Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery

Rate this book
"A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station – a candid account of his remarkable voyage, the journeys that preceded it, and his colorful formative years." Inside book cover comments.

400 pages, Hardcover

First published October 17, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Scott Kelly

8 books255 followers
Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut. His identical twin brother is Mark Kelly, also a former astronaut.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
9,206 (44%)
4 stars
7,901 (38%)
3 stars
2,581 (12%)
2 stars
595 (2%)
1 star
391 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,304 reviews
Profile Image for Rowan.
117 reviews224 followers
August 14, 2022
This felt like two books rolled into one - part memoir on Scott Kelly’s year in space, and part autobiography about his life and astronaut journey. It took me a while to get into this. Chapters alternate between the year in space and his life and career. Some chapters were more interesting than others.

To begin with, I found Endurance a little dry and textbook-like. It has an astounding level of detail. While strong attention to detail is necessary in Kelly’s career and survival, it doesn’t always make for a gripping read. Want to know what to do if your T-34 loses an engine?

“Put the ICL idle, T-handle down clip in place, standby fuel pump on, started on, monitor N1 and ITT for start indications, starter off when ITT peaks or no indication of start.”

Yeah, me neither.

When some of this monotonous detail was mixed with animal cruelty, I found my interest waning (a mouse is so distressed in space it chews off its own limbs). It was the chapter on flying F-14 Tomcats that drew me back in. Growing up in the 90s, I was obsessed with the likes of Harmon Rabb in JAG and Top Gun, so it was great to read an insider perspective on life as a Tomcat pilot. Trying to land an F-14 on a storm-tossed carrier at sea will always make for gripping reading.

The space chapters would sometimes descend into a slow DIY project. I had no idea how much maintenance and mechanical repairs take up the life of an astronaut. Still, I came for space facts, and these were some of the strongest parts of the book:

- FBI style wanted posters adorn walls of the ISS for objects that have floated away on the station and gone missing. 8 years is the record for an object reappearing!

- A space shuttle launch feels like being: “strapped into a freight train gone off the rails and accelerating out of control, shaken violently in every direction.”

- Space smells “slightly burnt, slightly metallic”

- The sun rises and sets every 90 minutes on the ISS.

- They watched the film Gravity while in space.

- They all miss nature while in space (Russian cosmonaut, Misha, even played the sounds of mosquitoes to help him fall asleep).

- Lots of wearing diapers.

I also have something in my notes mentioning “community ass brush”, but can’t recall what that’s about (and not sure I want to).

The book isn’t without tense moments; whether it be spacewalks, rogue satellites, launches and re-entries. The humour was welcome relief from the dry-feel (Kelly and his gorilla suit). Many of the funniest moments come from Kelly’s’ Russian cosmonaut colleagues. International solidarity is a key theme of the book. It's impressive what the human race can achieve when it works together and puts differences aside.

I loved how honest Kelly is about mistakes and things he finds difficult. He’s not afraid to admit his failures, moments of self-doubt or when he lacks knowledge. It’s inspiring that someone who has accomplished so much can admit these things – it gives hope for us all and is great reminder that we can achieve anything if we’re willing to work hard and dedicate ourselves.

I started reading this book to learn about life in space, but it ended up being as much an inspiring tale of hard work, never giving up, owning our mistakes and chasing dreams. Through his year in space, Scott Kelly came to appreciate life on a greater scale than ever before. While the book touches on the fragility of life, it also made me notice little things a lot more - nature, water, the wind blowing in trees. Endurance made me want to return to journal writing and documenting my life, just like Kelly did with his year in space. It made me appreciate the seemingly mundane for how special it really is.

“This is a really dumb thing to be doing.” – Scott Kelly, upon launching into space for the first time.
Profile Image for Petra on hiatus, really unwell.
2,457 reviews34.4k followers
July 25, 2018
The blurb was better than the book. If this book had been entitled "The story of my life, including a Year I Spent in Space", I might have enjoyed the book more. Instead if was a feat of ... endurance. I had wanted to read about space not a biography.

The author comes from a family where both parents are cops, there is domestic violence and the father and his cop friends think it's fun to have shooting matches sometimes using his son't craft projects as targets. Nice family. That is the most interesting bit about his biography. His marriages, girlfriend, twin brother (also an astronaut), his school, college, professional career and health issues just didn't really interest me.

What I was interested in, a very prurient interest, but he didn't say, was when he had his prostate removed in a radical operation and he said the risks were incontinence and impotence. All the men I know who have had prostate removal as opposed to other treatments, all became impotent beyond the help of Viagra. The author had the operation rather than chemo and radiotherapy because it would enable him to get back into space quicker without any risk of a relapse. I wanted to know if he put space before his sex life. If so, I kind of wonder why his partner stuck with him, but then she was used to him going off into space, for up to a year at a time, so maybe she didn't care that much about that aspect of life.

The space station, how it was a year there really did interest me but there was less information than in
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (a 10 star book, a great read and very informative),
Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space or Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space, both 5 star reads.

There is one really good quote, it is about a test that the author is taking and he can see the answers, however he doesn't know if he is supposed to be able to see them and should speak out (ie a test of honesty) or what. He says, "I don't condone cheating, but I've learned it's important to be creative in solving problems." For that he gets an extra half-star. 3 stars.
Profile Image for Evelina | AvalinahsBooks.
878 reviews446 followers
October 18, 2017
You might have noticed that when I read nonfiction, I read some pretty crazy topics all over the place. This time! We're delving into space. REAL SPACE. Not Your Sci-fi Space Lite ™. And this is precisely the reason why you have to read real space memoirs, especially if you're a sci-fi fan. Space just got real, and it's meaner than you've ever thought.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about – this is the review of Scott Kelly's memoir, and he is the cool dude who spent a year in space. The only such man. After having cancer. This guy? Whole new definition of awesome. So let's get to the reasons why you should read his book!

Reason #1. You Thought Lack Of Gravity Was Cool

Well... NOPE. Turns out? Doing everything without gravity is much harder. The lack of gravity will even break your body in time. It will reduce you to basically a squid. Did you know that? Let me give you a list of things that are absolute bullshit not completely true about being in space, and yet are constantly used in fictional space:

✬ Hot sci-fi chicks gracefully moving around on spaceships? *buzzer sound*
✬ Long hair looking good in space? *buzzer sound*
✬ Scratch that. Hair in general looking good? Even staying clean and being washed? *buzzer sound*
✬ Toned muscular bodies in space? *buzzer sound*
✬ Actually, rethink everything you've ever read about people eating on no-gravity spaceships. And about fresh food on spaceships.
✬ A quick suit up before going out of the ship? Man, forget it! N+1 hours!
✬ I will not begin ANY SUCH conversation about sexual activity in space because you do not want to think about fluid dynamics OR the lack of weight you're experiencing. Neither do I.

Personally, I loved finding out about this. We don't give the real space dudes enough credit! Because sci-fi makes it seem soooo easy. That's the last thing it is.

Reason #2. We Need To Debunk The Myth That Only Perfect People Can Be Astronauts... Or Do Other Demanding Jobs

Actually, I thought that only 20:20 vision ripped young boys and girls go to space. Probably, so did you.

(Okay, so, buzzer GIFs are a little harder to find, apparently.)

Turns out, nope – young folks don't go to space. ALMOST AT ALL. That is another lie by the media, fed to us to think that only youngsters can do anything in life, and if you're not doing it, you're living your life all wrong. Wanna know what gets people to space? Hard work. Years of it. Most people go to space sub-40. By that time, they probably don't have 20:20 vision anymore. They don't have perfect health either. Forget the myth that your life ended when you weren't a 20-something. People went to space after having cancer! People went to space with glasses. Wanna know what? If you're short, you're a preference for going to space! Ha. I found all of that incredibly empowering.

Reason #3. You Need To Restore Belief In Humanity

Okay, so... The political arena these days is not something I want to even remotely hear about. Most days, I either think the world will self-implode, or just keep embarrassing itself.

Which is why I found it unbelievably uplifting to know that while we squabble about whose president is less qualified for their job or... more qualified for totalitarian world domination, the Russians and Americans quietly work as a team on the International Space Station. Turns out, the Americans can't even go to space without the Russians. They have been going to space on a Russian ship for aaaaages now that the Shuttle has been decomissioned. Fancy that, huh? So much for diplomacy... This is the true team spirit of advancing humanity. #science, baby! I think Scott Kelly puts it better than me, so check out this quote:
"When people ask whether the space station is worth the expense, this is something I always point out. What is it worth to see two former bitter enemies transform their weapons into transport for peaceful exploration and the pursuit of scientific knowledge? What is it worth to see former enemy nations turn their warriors into crewmates and lifelong friends? This is impossible to put a dollar figure on, but to me it’s one of the things that makes this project worth the expense, even worth risking our lives."

Reason #4. The Book Empowers People From Humble Origins

Scott Kelly tells of a childhood with a heavily drinking father – an experience I'm also familiar with – and it's truly great to hear that high achievers can be people just like me, people who might have often felt that achievements are for "the better kind", the kind of people who come from proper homes (you'd be surprised how many children of alcoholics silently feel this way!) Side by side, he tells two stories – one of actually being in space, and one of preparing himself to go there – the road of a kid who nearly flunked highschool and had undiagnosed ADHD to becoming an astronaut.

Reason #5. The Book Tries To Make You See How Much You Should Respect The Planet

(image courtesy: NASA)

An astronaut can't fail to understand the fragility of the Earth. No astronaut has ever come back to Earth and said, to hell with global warming, it doesn't exist! (I mean, I sure hope none of them did...)

Scott Kelly tries to show us how beautiful, how loving and comfortable our home world is. It's directly visible, juxtaposed to the coldness, vastness and inhabitability of space. It baffles you how powerless we really are out there – for all our almighty hubris. Which is why we need to nurture and protect what we have here.

I thank Scott Kelly and Knopf Publishing Group for giving me an early copy of this book in exchange to my honest opinion.

Read Post On My Blog | My Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,502 reviews349 followers
January 5, 2018
The worst argument I ever had with my dad when I was growing up was over astronauts. We were at the dinner table and I had remarked that astronauts had to be superior and my dad argued that they had to be 'normal'. Dad thought that normal meant a human body that functioned as it was supposed to, and I thought superior meant they had abilities--physical and cognitive--that most of us don't have.

After reading Endurance by Scott Kelly I stand by my pre-teen opinion. What Kelly achieved and what he endured was amazing. Few of us have the will and the commitment to pursue our dream when things get tough. Most of us settle for good enough, unable to push ourselves past what we consider our 'limits'. Nothing stopped Kelly. Nothing.

Unlike his twin brother Mark, also an astronaut, Scott was an indifferent student until he knew what he wanted. Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff  about the first astronauts was the fire that lit his imagination and gave him a vision of what he wanted. He applied himself to his studies and was thrilled to become a Navy jet pilot, then a test pilot, and finally an astronaut. He never said 'no' to a mission, and found himself on the Endeavor and finally on the International Space Station (ISS) for a year.

In his book Endurance we learn the behind the scenes life of an astronaut, the grueling training and vast amounts of information that must be learned, including Russian. It involves pain and adult diapers, the mundane yet sophisticated duty of cleaning an ISS toilet,  getting along with others in tight quarters, unexpected breakdowns, and long, draining space walks where every move must be considered and planned. 

The book is detailed. Don't expect Endurance to be an easy, joyride read, but I myself was fascinated. in alternating chapters, we learn about Scott's life and career and about his year on the ISS.  

Scott has a scientific mind and his drive and ambition are evident. Don't expect a warm, fuzzy persona. Scott does talk about his brother Mark and the tragic shooting of his wife, Gabby Gifford, and her recovery but he is not telling Mark's story. Along with Scott's family, they are included in context of Scott's story. 

It was fascinating to learn about the astronauts Scott served with on his missions, especially those from other countries, and how the Russian space program differs from NASA. The Russian and American astronauts on the ISS depend on each other for survival and their trust and respect for each other is essential. (If only we on Earth saw our planet as a big spaceship which we share!)

What does it take to be a success, to fulfill your highest potential? Scott had no fear and saw risky situations as challenges to overcome. He believed that he was part of something bigger than himself, adding to our knowledge and understanding so that someday humankind could travel to Mars. He believed that if humanity works together there is no end of what we can achieve. He believed in himself. He believed in the talents of his fellow astronauts.

I was thrilled to be given a copy of Endurance from Bookish First To Read in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. 
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,743 reviews6,669 followers
October 29, 2017
Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery is a memoir written by Scott Kelly. A former NASA astronaut, Scott Kelly is best known for spending nearly a year on the International Space Station (ISS) and (as of October 2015) for spending more time in space than any other American. He's also a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired U.S. Navy captain, a twin to another NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, a father, a son, and an ex-husband. This book is not only about Scott and his year in space. It's about all of the above. It's about his upbringing, his inspiration past and present, the other career roles that have served as stepping stones, the sacrificing family that watched him leave the planet over and over for work, the toll outer space takes on the body, mind, and relationships, and it's about Russia, science, perspective, and gratitude.

Overall, I found Endurance to be a well-rounded memoir that covered many more topics than I expected. Based on my personal reading experience, many sections felt dry which caused me to pause the audiobook (narrated by Scott himself) several times due to a lack of engagement; however, a few parts were surprisingly touching and made up for it. My favorite parts included the exploration of relationship factors suffered by Scott and his now ex-wife as a result of the sacrifices required by this career, the physical accommodations necessary when in space (things many of us surely take for granted), and the nightmarish reaction Scott's body had upon his return to earth after almost a year of no gravity. Endurance is a perfect title for this book.

My favorite quote:
"I've learned that following the news from space can make Earth seem like a swirl of chaos and conflict, and that seeing the environmental degradation caused by humans is heartbreaking. I've also learned that our planet is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and that we're lucky to have it."

Photo Source: www.nasa.gov
Profile Image for Deanna.
942 reviews53 followers
December 6, 2017
All the stars for this one, fittingly. Best read of the year, and more.

I want to write a love song to this one but am not up to it.

I do keep wondering if this was written completely by Kelly or with a ghost writer. It doesn’t matter to me, I just wonder how to place my abundance of kudos.

If Kelly, not a professional writer, created this on his own I want to shower his with the praise. If he worked with another writer, I want to tell them that they did a fantabulous job making this seem so real, intimate, and true that there is nothing about this book that feels co-written. However it came to be, I place this book firmly on the on yes I’ll read it again pile.

I listened, and Kelly did a great job narrating his own book. Now I have the hardback and will let my eyeballs do the work on the next round, glad I already have Kelly’s voice in my head.

You know that old question about naming 3 people you most want at your table for dinner. Kelly is now one of them.

Profile Image for Karen’s Library.
1,090 reviews165 followers
July 9, 2020
Wow! 5 gazillion stars to this amazing memoir by Astronaut Scott Kelly. I loved this even more the second time around. I met both Scott and now wife Amiko a couple of years ago and I was utterly starstruck.

Original review: When Scott Kelly spent his year in space, I followed him on social media and was in awe over his earth art photos that he took and posted daily! I watched his interviews from the space station, his antics as a space gorilla, and everything I could. I cried with relief when I watched him land safely again back on earth. During that year, space looked fun, although weird. Social media never really portrayed any of the hardships or danger these brave men and women were going through every single moment.

In his memoir, Scott gives his full insights of what space, living in the space station, and getting there, is really like, and if I admired this man before, I'm absolutely enamored by him and all of the astronauts of NASA! Scott really holds nothing back and we get the true story of what he endured during his career as an astronaut.

I couldn't get enough of this book, and finished it at 2:30 AM because I didn't want to put it down last night. While reading, I had quite a few moments of cackling loudly at one of his crazy dreams or humorous pranks, and at other times, tears would be running as he told of the day his sister-in-law Gabby Gifford was shot or other tragedies of the space program.

We find out the day he decided he wanted to be an astronaut, and about his early days as a pilot. He does talk about his twin brother Mark, also an astronaut, but only as the fact that Mark was his brother. This was Scott's story, not Mark's.

Yes, there were lots of technical terms, and many details of science and regular maintenance issues like fixing the toilet. But we also get to see how hard spacewalks really are, how hard being in space is on their bodies, both during and after space flight. And we get to see the camaraderie the entire crew of the international space program experiences. American, Russian, Italian, Japanese, etc. There is so much respect and friendship between them all.

Before I got to the 2nd chapter, I found out that Scott narrates the audiobook, so had to buy and download that too. I loved hearing him tell some of these stories himself and would switch back and forth between print and audio depending on what I was doing.

I get to meet Scott Kelly at a book event next month, and I'm so thrilled and can't wait!
Profile Image for Jamie Collins.
1,434 reviews274 followers
November 30, 2017
I very much enjoyed the details of life on the space station, and I liked the discussion of some of the differences between NASA and Roscosmos.

I was a little put off, however, by the negative tone of the book. Even the title must rankle with other astronauts who would give anything to “endure” a year in space, yet that’s a good description of Kelly’s experience as related here. I think he was just trying to be realistic, but his complaints seemed effusive and heartfelt while he only gave only lip service to the wonders of this unique experience.

Kelly has positive things to say about all of his fellow astronauts, except he mentions being troubled by poor Lisa Nowak (who later famously tried to kidnap a fellow astronaut’s girlfriend), and, oddly, he repeatedly calls out Tim Kopra over a minor idiosyncrasy. It seems unnecessary to have named Kopra, since the anecdote would have worked just as well anonymously. I’m kind of hoping it’s an inside joke between them.

The story of his year in space is alternated with vignettes from his earlier life and career. I think I would have liked the book more if it had focused more closely on his time on the space station. The intimate details of his relationships with his family members seemed uncomfortably extraneous.
Profile Image for Jean.
1,728 reviews751 followers
November 30, 2018
This is Kelly’s memoir of his year on ISS (International Space Station). Kelly has done four trips to ISS. This year long stay was part of a medical experiment to discover what effects time in space had on the human body. Scott’s identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, stayed on earth as a control subject. Kelly is a Navy Captain, fighter pilot and an engineer. It was fun to learn about the day to day information about life on ISS.

The book is well written. Kelly also described the difference between a shuttle astronaut and a space station astronaut. Kelly told about his problems in school, particularly high school. He apparently had problems with the ability to stay focused on what he was supposed to learn. He told about what triggered his desire to learn and achieve as well as what provided him with a goal to work for. If you are at all interested in the astronaut program or space, this book is for you.

I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is thirteen hours and six minutes. Scott Kelly does an okay job narrating the book.
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.7k followers
November 30, 2017
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut (like pretty much every other kid out there). To hear that Scott Kelly volunteered to spend a year in space to advance science and to further the mission to Mars completely thrilled the kid still in me. This book of his experiences during that year spent in the International Space Station, along with his journey to get there, is absolutely fascinating and inspirational.

Kelly writes with the clear-eyed and straightforward voice of a scientist. Yet his story is never boring; in fact, it's quite the opposite. No matter what he's talking about, he makes it interesting, such as the superstitious steps taken before launch, what it's like to capture the SpaceX Dragon with a robotic arm, how it feels when multiple rockets holding much needed supplies burned or never made it to ISS, the logistics of everyday life in zero gravity, what it's like to do spacewalks, and so much more.

It's not often a book comes along that captures my imagination and makes me want to reach for the stars. I'm so glad Kelly wrote this book of his extraordinary experiences. It's an absolute joy to read and will go down as one of my all-time favorites!
Profile Image for Connie G.
1,735 reviews477 followers
February 10, 2019
Astronaut Scott Kelly wrote a stellar memoir about his year in the International Space Station. He also tells about his adventurous childhood, and his years of training to become an engineer, a fighter pilot, and a test pilot. Both Scott and his twin brother, Mark, were selected to be astronauts and they each completed four spaceflights.

Scott appreciates the cooperation and genuine friendships that developed among the astronauts from the US, Russia, and other countries. He's in awe of the beauty he sees looking at the earth from the windows of the space station. He also realizes that he's missing special times with the people he loves back home when he's up in space, and how hard it is for his family. The astronauts exhibit amazing intelligence, and calmness under pressure where one false step can sometimes lead to death. Scott and Mark are involved in a medical twin study to see if Scott's year in space has long-term effects on his health.

Scott has a good sense of humor, and is a wonderful storyteller. This memoir is highly recommended, especially for readers interested in space and science.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,383 reviews404 followers
January 16, 2022
I had an intense interest for astronauts for about a month last year and definitely haven't died down, just not been reading much about it? This was an intensely interesting memoir about Scott's life in space and on earth. Memoirs like this would probably never stop fascinating me even if I would never ever wish to be in space my self.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
May 22, 2018
All the stars in the universe! As memoirs go, this is top-notch! If you like science, you need to read this book. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Scott Kelly himself, and was hooked from start to finish. For me personally, I find it very hard to critique a memoir. I mean, it is that person's story, it is up to them how they choose to tell it. This being said, even if I was a better reviewer I would have a hard time finding anything to critique within this book. Detailing everything from his childhood, his navy pilot training and career, astronaut training and numerous space missions, this book is replete with interesting facts and stories. I didn't want it to end - I flew through it and recommend it for everyone. Scott Kelly has lived one hell of a life and you should learn about it!
Profile Image for Holly Socolow.
107 reviews17 followers
December 18, 2017
Endurance, the aptly borrowed title documenting Shackleton’s year in Antarctica , is about Scott Kelly’s record-breaking year on the International Space Station (ISS) and the challenges therein. I ended up reading the first half and listening to the second half of the book due to new release availability at my library. I found reading the book easier to follow with the chapters alternating in time between his present mission on the ISS, and his formative family experiences and years of training as an officer and pilot. The audio book seemed to blend more together partly due to Scott’s matter-of-fact reading.

My takeaway-- there is nothing romantic about being an astronaut on the ISS for a year other than the incredible feat of making it as an astronaut and those times of looking out the window of the cupola and seeing the unfiltered planet Earth and the universe! He and the other stream of astronauts from all over the world coming and going worked very hard every day doing whatever NASA or their particular mission control told them to do -- anything from fixing toilets to taking their own blood, performing dentistry, growing lettuce and dissecting mice, all in zero gravity. Oh yes, and harrowing space walks. Yikes. It was fascinating to learn about the day to day life on the ISS and the many many things we take for granted on Earth, like setting an object down and having it stay there, the sensation of rain on the skin, the taste of fresh vegetables, and the comfort of a soft pillow.

It was wonderful hearing about what a truly international collaboration and accomplishment the ISS was and still is. The importance of the astronauts’ missions and the appreciation of their unique place in history resulted in life-supporting collaboration superseding power politics and petty arguments that so needlessly consume much of humanity just 250 miles below.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
485 reviews
September 14, 2017
I received a free copy of this e-book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
I’m an absolute sucker for astronaut biographies, so I had to read this. There haven’t been a ton of books written by astronauts who have flown on the ISS. Scott Kelly is a Shuttle astronaut as well as a Russia-launched ISS astronaut, so he speaks about spaceflight from multiple perspectives. His military background comes across strongly in the way he writes – straight forward, tell it like it is. I initially had a hard time getting into this one, but I became engrossed at about the 30% mark, then tore through the rest.
For those expecting a book just about the Year in Space program, you may come away disappointed. The book really wasn’t centered on that program, and he didn’t really give a lot of detail about what went on, experiment wise. He does talk a lot about life on the ISS, so that was very interesting. We get his life story, his military career story and the story of how he was selected to be an astronaut. This book gave the best descriptions about life on the ISS that I’ve encountered so far. It was really neat to see the difference between how the Russian modules are run versus the US run modules.
I think this book will appeal to non-fiction fans, especially those interested in NASA, the ISS and space science. I’m not sure this will appeal to a wide variety of people, but it is what it is.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,506 reviews614 followers
December 19, 2017
This memoir written by Scott Kelly after his record-breaking year in space is accessible and surprisingly transparent. A big thank you to Bookish First for the ARC I won in your raffle. One of my earliest memories is watching the Apollo 11 walk on the moon and I vividly remember the Challenger disaster while I was in college, piquing my interest in this man's story.

Reading Kelly's story gives me an enlightened view of the International Space Station and the people who work in it and provide support. What an incredible team effort! Kelly himself truly did endure arduous training and education to be the ideal candidate for a year in space. His story of his year in space alternating with his journey from childhood to that milestone mission is a true testimony to grit, determination and vision. How exciting to see the strides that continue to be made so that we might someday actually set foot on Mars. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Chantelle.
11 reviews
December 22, 2017
It's difficult not to enjoy an astronaut's autobiography. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us, and for the sacrifices you have made in the name of science and exploration, Scott Kelly!
Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews234 followers
June 18, 2018

While interesting and informative it was so dry and textbook like. Worth the read if you're interested in space but don't expect any excitement.
Profile Image for Thomas Ray.
1,093 reviews347 followers
February 7, 2019
The international space station has mold growing on the walls. There’s no water to wash hands—or anything else. Most of the water the occupants have to drink is the imperfectly-processed urine of the group. The less said about defecating in zero gravity, the better. Any object that drifts off—be it an important tool or a blob emanating from a human body or laboratory animal—will float to who-knows-where, and stay there. The author went months without changing clothes. The carbon dioxide level is headache-inducing, cognition-impairing. The space station has been continuously occupied for nearly 20 years.

NASA repeatedly ignored astronaut pleas to /permit the astronauts to turn on/ enough carbon-dioxide scrubbers to keep them from having constant headaches. Station air was 4% carbon dioxide. On Earth, it’s 0.04% (up from 0.035% in the mid-1900s, the extra .005% melting the icecaps). NASA ignored its engineers’ pleas not to launch the Challenger space shuttle in cold weather, when the O-rings could fail: the crew died. NASA ignored the problem of insulation hitting and damaging thermal tiles on the shuttle. The Columbia crew died. NASA retired its old, unsafe shuttles. Since then NASA has been contracting with the USSR and with private companies to rocket astronauts into space. In the year Scott Kelly was in orbit, two such rockets blew up; a third spun out of control. It’s just luck that these three were unmanned resupply ships. They were getting low on supplies, but nobody died this time. Of Scott Kelly’s group of 44 astronaut trainees, 5 had died by the time Kelly wrote this book. Human life and health is a disposable commodity, to NASA. Just as with the military generally. Counting his time as a jet pilot from an aircraft carrier, and a military test pilot, and as an astronaut, Kelly says over 40 of his friends and colleagues have died in crashes. The space station is constantly hit by tiny meteors and bits of space junk. The exterior is riddled with what look like bullet holes. It’s a miracle that the whole thing hasn’t depressurized. It’s also damaged by solar radiation. Metal bends like potato chips. While Kelly was in orbit, a large piece of space junk whizzed by with a closing speed of over 17,000 miles per hour. Mission control didn’t find out about it until too late to try to move out of the way. It came close, but, just luckily, missed. One of the main “experiments” being done during Kelly’s time in space was to see how his health is damaged by a long time in space. It’s not just astronauts who are endangered. Space stations, ships, satellites that are allowed to “burn up in the atmosphere” don’t completely burn up. Huge chunks of metal slam into the Earth at tremendous speeds.

Yes, they dissect mice in zero g, and grow a bit of lettuce, fill up their time doing any experiment anyone can think of to put in orbit. Even schoolchildren were invited to send experiments to space. But there’s little to gain. The experiments are a pretext and afterthought. Kelly repeatedly says they’re preparing to go to Mars. But there’s nothing on Mars for us. It will never be habitable. Nor will the moon.

The real reason all the countries have sent military personnel—the astronauts from all countries are military pilots, even though there is no piloting to be done, either of the rocket or the space station itself; everything is controlled by software—is to maintain a claim to the high ground. Don’t let another country’s military get the drop on you. Kelly doesn’t tell us this—but it’s always been true. We went to the moon as a game of one-upsmanship versus the Soviets. There was nothing on the moon we needed. Kelly does admit that the reason NASA sent Kelly to space for a year was that the Russians had sent someone to space for a year. AND that the Russians did so not for any particular reason: their schedule just worked out that way!!

The idea that we could one day reach an M-class planet, so it won’t matter if we destroy Earth, is a false hope and a very dangerous one.

The achievement of absurdly unlikely goals—putting somebody on the moon and bringing him back (even though the trip is entirely pointless) fosters a false attitude that people can do anything. And that Top Men are figuring everything out. The reality is that the space program is a hugely expensive military stunt, that takes us away from addressing our real problems. Scott Kelly is a cheerleader for achieving hard goals; he’s completely uncritical that the goals he’s pursued are worse than pointless.

Quiz questions:
Profile Image for Monica Fumarolo.
492 reviews77 followers
October 29, 2017
*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley - thank you! This in no way impacted my opinions of this book.*

Astronauts are always going to be a mystery to me. After all, there's nothing really on earth that can compare to visiting the stars, for however long or short a time. Kelly's journey to becoming an astronaut as well as his year aboard the ISS is nothing short of amazing. Yet, at the same time, it helped de-mystify this illusive group to me - astronauts are people too, and they only get to where they are as a result of incredibly hard work and determination. Definitely buying this one for my library, and I'd recommend it to space lovers I know as well!
Profile Image for Nikki.
188 reviews7 followers
October 24, 2017
An excellent slice-of-life view aboard the International Space Station - along with smoothly interwoven stories through Scott Kelly's life to how he got to the opportunity to spend a year in space. I can't wait to see if an audiobook version comes out, if it does and Scott Kelly reads it, fantastic!
Profile Image for Matti Karjalainen.
2,850 reviews54 followers
August 13, 2018
Scott Kellyn "Kiertoradalla: vuosi avaruudessa" (Bazar, 2018) tarttui lukulistalleni kuultuani siitä kehuja pariltakin tuttavaltani, ja kaiken lisäksi vaikutti siltä, että elämäkerta saattaisi hyvinkin sopia kahdeksasluokkalaisten genrevinkkauspakettiin.

Vuonna 1964 syntynyt Kelly oli newjerseylaisen alkoholistiperheen kasvatti. Nuorukainen ei ollut erityisen kiinnostunut koulunkäynnistä. Kelly selvitti koulunsa luokkansa kehnoimpien oppilaiden joukossa ja meni sen jälkeen ainoaan yliopistoon, joka hänet huoli. Elämällä ei tuntunut olevan oikein minkäänlaista suuntaa, kunnes hän sattui törmäämään Tom Wolfen kirjoittamaan teokseen The Right Stuff. Laivaston rämäpäisistä koelentäjistä kertovan kirjan ahmittuaan Kelly lopulta tiesi mitä hän halusi, ja määrätietoisella työllä hän myös saavutti unelmansa päästen lentämään avaruussukkulaa ja viettämään yhtäjaksoisesti avaruudessa vuoden verran neljänsadan kilometrin korkeudella maata kiertävällä kansainvälisellä avaruusasemalla ISS:lla.

Kelly kirjoittaa kokemuksistaan kansantajuisesti ja kiinnostavasti. Astronautin työn epämukavuudet ja vaarat tulevat tutuksi, samaten kansainvälisen yhteistyön ja yhteen hiileen puhaltamisen merkitys. Lisäksi kirjassa kerrotaan kauniisti siitä, miltä tuntuu olla erossa rakkaimmistaan, jotka jatkavat elämäänsä maan pinnalla. Avaruusteknologiaa sivutaan sitäkin, mutta ei niin yksityiskohtaisesti, etteikö maallikkokin pysyisi kärryillä.

Lukukokemusta keventävät humoristiset katkelmat, joissa muun muassa kerrotaan avaruusasemalle saapuvasta gorillapuvusta tai pohdiskellaan sitä miksi astronauteille täytyy lähettää avaruuteen vaniljavanukasta, vaikkei sitä kukaan kaipaa edes maan päällä. Kaikkea ohileijuvaa ei myöskään kannata maistaa, näyttipä se suklaalta tai ei - avaruudessa nimittäin tehdään myös kokeita hiirillä.

"Kiertoradalla" oli iloinen kirjallinen yllätys ja uskaltaisinpa sanoa sen olevan myös yksi kuluvan vuoden toistaiseksi parhaista lukukokemuksista!
Profile Image for Marcia.
1,053 reviews110 followers
December 13, 2017
Als groot fan van verhalen die zich afspelen in de ruimte, vond ik het zeer interessant het verhaal van astronaut Scott Kelly te lezen. Afwisselend vertelt hij over zijn jaar in de ruimte en de weg om zijn droom astronaut te worden te verwezenlijken. Het is een heel persoonlijk verhaal dat je tegelijkertijd een realistisch beeld geeft van het leven aan boord van het ISS.
Mijn complete recensie lees je op Oog op de Toekomst.
Profile Image for Audrey.
1,073 reviews165 followers
November 12, 2019
3.5 stars

I accidentally put this on hold while looking for Shackleton’s book, but that turned out for the best. Scott Kelly was inspired by Shackleton when creating his own memoir. Kelly is a present-day astronaut, most recently spending a year in space at the ISS to be a guinea pig and learn what long-term space living does to the body. He was on his way to juvenile delinquency when he read The Right Stuff. It moved him so much, he turned his life around and worked hard to become an astronaut.

He alternates his memoir between the year in space and his life journey to becoming an astronaut. The year in space is told in present tense; the past is told in past tense.

I realized that I have not learned a lot about the modern space age; I know little about the space shuttle. Kelly is quite a different astronaut from the Mercury and Apollo astronauts. It’s interesting to see how things have changed.

Contains some strong language.
Profile Image for Emily .
779 reviews79 followers
February 21, 2018
The best non-fiction book I have read in a long time. A few months ago I was watching a documentary on PBS about Scott Kelly and the effects that living on the International Space Station (ISS) had on his body after an entire year. Scott has an identical twin (also an astronaut) and so it was groundbreaking science to be able to compare him to his twin after the year in space - the goal being to learn how to humans could adapt to a space flight to Mars.

This book covers Scott Kelly's life - from becoming a fighter pilot to the year on the ISS. It touches on the Challenger and Columbia explosions and on his sister-in-law Gabby Gifford getting shot. I learned so much about what astronauts go through just for the chance to go up to the ISS and about the hardships of life without gravity. Because the ISS is a global partnership the book touches on the differences between the difference space agencies - mainly NASA and Russia. Where NASA is methodical and tedious (sometimes to a ridiculous degree), the Russians are completely opposite and it makes for some interesting reading.

I highly recommend the book. It's written in a very straightforward manner, easy to understand, and Scott Kelly has a great sense of humor. If you're interested in space, science, aeronautics, etc you need to read this book.
Profile Image for Toni.
819 reviews3 followers
August 16, 2017
Scott Kelly has done a very good job of relating his experiences as an astronaut in a way that someone without technical knowledge can understand. Some of his stories made me laugh out loud. It did kind of drag for me near the end, but his book sparked my interest in the ISS, NASA, and a possible mission to mars.
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,435 reviews770 followers
November 11, 2017
Almost every review of this book, I'll bet, will begin something like this: "When I was a kid, outer space was fascinating...I dreamed of being an astronaut." I wholeheartedly agree with the first part; it was true of me then - back in the '50s when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded, and it is true now that I've reached septagenerian status. But beyond that, flying 900 feet in the air under a parasail firmly attached to a heavy cable is about as high as I ever want to go (and don't care to go ever again, thank you very much). Besides that, just thinking about stuffing my body into one of those capsules that carry astronauts to and from terra firma makes me break out in a cold sweat.

Truth is, I'm quite content to read about other people's experiences - and this account is one of the best I've encountered since Tom Wolfe's 1979 classic, The Right Stuff. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Wolfe's book served as the impetus that turned Kelly's life around - from a kid who had no plans for his future and didn't much care for education to one singularly focused on a very lofty and difficult-to-reach career goal and knew education was the key to reaching it.

In this book, Kelly, who holds the American record for consecutive days spent in space, tells it like it really was - both in his personal and professional life. For those who might not know, he is the twin brother of astronaut Mark Kelly, also the husband of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011. The prologue of the book hooked me immediately: now back on earth for 48 hours, Kelly was suffering the effects of a return to gravity after a year of looking down on civilization as we know it from the International Space Station (which he notes is today the longest-inhabited structure in space by far and the largest peacetime international project in history).

That's impressive in and of itself, but along the way - maybe because I spent my youth in the throes of the Cold War, crossing my fingers that school desks would protect me from a nuclear blast - I was blown away by one comment in particular: That Kelly found himself heading to space with two Russian companions, all of whom not that long ago might have been ordered to kill each other. Now, their very lives depended on total cooperation and trust.

Chapters shift from Kelly's pre-astronaut years to his experiences on four space flights including his final mission aboard the ISS. Although I'm sure he left out plenty of classified details, he pulls no punches when it comes to describing what it's really like in a confined space in zero gravity (right down to how human waste is contained and what happens to any of it that isn't). Some happenings are day-to-day routine and others have the potential to make the writing of this book not a happening thing, but all share a common bond: not a single one is boring. I finished the book as fast as I could, and when I got to the last page, I wished there were more to read. As I said at the beginning, space - and Kelly's part of exploring it - are nothing short of fascinating.

Now that his in-space voyages have come to an end, to Kelly I say thank you for your service and your wonderful book. Oh yes, and one other thing.

Live long and prosper!
Profile Image for Powerschnute.
245 reviews23 followers
January 28, 2019
Manchmal lese ich zur Abwechslung auch ein Sachbuch. Als ScienceFiction-Fan fällt es mir aber auch schwer, nicht den Schilderungen von realen Personen zu folgen, die tatsächlich im Weltall waren. Astronaut Scott Kelly war von März 2015 bis März 2016 fast ein Jahr im Weltall und beschreibt in seinem Buch Endurance seine Erfahrungen zu dieser Zeit. Dabei wird schnell deutlich, dass die Auswirkungen der Schwerelosigkeit absolut kein Pappenstiel sind und der menschliche Körper so einiges aushalten muss. Dabei faszinierten mich am meisten die Beschreibungen seines Befindens nach der Rückkehr auf die Erde. Kurz gesagt, lange Aufenthalte in der Schwerelosigkeit verlangen dem Körper Immenses ab. Vieles war mir bis dato noch gar nicht so bewusst.

Wir folgen Scott Kellys Reise ins All, von den Vorbereitungen auf die Mission bis hin zu seiner Rückkehr. Dabei ist Endurance allerdings auch mehr als nur ein Erfahrungsbericht dieser Mission. An vielen Stellen ähnelt das Buch eher Memoiren. Ich selbst fand die Details aus Scott Kellys Leben sehr bereichernd, zeichneten sie doch das Bild eines Menschen, der im Leben nichts auf dem silbernen Tablett serviert bekam. Auch, dass er kein besonders guter Schüler war und er seine Bildung hart erarbeitete, machen ihn sehr sympathisch. Viele Menschen können von seinem Werdegang inspiriert werden. Scott Kelly bricht mit dem Idealbild des Wissenschaftlers und Astronauten als hochintelligenter Übermensch. Er zeigt deutlich, dass man wirklich vieles erreichen kann, wenn man nur hart dafür arbeitet.

Besonders gefallen hat mir, wie stark er betonte, dass die Weltraumfahrt ein menschliches Projekt ist und die Nationen bei der Zusammenarbeit auf der ISS ihre Herkunft in den Hintergrund rücken. Auch, dass ehemals verfeindete Nationen jetzt zusammenarbeiten. Ich persönliche denke, dass genau diese Einsicht, dass die Erde unser aller Planet ist und wir alle Menschen sind, vielen fehlt. Vielleicht braucht es tatsächlich erst einen Flug ins All, um das zu erkennen.

Endurance ist ein gutes Buch, das nicht nur Scott Kellys Erfahrung als Astronaut darstellt sondern auch den Menschen dahinter, der für viele eine Inspiration sein kann, auch wenn der deutsche Titel hier etwas irreführend sein kann. Es geht einfach um mehr, als nur diese Langzeitmission. Klare Leseempfehlung.
Profile Image for Michelle Mallette.
371 reviews8 followers
November 4, 2017

Scott Kelly has spent 340 continuous days on the International Space Station - more than any other American astronaut. That record is likely to stand for a while, since his honesty and candour in describing the experience could give other candidates second thought! Along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail “Misha” Kornienko, there for the same length of time, and other astronauts on shorter missions, Kelly faced mind-blowing challenges while maintaining the ISS and conducting numerous science experiments, including on their own bodies. Kelly, with the help of co-author Margaret Lazarus Dean, alternates chapters between a narrative of his time on the ISS with a biographical take that dates back to his rough childhood in New Jersey with twin brother Mark (famously also an astronaut). He makes no apologies for being a military fighter pilot first, one who initially resisted the idea of a months-long mission on the ISS. Over several missions, he develops respect and appreciation for the work of scientists, though he peppers his book with criticisms of the bureaucracy of NASA and the Russian space agency. The writing is solid, and it’s interesting reading, but doesn’t get quite the recommendation I’d give to Chris Hadfield’s biography, a shorter but a more powerful memoir. I found Kelly’s impatience and complaints wearying, even occasionally arrogant. Read it yourself and let me know what you think. My thanks to Knopf Doubleday Publishing for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. See my full review at https://mmbookshelf.wordpress.com/201...
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,304 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.