Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances

Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances

by Leland Melvin


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062496737
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/22/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 108,810
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

A former wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, Leland Melvin is an engineer and NASA astronaut. He served on the space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist and was named the NASA Associate Administrator for Education in October 2010. He also served as the cochair on the White House’s Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Task Force, developing the nation’s five-year STEM education plan. He is the host of the Lifetime show Child Genius and a judge for ABC’s BattleBots. He holds four honorary doctorates and has received the NFL Player Association Award of Excellence. He lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Table of Contents

1 I Really Can't Hear 1

2 Vision, Grit, and Lynchburg 17

3 Second Chances 37

4 A Short Life in the NFL 57

5 Nasa Langley 75

6 The World's Most Exclusive Club 95

7 Recovery and Tragedy 123

8 Training for Space 141

9 The Final Frontier 161

10 Educator 187

11 The Next Mission 219

Acknowledgments 235

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Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anticipated this book from the minute I found out about the author. Well worth the wait.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was worth reading, especially since I'll never be an astronaut.
Anonymous 5 months ago
This book was a good read but not what I was looking for. I was hoping this story to mostly be about space and more detail on his experience in space. Leland Melvin's journey was very inspirational as he worked extremely hard to play in the NFL in is younger life. He was drafted to the Detroit Lions and he couldn't play due to a hamstring injury. Melvin was always fascinated in science as a kid and got good grades in his science classes. In college he attended the University of Richmond to play football but after his football career was over he attended the University of Virginia. NASA soon selected his as an astronaut . He went through training and got another injury as a piece from his scuba suit was missing messing up his ears from the pressure. Melvin had to recover from his temporary pain. He then eventually went on a mission to space accomplishing his dreams.