The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed

Scott Parazynski, with Susy Flory. Little A, $24.95 (325p) ISBN 978-1-5039-3670-6
Physician-astronaut Parazynski, who has taken part in five NASA missions, seven space walks, and a record-breaking climb on Mount Everest, eloquently chalks up his success to the powerful influence of his father, an engineer who worked in the Apollo space program. Parazynski earned a medical degree at Stanford and he writes in forensic detail about what physically happens to a person in space (“Astronauts often develop facial edema or swelling... because gravity no longer pulls blood and interstitial fluid into the legs”). He cites his love of mountaineering and finds parallels between emergency medicine and climbing, such as the need to maintain focus and make decisions in the midst of chaos. Parazynski joined NASA in 1992 and flew into space two years later, calling his maiden voyage “the ultimate amusement park ride.” This is a fantastic account of the American space program with its successes and perils, blended with the twists and turns of domestic life and his various illnesses. Parazynski’s intelligent and insightful descriptions about the legendary John Glenn, the Soviet space program, and human endurance add depth to his narrative. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/18/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
Paperback - 284 pages - 978-1-5039-3669-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-3915-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5226-3914-5
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