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Kirkus Review

An Improbable Astronaut: How a Georgia Farmboy Wound Up Flying the Space Shuttle

A sublime scrapbook tribute to an unexpected career in orbit.

Kirkus Review, May 20, 2022

A debut memoir focuses on a venturesome Southern farm boy who fulfilled a lifelong dream to explore space as an astronaut.    

From his earliest days, decorated military veteran and retired astronaut Bridges had an undeniably adventurous spirit. His book, split into three sections, first explores his quest to learn everything about space travel during an inquisitive youth, then his full immersion in the NASA program, and, finally, his emergence as a key leader in numerous Air Force interstellar projects. Beginning at age 5, the author displayed a lively imagination and explorative spirit as he scoured the forests around his suburban Georgia home in search of bears and buried treasure. …With his family’s immense support, he decided to pursue a career in space travel: “I didn’t care how improbable that might be. I saw it as my great adventure.”

Though the impressively written book needs no embellishment, Bridges’ story is further enhanced with generous personal photographs.… In this obvious labor of love, Bridges, at 79, reflects on a life lived to the fullest, with many dreams accomplished and countless boundaries and obstacles conquered. …[W]hat will resonate most with readers of all ages is the author’s fearless spirit and perseverance in achieving seemingly insurmountable goals. Even readers with just a casual interest in space travel and interstellar exploration will find much to savor in this admirable, inspiring, and heartfelt account. The memoir proves that with enough drive and determination, anything is possible.

A sublime scrapbook tribute to an unexpected career in orbit.

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