Jul 2, 2018
Have you ever wondered how to become an astronaut? Curious as to what it’s like to live in space in a space station? What would you do if a fire broke out on board? Well, Captain Jerry Linenger will tell you all about it, plus his “secret” for being selected to become an astronaut in this riveting episode.
Jerry is one of the most down to earth astronauts you could ever hope to meet (pun intended).
Jerry was part of one of the most dangerous and dramatic missions in space history. While living aboard the space station, Jerry and his two Russian crewmembers faced numerous difficulties: the most severe fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft, failures of onboard systems, a near collision with a resupply cargo ship during a manual docking system test, loss of station electrical power, and loss of attitude control resulting in a slow, uncontrolled "tumble" through space. Any one of these would have paralyzed me.
In spite of these challenges and added demands on him and his two Russian crewmates, they still accomplished all the mission goals of a spacewalk, fly around, and all of the planned U.S. science experiments. In completing the nearly five-month mission, Jerry logged approximately 50 million miles (the equivalent of over 110 round trips to the Moon and back), more than 2,000 orbits around the Earth, and traveled at an average speed of 18,000 miles per hour.
Jerry’s been awarded numerous commendations and medals, was a top graduate from the Naval Flight Surgeon Training and Naval Safety Officer's School, and was awarded a Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He also is a recipient of NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.
He’s authored two books, “Off The Planet: Surviving Five Perilous Months Aboard The Space Station MIR” and “Letters from MIR: An Astronaut's Letters to His Son.” Most recently completed an episode on National Geographic’s new “One Strange Rock” series hosted by Will Smith and produced by acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and award-winning producer Jane Root. Before One Strange Rock, his story was an episode of Secret Space Escapes.
He’s the proud father of four, and perhaps one of his greatest honors is to have been immortalized in his hometown McDonalds. Jerry is an inspiration to us all and great example of how to live your life in full—whether on earth or not.