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About Terry Virts
The first book I read as a kindergartener was about the Apollo Moon missions, and I was hooked. Growing up with space and airplane pictures on my walls, I went on to major in applied mathematics at the US Air Force Academy, fly F-16s, become a test pilot and eventually NASA astronaut.
Along the way I lived in Finland (Imatra) and France (ecole de l'air, Salon de Provence), Korea, Germany, Turkey and Russian, and learned to speak French and Russian well enough to be dangerous.
My two spaceflights totaled over 7 months in space- first as pilot of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, on mission STS-130, where we delivered the Node-3 living module and Cupola observation module on what was the final assembly flight of the International Space Station. On my second flight I launched from the same launchpad as Yuri Gagarin, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Expedition 42 & 43 to the ISS, where I also performed three spacewalks, served as commander of E43, took the most ever photos from space (over 300k), and helped make the IMAX film "A Beautiful Planet."
After 16 years at NASA it was time to move on to my next adventures, so I decided to write a book. "View From Above" is my first, and I am very proud to say that it is a National Geographic book featuring some of my best photographs from space, as well as many stories of "what it was like to be there," during launch, landing, spacewalks, observing the earth, and even one of the most rare and potentially dangerous emergencies we could have on the space station.
I've been a photographer since childhood, and I never would have imagined that I would publish a National Geographic photography book- but even more surprising and amazing is the fact that I was the author of a book- no "ghost author" or "Terry Virts with..." I wrote this book solo (of course with help from my wonderful editors Susan Hitchcock and Michelle Cassidy), and I'm sure my poor high school English teachers Ms Mitchell and Ms Herman would agree- being an author was not something that I had set out from a young age to do, but it is one of my proudest accomplishments. I hope you'll agree, "View From Above" is a wonderful combination of beautiful photographs and compelling stories about what it is like to leave Earth and spend more than half a year in space.
Now I spend my days on a book tour for "View From Above," promoting a bold vision for future human space exploration, working on ideas for my next books as well as TV projects, speaking at "NatGeo Live" as well as other events, and doing technical consulting.
See upcoming speaking or book signing events on my website, at www.terryvirts.com
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Ride shotgun on a trip to space with astronaut Terry Virts. A born storyteller with a gift for the surprising turn of phrase and eye for the perfect you-are-there details, he captures all the highs, lows, humor, and wonder of an experience few will ever know firsthand. Featuring stories covering survival training, space shuttle emergencies, bad bosses, the art of putting on a spacesuit, time travel, and much more!
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