Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir (Hardcover)
Astronaut Tom Jones had trained for years for one climactic moment: his first step through an airlock into the vast nothingness of space. What neither he nor anyone else had counted on was a door that refused to open. But that is the nature of space flight (as recent experience tragically proves) -- anything can, and sometimes does, go wrong. Fully aware of the possibility of disaster, astronauts still dare to venture to the edge of the cosmos in search of knowledge and adventure. Sky Walking is the story of one of those brave explorers. Jones spent eleven years in the NASA astronaut program, making four trips into space. He ultimately spent fifty-two days orbiting Earth, including more than nineteen hours outside during extravehicular activity -- that is, sky walking. Jones's readers get the inside story, written with a lyrical pen, on life in the new century with NASA, the space shuttle, and the International Space Station.
They'll read about the shock and thrill of liftoff, find out how strange it was for a former Cold Warrior to find himself working hand-in-hand with his former rivals, the Russians, and get a vicarious feel for the overwhelming experience of a walk in space -- orbiting Earth at more than 17,000 miles per hour, 200 miles up, with only a spacesuit separating Jones from oblivion.
About the Author
Born and raised in Maryland, Tom Jones was a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. During his career, he has piloted B-52s, earned a doctorate in planetary science, and worked for the CIA. He entered the NASA astronaut program in 1990 and flew four missions on the space shuttle. He lives with his family in Northern Virginia.
“A‘tell it like it is’ flight crew report of living and working in space . . . An inside story—well told!”
“It’s a story filled with excitement, disappointment, frustration, danger, triumph, and tragedy… It’s a thrilling ride.”
-Dale Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Act of War
“…Tom Jones got to live the dream. Here is his extraordinary story, told with vivid clarity, candor, and style.”
-Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon
“I can recommend no better read for the armchair astronaut than Sky Walking!”
-Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys
“What it’s like to be ‘in-the-program.’ ...an excellent account.”
-John H. Glenn
“Tom Jones has set the benchmark for [describing life as] an astronaut in the shuttle era.”
-Bruce Betts, Planetary Report