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Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space…

Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space

by Tim Peake

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515349,438 (3.95)8
Based on his historic mission to the International Space Station, Ask and Astronaut is Tim Peake's guide to life in space, filled with answers to the best of the thousands of questions he's been asked by people all over the world since his return to Earth.



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Astronaut Tim Peake of the European Space Agency uses the Q&A format to write about his experiences in the space program, working on the ISS, coming home, and everything in between. The book uses drawing to help illustrate some of the more complex ideas. The Q&A format allows him to break down complicated subjects so that they are accessible and easy to understand. Beyond that, he takes care to make sure that nothing goes over the reader’s head (without patronizing the reader), making this an ideal book for both children and adults.
There is so much wonderful information in this book, like what it feels like during re-entry versus exiting the atmosphere. It was fascinating to learn that one does not have to be a pilot (though Peake is) or a scientist to become an astronaut. Sadly, I am unlikely to be selected to become an astronaut, largely because of my poor eyesight. Oh, well. If you have any burning questions about living and working on the ISS or about training to become an astronaut, then this book is perfect. ( )
  Jessiqa | Sep 17, 2019 |
A well paced stroll through there astronaut experience, from what-it-takes, to training missions, through life on the ISS, and ending with touchdown and recovery.

Honestly the question/answer format was nice, but unnecessary; the questions weren't particularly interesting, and mostly just provided small chapter breaks in an already well-organized narrative. "Ask" an astronaut led me to expect something a little more, I don't know, wacky? Down-and-dirty, like Packing for Mars? But this was a good solid read.

Particularly of interest:

- WAY more diverse training than I would've thought, including a long undersea research mission (with a terrifying toilet situation) and cave exploration/camping.
- Oh hey offhand enema.
- Mild Russian badassery (could've done with more of this tbh).
- Occasional reminders that the author is British.
- Microgravity sounds fun except for all the many, many, many side effects, oh and also space debris that could explosively murder you at any point wow. ( )
  Andibook | Apr 20, 2018 |
This book is like a Q and A session with Tim Peake. He took all the most commonly asked questions he has had over the years about being an astronaut and put them together in this book. I initially thought the style of this book was going to make reading non fiction a little more exciting. It didn't. This book is for people who want to get an idea what it is like on a space station and also have enough space background that talk of Atomic Oxygen makes sense. The format does make finding answers to specific questions easy. ( )
  AmandaSanders | Mar 28, 2018 |
British astronaut Tim Peake takes readers on a journey to the International Space Station and back in an accessible question-and-answer format. Questions were taken from the general public and organized in chronological order, so that you get the complete history of Peake’s voyage. Peake comes across as a good-natured fellow and answers what must be mind-numbingly repetitive questions with simplicity and dashes of humour. (And as a tea drinker, I especially appreciated his sense of priorities, getting his wife to make sure the flight surgeon had some Yorkshire Tea ready for him when he came back to Earth!)

The book contains two sets of colour plates that include some stunning photographs taken by Peake as the ISS orbited Earth (the Antarctica shot is one of his favourites, as well it should be). There are also illustrations to explain concepts such as how the spacecraft gets into orbit, the components and layers of a space suit, and the distribution of g-forces as the spacecraft returns to Earth.

This would make a great read for anyone interested in life in space. I was inspired to pick it up after reading Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, so if you like that sort of astronaut book, you might enjoy Peake’s contribution. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Dec 16, 2017 |
It is amazing to consider that since 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space that only 545 people have reached Earth's orbit. Tim Peake is one, having been on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015. His book Ask and Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space is as close as most of us will get to knowing what it is like.

When Tom Wolfe wrote The Right Stuff, he was talking about the first American astronauts who had come up from the ranks of pilots. Today's astronauts need very specific skills, including being good at language, since being in the ISS requires knowing Russian.

"NASA astronaut and ISS commander Scott Kelly told me that it is only the first ten years of studying Russian that are difficult."

The most important trait needed to be an astronaut is character and drive. Mike Massimino also wrote about that in his memoir Spaceman.

Peake wrote this book to answer the questions people ask all the time about being space. Chapters include Launch, Training, Life and Work on the ISS, Spacewalking, Earth and Space, Return to Earth, and Looking to the Future. There are great illustrations, diagrams, and color photographs.

I can't imagine living in 'a tin can' for months. And yet this is what today's astronauts do. And sharing that space with other people.

Okay, perhaps I can imagine that but I really can't imagine spacewalking. Leaving the 'safe haven' of the ISS for a black vacuum where temperatures can go from frigid to boiling in minutes, unprotected from various flying space stuff. One wrong move and--well, watch the movie Gravity and skip the happy ending. Peake notes it is actually quite easy to fall off the space station. The danger is palpable.

All this while wearing adult 'nappies'.

But other things can go wrong, too. In 1965 a Soviet astronaut was in space when his suit ballooned and stiffened. His hands and feet slipped from their places, and the only thing he could do was depressurize his suit. He was suffering from decompression sickness when, with much struggling, he entered the airlock.

Peake was part of a team to repair the ISS solar panel, restoring its electric power. Being in space gave him "the sensation of being a microscopic spectator in an immeasurably vast universe. It was, at the same time, the most astonishing and humbling experience of my life."

This is a great book for inquisitive minds, from the young to us older folk who grew up with the Space Race.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. ( )
  nancyadair | Oct 27, 2017 |
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