Astronaut Scott Kelly returning from a year in space (Photo: Bill Ingalls/NASA)
The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, astronaut Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. He knows what it feels like to be launched in a rocket, what happens to your body in zero gravity, and what happens when you get a toothache 250 miles above Earth,.
In a conversation with Joe Palca, science correspondent for NPR, Kelly draws on his new book, Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery (Knopf), as he recounts his year aboard the International Space Station. He also talks about his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and what sparked his astounding career, which changed his trajectory from an unfocused, below-average student to a record-setting astronaut.
He describes navigating the extreme challenges of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal: the devastating effects on the body; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of depressurization or colliding with space junk; and the threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home—an agonizing situation Kelly faced during another mission when his twin brother's wife, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space.
Hear Kelly discuss his life on and off the planet, and why he believes that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging step in American spaceflight.
NOTE: Pricing that includes the featured book includes a pre-signed copy of Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. The program will not have a live book signing.