Inspired by insights gained in spaceflight, a NASA astronaut offers key lessons to empower Earthbound readers to fight climate change
When Nicole Stott first saw Earth from space, she realized how interconnected we are and knew she had to help protect our planetary home.
In Back to Earth, Stott imparts essential lessons in problem-solving, survival, and crisis response that each of us can practice to make change. She knows we can overcome differences to address global issues, because she saw this every day on the International Space Station. Stott shares stories from her spaceflight and insights from scientists, activists, and changemakers working to solve our greatest environmental challenges. She learns about the complexities of Earth’s biodiversity from NASA engineers working to enable life in space and from scientists protecting life on Earth for future generations. Ultimately, Stott reveals how we each have the power to respect our planetary home and one another by living our lives like crewmates, not passengers, on an inspiring shared mission
Former NASA astronaut Stott debuts with a spirited if cursory look at what space flights taught her about life on Earth. Stott frames her work with an "Earthrise moment," one which "wakes you up to the reality and significance of who we are and the fact that we all are together." Her own moment came from her view of Earth from space, but, she argues, others can have similar realizations without leaving the planet. Each of her seven chapters is presented as a lesson she learned living on the International Space Station and which she believes is critical to protect Earth ("live like crew, not like a passenger"; "stay grounded"; "whatever you do, make life better"). Stott is at her best when she describes the training she underwent for space flight (both underwater in the Florida Keys and in Star City, Russia) and the emotions she felt traveling to and working in space. Unfortunately, her advice for protecting the planet is mundane: consume water responsibly, join a community garden, vote. Still, readers in search of a lighthearted look at space travel will find much to savor. Agent: Jenny Stephens, Sterling Lord Literistic.