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DEI/Wellness Corner

June 18, 2024

DEIW Book Review by Irene Yen, MPH, DVM

Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chance by Leland Melvin

I chanced upon this book when an article popped up on my newsfeed and showed this hilarious and endearing photo of an astronaut posing with his two rambunctious dogs for his official NASA photoshoot. The rescue dogs are definitely not looking at the camera for the picture!

We know that getting into vet school took dedication, focus, and perseverance. Becoming an astronaut is way more selective for a chance to go into space. Leland’s story shares his journey of failure and redirection towards obtaining “the right stuff” to get chosen to join the astronaut training program. Most astronauts train for 2 years before being put on a space mission; Leland trained for 10 years and had to recover from idiopathic deafness due to a NASA underwater training exercise accident. His retrospective insight on his life is candid and encouraging.

The book was published in 2017. I listened to the audiobook version through the free library app Libby. It was quite entertaining and engaging. There is also a Young Reader’s version of his book for Grade 6 and up.  To find out more please click here:  Leland Marvin: Chasing Space.