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How astronaut’s lifehacks will work for you too

Book review: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

Originally published: October 29, 2013
Genre: Biography, Autobiography
Original language: English

About the author: Chris Hadfield – first Canadian Astronaut to walk in space, flown twice on the space shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station.


Astronauts have a very specific type of job, which might seem uncomprehending and quite complex from a far distance. We usually portrait them in the spaceship where they flow in the vacuum and coordinate a variety of systems. But we forget that the scenes of conquering the space take the enormous number of hours, colossal financial and human capacity investments, congregation of the brightest minds on the Earth, and, unfortunately, the records of fails and losses… Would you imagine that some of that can be projected to the lives of the ordinary people like us? Well, according to the An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield it is possible.

Chris reminds to the readers that space is the location where different laws of time and physics are operating. That’s why it is vital to do the best in modeling unexpected situations with the spaceship and crew considering any imaginable matters. Attention to the details plays the crucial role in it. Same in our lives. Abilities to analyze details, its interaction with other objects, and foresee where it can lead help to sense the series of consequences. As an example, Chris mentioned that once being in a shuttle on the way to the International Space Center, something was irritating his eyes, which caused tears. All of a sudden, the liquid was floating in his helmet creating a chance to block air supply channels. What was the reason? As he later found out: not thoroughly sterile helmet glass, which kept certain bacteria from the Earth and caused activation in the space. This case could lead to a series of inevitable consequences, which could be the cost of a human life depending on this detail. Fortuitously the crew and the team on Earth solved it.

As another example, Chris talks about his experience in working with the colleague with whom he could not find the common ground in the communication. Of course, most of us will be frustrated with this fact, it makes us uncomfortable, creates more anxiety with the following lack of own confidence. The author came up with the solutions which helped him detached from such emotionally daunting condition. First of all, these situations happen a lot. Do not panic, do not make it your fault. If you work efficiency and stay decent, the issue can be in another person. Accept the fact that your coworker is a pro. Learn from Her or Him as much as possible. Realize that it is not about you, no reason to take it personally. Sometimes it is about the insecurity in another person. Instead, promote your hand to this colleague. Chris is an astronaut. In his type of work, for an extended period he can be surrounded with only 2-3 people around and each of them depends on each other. “In a crisis, you want them to want to help you survive and succeed. They may be the only people in the world who can.” Simple formula.

Obviously, there are more things to learn from this book. As well, as read how actually Chris became an astronaut and how his persistence helped him on this way.

In addition, the author talks about the international cooperation between the countries in exploring the space and convey insights of astronauts’ life on Earth and on the Interplanetary. Don’t hesitate to read, I promise astronaut’s lifehacks will work for you too 😉.



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