Scott Kelly, who returned to Earth last month after spending almost a year aboard the International Space Station, will write a book chronicling his groundbreaking journey. “Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars” will be published by Alfred A. Knopf.
Kelly holds the record for the most total time spent in space, with more than 520 days logged on spacecraft, including the 340 consecutive days he worked on the space station.
In an excerpt from the book provided by Knopf, Kelly describes the hardships he endured during his time aboard the station: “During my time in orbit, I lost bone mass, my muscles atrophied, and my blood redistributed itself in my body, which strained my heart. Every day, I was exposed to ten times the radiation of a person on Earth, which will increase my risk of a fatal cancer for the rest of my life. Not to mention the psychological stress, which is harder to quantify and perhaps as damaging.”
He retired from NASA this month, weeks after he and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth after completing the nearly yearlong mission aboard the International Space Station. The project was launched to observe how long-term spaceflights affect the human body.
Several medical experiments were conducted on Kelly, as well as on his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, who was on Earth at the time, and served as a kind of control subject.
According to a news release from the publisher, Kelly’s book “will tell the story of his journey to space and his life aboard the ISS. He will also recount the obstacles he encountered along the way – his early struggles in school (where he was a C-student), his training as a Navy test pilot, and the work required to become an astronaut (and live in space for one year).”
The book will also contain Scott Kelly’s arguments in favor of more space travel, both government-sponsored and private. “There are few aspects of everyday life that aren’t touched by the technologies developed for space travel,” he writes, “but these innovations aren’t the only benefits of spaceflight … The superhuman accomplishment of innovation, perseverance, and cooperation carried out by thousands of Americans working towards one audacious goal speaks for itself.”
Kelly, who earned more than 1 million Twitter followers with the photos he took from the space station, will also publish a book of photographs. There are plans for Random House Children’s Books to publish “several books about his time in space for young readers” as well.
“Endurance” will be Scott Kelly’s first book, but his brother, Mark, is already a prolific writer. Mark Kelly has published children’s books such as “Mousetronaut” and “Astrotwins: Project Rescue,” as well as two nonfiction books he co-wrote with his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who survived an assassination attempt in 2011.
Scott Kelly is co-writing “Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars” with Margaret Lazarus Dean, author of “Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight,” which was published last year by Graywolf Press. “Endurance” will be published in November 2017.