances audiobooks. The book covers aspects of spaceflight I had not heard described before, some personal insights and thoughts, and a book I will almost certainly listen to again in the future. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in space.

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  • Ann
  • 19-11-2020

Amazing!

This book was fascinating and fully immersive. I loved it and couldn't put it down.

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