Off The Planet: Surviving Five Perilous Months Aboard The Space Station MIR

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January 13, 2000


Mixed media product, 272 pages


007136112X / 9780071361125


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Main description

"An engrossing report."--Booklist "Vividly captures the challenges and privations [Dr. Linenger] endured both before and during his flight."--Library Journal Nothing on earth compares to Off the Planet--Dr. Jerry Linenger's dramatic account of space exploration turned survival mission during his 132 days aboard the decaying and unstable Russian space station Mir. Not since Apollo 13 has an American astronaut faced so many catastrophic malfunctions and life-threatening emergencies in one mission. In his remarkable narrative, Linenger chronicles power outages that left the crew in complete darkness, tumbling out of control; chemical leaks and near collisions that threatened to rupture Mir's hull; and most terrifying of all--a raging fire that almost destroyed the space station and the lives of its entire crew.

Table of contents

Part I: On the Planet. Looking Upward. Becoming an Astronaut. Hello, Russia. Hanging Out in Star City. Training, Russian Style. Tomorrow, Mir. Crew Quarters. Off to Work. Part II: Off the Planet. Docking a One-Hundred-Ton Space Shuttle. My First Days on Mir. The Arrival of Vasily and Sasha. "Fire!" An Attempted Coverup. Cosmonatus, Da! Mission Control, Nyet! The Glories of Earth Gazing. Profound Isolation. Escaping a Near-Death Collision. Housekeeping in Space. Hurtling Into Nothingness. Broken Trust. Taking a Stroll. Going Home. Even the Air Tastes Sweet. Part III: Back on the Planet. Home at Last. Getting Back on My Feet. Aftershock. "Are You Glad You Flew on Mir?"

Author comments

Capt. Jerry M. Linenger, M.D., Ph.D., is a retired U.S. Navy flight surgeon and NASA astronaut. A naval academy graduate, Dr. Linenger holds a doctorate in epidemiology, a master's in systems management, and a master's in public health policy. He has also been awarded three honorary doctorate degrees in science. During his mission aboard Mir, he logged fifty million miles in more than two thousand Earth orbits. He was the first American to undock from the space station in Soyuz spacecraft and the first American to spacewalk wearing a Russian spacesuit outside a foreign craft. At the completion of his mission, he had spent more continuous time in space than any male American.

Back cover copy

It was like nothing on Earth. "An unvarnished account of his near-disastrous stay, in 1997, on Russia's creaky space engrossing report that NASA's publicity machine will bemoan."--Booklist. "[Linenger's] frank, personable prose shows readers what it's like to be an astronaut--or at least to be this particular astronaut, trying, along with his Russian companions, to live and work with good humor on an 11-year-old, half-broken, famously flammable space station as its air fills with antifreeze that is leaking out of shoddy cooling lines."--Publishers Weekly. "NASA astronaut Linenger spent five months aboard the Russian space station Mir, a spacecraft operating far beyond its design life. His personal account vividly captures the challenges and privation he endured both before and during his flight."--Library Journal.

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