From the age of ten, looking up at the stars, Jerry Ross knew that he wanted to journey into space. This autobiography tells the story of how he came not only to achieve that goal, but to become the most-launched astronaut in history, as well as a NASA veteran whose career spanned the entire US Space Shuttle program. From his childhood in rural Indiana, through education at Purdue University, and a career in the US Air Force, Ross charted a path to NASA after overcoming many setbacks—from failing to qualify for Air Force pilot training because of “bad” eyesight, to an initial failure to be selected into the astronaut program.

This book offers an insider’s account of the US Space Shuttle program, including the unforgettable experience of launch, the delights of weightless living, and the challenges of constructing the International Space Station. Ross is a uniquely qualified narrator. During seven spaceflights, he spent 1,393 hours in space, including 58 hours and 18 minutes on nine space walks. Life on the ground is also described, including the devastating experiences of the Challenger and Columbia disasters.

Purdue University Press presents this great and inspirational memoir in both print and electronic formats. Most exciting, however, is the multimedia iPad app, which combines this firsthand account with over 50 images and videos, commentary from the author, timelines, and a quiz designed to help fifth through seventh grade youth learn the history of the space program, develop an interest in science and technology, and commit to their own expansive plans for the future.

Look for Spacewalker wherever books are sold, as well as its interactive app in the Apple iStore.

See Astronaut Jerry L. Ross discuss his upcoming book here: