The Sky Above: An Astronaut’s Memoir of Adventure, Persistence, and Faith

The Sky Above: An Astronaut’s Memoir of Adventure, Persistence, and Faith (ePub)

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 The Sky Above: An Astronaut’s Memoir of Adventure, Persistence, and Faith
Purdue University Press

Book Description

Looking up at the stars at the age of ten, John Casper dreamed of being a space explorer. The Sky Above tells how persistence and determination led to flying in space, after serving the nation as a combat fighter pilot and test pilot. Despite life-threatening experiences and failures, his spiritual faith was pivotal in overcoming life’s challenges. Through vivid storytelling, the reader rides alongside the author in the cockpit, feeling the fear of enemy antiaircraft fire and the pressure of high g-forces during combat maneuvering. His insider accounts of four Space Shuttle missions vividly describe exhilarating launches, the magical experience of weightlessness, and the magnificent beauty of Earth from hundreds of miles above. A central theme running throughout Casper’s life is his faith, as he struggles with the loss of fellow pilots and confronts life’s inconsistencies and disappointments. This is a story about his growth and trust in his Creator, whose tenacious spirit never left him, even during the devastating Challenger and Columbia disasters. Readers interested in stories of true adventure or overcoming adversity will discover unique drama and insight. Those trying to reach their dreams, whatever they are, will find inspiration; those unsure or challenged in their faith will find encouragement.

About the Author(s):

Colonel John H. Casper, USAF (Ret.), is a former combat fighter pilot, test pilot, NASA astronaut, and Space Shuttle commander. After graduating from the US Air Force Academy and earning a master’s degree in astronautics at Purdue University, he flew 229 combat missions in Vietnam and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He served as a Cold War fighter pilot in Europe and later graduated from the USAF Test Pilot School. While a test pilot, he commanded a test squadron and flew classified aircraft. Casper is a veteran of four NASA Space Shuttle missions—three as commander and one as pilot. Following his spaceflight career, he provided senior leadership as director of safety, reliability, and quality assurance at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. He also served as a senior manager in the Space Shuttle and Orion programs. He currently lives in Montreat, North Carolina.