Saturday, April 21, 2018

It's A Question of Space | Clayton C. Anderson

*Image and book provided via NetGalley for an honest review.


Former astronaut Clayton C. Anderson has been answering questions about space since he Earth for a long stay on the ISS. This book is a compilation of questions he's been asked over the years with answers from his perspective.


If you have ever had questions, or have kids with questions, about some of the more routine tasks in space, Anderson has an answer. This book covers a lot of areas from how to become an astronaut to how to keep yourself clean on the ISS. A lot of the questions were things I would never think to ask, but once they were I thought "oh yeah, how does that work?" Fortunately Anderson is really good about answering them.

Admittedly, there are times when Anderson just doesn't know the answer, but he's very good about directing you to resources or people who would know. Some of the answers required a lot more technical expertise than he had, so he called in his friend Robert Frost who actually worked on those sides of the missions. Anderson also keeps a good sense of humor in a lot of his answers. There were some, to me, ridiculous questions, like what if an astronaut murdered all of his fellow astronauts on the ISS. Anderson actually went through a bit of a scenario of what would be required for the killer to do. All the while he made it clear that, given the rigorous psychological testing astronauts have to go through, he didn't think this would ever actually happen.

I think my biggest issue with this book is the editing. He says that the book is from his writings on Quora and it shows. There are a lot of repeat questions and answers spread throughout the book under different topics. Admittedly some of the questions had multiple questions in them so I can see why they were under different categories and thought to be different questions. I just think it would have been more readable had he consolidated the questions and answers instead of just repeating what was on Quora.

Other than that, though, I did like this book and it did answer a lot of questions I didn't even know I had about space and being an astronaut. 3.5 hoots!



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