Chasing Space
In this revelatory and moving memoir, a former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, examining the intersecting roles of community, perseverance and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.Leland Melvin is the only person in human history to catch a pass in the National Football League and in space. Though his path to the heavens was riddled with setbacks and injury, Leland persevered to reach the stars.While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. Leland was relegated to earthbound assignments, but chose to remain and support his astronaut family. His loyalty paid off. Recovering partial hearing, he earned his eligibility for space travel. He served as mission specialist for two flights aboard the shuttle Atlantis, working on the International Space Station.In this uplifting memoir, the former NASA astronaut and professional athlete offers an examination of the intersecting role of community, determination, and grace that align to shape our opportunities and outcomes. Chasing Space is not the story of one man, but the story of many men, women, scientists, and mentors who helped him defy the odds and live out an uncommon destiny.As a chemist, athlete, engineer and space traveler, Leland’s life story is a study in the science of achievement. His personal insights illuminate how grit and grace, are the keys to overcoming adversity and rising to success.

Chasing Space Details

TitleChasing Space
Author
Formatebook
ReleaseMay 23rd, 2017
PublisherAmistad
ISBN0062496778
ISBN-139780062496775
Number of pages256 pages
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, Science, Space, Biography Memoir

Chasing Space Review

  • Jennifer Mangler
    June 4, 2017
    "Taking extravagant pleasure in being alive." Melvin wrote that in his journal at one point along his NASA journey, and it encapsulated for me his approach to life. I appreciated his discussion of the obstacles he faced and how he worked to overcome them. His is an inspiring story.
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  • Charlene
    April 17, 2017
    Melvin isn't the most lyrical writer, but he certainly captures the special moments as well as more down-to-earth activities from his long career at NASA, with side-trips into his work making STEM learning more available for kids everywhere, and his brief time playing pro football and hosting niche television shows. His voice is honest and down-to-earth. Accused of cheating on an exam and nearly getting kicked out of college, training at NASA in Houston, and at Russia's Star City, a chance meeti Melvin isn't the most lyrical writer, but he certainly captures the special moments as well as more down-to-earth activities from his long career at NASA, with side-trips into his work making STEM learning more available for kids everywhere, and his brief time playing pro football and hosting niche television shows. His voice is honest and down-to-earth. Accused of cheating on an exam and nearly getting kicked out of college, training at NASA in Houston, and at Russia's Star City, a chance meeting with Katherine Johnson, camping with his dogs, flying on Atlantis, and celebrating his birthday in space.....This is the story of a life that's by turns Big, yet also quite humble, and very, very human. An especially good read for students, who will appreciate Melvin's character-building failures and soul-searching insights, as well as his amazing triumphs.
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  • Alexandra
    July 2, 2017
    If I'm being honest, I only wanted to read this book because of the cover. The author's NASA photo was taken with his dogs? As a dog lover, I'm sold!I didn't know anything about the author, Leland Melvin, prior to reading this book. But I'm glad I know about him now because he has lived an amazing and inspiring life. I really enjoyed reading about his life growing up and his life in space. But I have to admit, I was a little bored with some parts between those. But this was still a really great If I'm being honest, I only wanted to read this book because of the cover. The author's NASA photo was taken with his dogs? As a dog lover, I'm sold!I didn't know anything about the author, Leland Melvin, prior to reading this book. But I'm glad I know about him now because he has lived an amazing and inspiring life. I really enjoyed reading about his life growing up and his life in space. But I have to admit, I was a little bored with some parts between those. But this was still a really great book about someone who lived a very interesting life.
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  • Joanna
    May 29, 2017
    An incredibly inspiring book of an unassuming and doggedly determined man. I finished this book and found myself simultaneously ashamed of how little I have done with my life and equally eager to embrace any challenge I encounter. To an outsider, Leland Melvin seems an unlikely astronaut in many ways, yet he exemplifies the patience, discipline, and thoughtfulness necessary for success in the most trying of atmospheres. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about An incredibly inspiring book of an unassuming and doggedly determined man. I finished this book and found myself simultaneously ashamed of how little I have done with my life and equally eager to embrace any challenge I encounter. To an outsider, Leland Melvin seems an unlikely astronaut in many ways, yet he exemplifies the patience, discipline, and thoughtfulness necessary for success in the most trying of atmospheres. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about one of America's quiet heroes who consistently inspires and encourages those around him.
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  • MaryBeth
    June 10, 2017
    Mr. Melvin's life so far is an amazing story about a child from Lynchburg, VA who grew into a man who faced down adversity to make it into outer space and back. A University of Richmond and UVA grad, Melvin is smart, hard-working and loves his dogs. He names friends and family throughout but the book could be more human. I wish we could've learned what his parents/significant others/sibling thought and felt when he went about this American life. Nice orbit, could use a bit more gounding.
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  • Booknblues
    June 8, 2017
    This was an enjoyable memoir/autobiography about Leland Melvin. Melvin was drafted by the Detroit Lions and later went to the Dallas Cowboys, when this didn't pan out for him he returned to graduate school and was later recruited by NASA. He eventually applied to be an astronaut and ultimately achieved the goal. This is his story and it is quite interesting, though by the end he does an incredible amount of name-dropping that didn't provide sufficient insight.
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  • Monica Hocking
    July 6, 2017
    This is nice book about never giving up on your dreams! Even with the adversity of a dream gets sidelined and/ or crushed. Sometimes you get a 2nd chance and change the course of how you ultimately accomplish your goals after all! But this book dragged on forever! Would definitely not re-read this one!
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  • David Wen
    July 9, 2017
    A feel good autobiography of Leland's life. There's nothing profound in what he's been through or what he says but it's an enjoyable read about what seems like a great guy who deserved everything he's earned. Would love to share a beer with him one day and hear his stories in person.
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  • Caren
    July 4, 2017
    I loved this book. Most astronaut nonfiction centers around the space race. This is the first I've read where I remember the events not from books but from watching them unfold around me. I was fascinated by pop culture references and harsh training. Great read.
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  • Allison
    June 10, 2017
    A great story, just not well-written. If you're looking for a story about someone with grit, this is it.
  • Razoor
    May 27, 2017
    a book I finished in two sittings. a very emotional and inspiring book. really enjoyed. Leland Melvin is a very down to earth guy and it shows in his writing.
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