Astronaut Scott Kelly has orbited the Earth five hundred twenty times and has spent more than eighteen hours on spacewalks. In his stunning memoir, “Endurance” he relates one incredible experience after another by recounting his lifetime of discovery, both in space and on Earth.

News of the shooting of Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, his sister-in-law, reached Kelly while he was on the International Space Station. In this book, he candidly describes the former Arizona Congresswoman’s near assassination with skill and emotion. “I wanted ‘Endurance’ to give people a sense of what it was really like to live on the space station for a year, and I felt it was important to get across that life on earth doesn’t stop for you just because you’re in space.”

Kelly also conveys the warmth of his relationship with partner Amiko and his awareness of the emotional roller coaster she rides each time Scott participates in his dangerous, breathtaking work.

He entertainingly describes the collaboration of the Russian, Japanese, Canadian, European and US space agencies that make the Space Station possible. Throughout the book, Kelly stresses the close ties he made with his Russian colleagues. These references make the book very timely due to the current investigation into Russian tampering with the 2016 presidential election. Kelly expresses concern the charges of tampering may cause Russia to retaliate by ending NASA’s access to Soyuz rockets. The US depends on these rockets for flying to the International Space Station and back.

Kelly’s scientific writing takes the reader inside a sphere few will ever experience. He depicts the hostile effects of space on the body; the long months of isolation from loved ones; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk and the haunting reality of being far away from family if tragedy strikes. His inspiring message is also one of hope for the future from this research: He believes that Mars will be the next challenging step in the space program.

Scott Kelly is a natural storyteller who attributes his care, wit and grit to his rough, New Jersey childhood. He writes that the inspiration for his career came from “The Right Stuff.” He read this book while a young person and was impressed by the message it conveyed about the strength of the human will and the wonder of the universe. The movie rights to “Endurance” have already been purchased

The space veteran is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U. S. Navy captain. His co-author, Margaret Lazarus Dean, is an associate professor at the University of Tennessee. She is the author of “The Time it Takes to Fall” and “Leaving Orbit”. This handsomely illustrated, 372 book is published by Alfred A. Knopf.