Captain Scott Kelly Headshot
Captain Scott Kelly
Captain Scott KellyHeadshot

Captain Scott Kelly

History-making NASA astronaut; first to complete a year-in-space mission

Former NASA astronaut and retired U.S. Navy Captain Scott Kelly shares the remarkable story of his “Year in Space” mission and how personal determination and a never-quit attitude helped him achieve his professional and personal goals. He holds the record for the single longest mission of an American astronaut in space; previously he held the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space.

I believe that building the International Space Station is the hardest thing we’ve ever done—and if we can do this, we can do anything…. We can choose to do the hard things. And if we do that, then the sky is definitely not the limit. Captain Scott Kelly

With stories from his rough-and-tumble childhood in New Jersey as the son of two police officers, Scott Kelly shares how despite starting out life as a poor student, he was able to become a U.S. Navy fighter pilot flying the F-14 Tomcat, and then a test pilot, and finally a NASA astronaut.

When he and his twin brother, Mark, were selected to become astronaut candidates in April of 1996, they were the first relatives ever selected. After completing his training, Scott became the first American in his class of 44 prospective astronauts assigned to a space flight as the pilot of STS-103, an emergency repair mission to the Hubble Space telescope in 1999.

On his second mission, Scott was assigned to command space shuttle mission STS-118, a rare feat given that most shuttle commanders are assigned after two flights as a pilot.

Scott recounts the challenges that he and his crew faced on his four missions to space and considers the traits that helped him overcome those obstacles. With humor and visual storytelling, he describes the effects of isolation, the physical impact on the body and the psychological pressures of living in a confined space. He vividly describes the many dangers—from the constant risk of collision with space debris to the potential for depressurization, fire, or system failures — any of which could have meant catastrophe.

Chief among the lessons Scott shares: the importance of preparation, attention to detail and teamwork—any of which can mean the difference between life and death or success and failure for a team.

Scott Kelly is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, including his memoir, Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery, and the companion collection of images published as Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut's Photographs from a Year in Space. He is also the author of two children’s books, My Journey to the Stars and Goodnight, Astronaut. His newest book, Ready for Launch: An Astronaut’s Lessons for Success on Earth was published in early 2022.

Scott Kelly’s story is featured in the award-winning TIME and PBS documentaries A Year in Space and in the theatrical release from Universal Pictures of the 2021 documentary The Wonderful: Stories from the Space Station. In 2021, he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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