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Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story Of Grit, Grace, And Second Chances

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

What does it take to become an astronaut and a professional athlete? How do you overcome challenges and setbacks that threaten to derail your dreams? How do you balance your passion, your faith, and your community? These are some of the questions that Leland Melvin explores in his memoir, Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances.


Leland Melvin is the only person in human history to catch a pass in the National Football League and in space. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1986, but a hamstring injury ended his football career before he could play a regular season game. He then pursued his other passion, science, and earned a master's degree in materials science engineering from the University of Virginia. He joined NASA in 1989 as a research engineer, and was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1998.

However, his journey to the stars was not smooth. While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. He was told that he would never fly in space, and he considered quitting. But he decided to stay and support his astronaut family, hoping for a miracle. His loyalty paid off. After undergoing several surgeries and therapies, he recovered partial hearing and earned his eligibility for space travel. He served as a mission specialist for two flights aboard the shuttle Atlantis in 2008 and 2009, working on the International Space Station.

In his memoir, Melvin shares his personal stories of grit, grace, and second chances. He reveals how his faith, his family, and his friends helped him overcome adversity and achieve his goals. He also reflects on the lessons he learned from his mentors, such as former NASA administrator Charles Bolden and civil rights icon John Lewis. He offers insights on the importance of diversity, inclusion, and collaboration in science and society. He celebrates the beauty and wonder of exploring the universe, and the joy of sharing that experience with others.

Chasing Space is not just 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. It is a story of inspiration, perseverance, and gratitude. It is a story that reminds us that we can all chase our own space, whatever that may be.

If you are interested in reading more about Leland Melvin's life and career, you can find his book on [Amazon] or [Goodreads]. You can also listen to his audiobook on [Amazon].


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