Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery
From early 2015 to early 2016, astronaut Scott Kelly broke the record for the longest habitation in space, spending over a year on the International Space Station. In Endurance Kelly gives a candid, riveting account of the everyday challenges astronauts and cosmonauts face while confined to a space station orbiting the Earth. The reader learns about the rigorous routine that must be strictly followed, the quirks of personalities of fellow station dwellers, and the challenges of maintaining equipment. One such complex machine, the Seedra, scrubs the space station air of carbon dioxide, which even in small concentrations has averse effects on astronauts’ physical state. The reader feels Kelly’s sense of urgency while completing the painstaking maintenance procedures.
The things we take for granted while firmly planted on terra firma are missed dearly in Earth orbit. Part of Kelly’s list: “I miss the sound of children playing, which always sounds the same no matter the language. I miss the sound of people talking and laughing in another room. I miss rooms. I miss doors and door frames and the creak of wood floorboards when people walk around in old buildings”.
Interspersed throughout the book are accounts of his pre-astronaut life and personal struggles. Kelly, who grew up in New Jersey with his twin brother Mark (who also became an astronaut), was an average student with no clear aims in life until he read Tom Wolfes’s The Right Stuff. His life was forever changed.
Endurance will be available at the Lamplighter Library during the May RASC meeting. Thanks to Robert Gariepy for suggesting the acquisition of this book!