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An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield

31st August 2019
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth book cover


The word “Astronaut” and “Life on Earth” in the title caught my eyes. It is a book about the author’s life experience of being an astronaut and his perspective regarding life on earth after being in the space for 3 times.


Chris Hadfield is the first Canadian astronaut. He started his career as a fighter pilot and progressed to realize his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. The author has been to space for a total of 3 times, twice in a Shuttle and once in a Soyuz. He has produced a popular music video, a modified rendition of Space Oddity, which was recorded on the International Space Station (ISS). This video is available on YouTube.


An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is divided into 3 main parts: Part I – Pre-launch, Part II – Liftoff and Part III – Coming down to earth. It starts from the author’s childhood, mentioning the reason behind his dream of becoming an astronaut and the efforts that he took to realize it. The book’s focus is on his last mission, Expedition 34/35. It ends with the recovery and closure process after his last space expedition.

Throughout the book, he shares his personal views on how to appreciate life on earth. He also talks about the space programme, his career trajectory, personal life and the life on the ISS.


Although this book is a non-fiction, it does have the feel of a fiction. It may be due to the narrative is very similar to how a fiction is written. The author told us how he strove to overcome all odds to become an astronaut but with the realization that it might not work out. Yet, he still prepared for it as hard as he could and he succeeded in the end.

The author has dispensed a number of life advice in the book. He conveys that attitude is important in attaining success. We should have tenacity in pursuing our dreams but at the same time, do not let the attainment of the dreams defines our life. Do not lose hope in life if our dreams are not realized. Reduce whining because it does not help.

Knowledge can dispel fear. Perfectly polished conclusions can be reached by having the wrong assumptions, thus we should always check our assumptions. Preparing action plans for the worsts can make you feel more confident. Have a detailed plan for major life event and for how to adapt after that.

The last few moments are as important as the beginning. Other than preparation for early stages, make sure we have a plan for the last few steps too. Do not allow ourselves to lose focus and have a sloppy ending.

I think that the advice in the book is very practical and will benefit us if we are able to practise it. Do read the book if you are interested in space or just want to get some inspiration.


  1. Truly being ready means understanding what could go wrong – and having a plan to deal with it.
  2. If you’re striving for excellence, there’s no such thing as over-preparation.
  3. Early success is a terrible teacher.
  4. Life is just a lot better if you feel you’re having 10 wins a day rather than a win every 10 years or so.
  5. Keep looking to the future, not mourning the past.


3 out of 3 stars

Interested in An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth?

You may get the book from Kinokuniya Malaysia through the link below*.

Get the book here

*Disclosure: The above link is Involve Asia affiliate link. Thus, I may earn a small commission when you purchase the book through this link.

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