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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.
Ever wondered what space is really like? Thanks to his 25 years of training for, flying in, consulting on and writing and speaking about space, astronaut and spacewalker Tom Jones can answer that question and many others. What do you feel on lift-off? What is weightlessness? Where do you sleep in space? Can you see the Great Wall of China? Jones answers every question you have ever had about space in Ask the Astronaut. His entertaining blend of wit, personal experience and technical expertise shines in each answer and together all the answers illuminate the true space experience from start to finish. His engaging and informative responses remind readers of historic space achievements, acquaint them with exciting new ambitions, make them feel like they have experienced space first-hand and even inspire an urge to explore space themselves. Jones covers everything from the training process for new astronaut candidates and the physical sensations and challenges of rocketing into orbit to what it's like to live, work and walk in space. Jones also explores the future of spaceflight, both professional and commercial, in the years to come.