Astronaut, Speaker, and Author
– United States Astronaut, Retired
– STS-117/120, STS-131; ISS Expedition 15/16; NEEMO 5
– 167 days in space and 38 hours and 28 minutes over 6 spacewalks
– STEM Ambassador, Social Media Advocate, NASA Supporter
– Motivational Speaking Topics Include:
- The Dream of a Lifetime
- Never a Commander, Always a Leader
- If at First You Don’t Succeed…
- Turn Pages into Dreams
- You’re Just Like Me!
- For the Beauty of the Earth
For more information on booking “Astro Clay” for speaking engagements or events please contact us here
Astronaut Clayton “Astro Clay” Anderson, Nebraska’s only Astronaut, spent 167 days in space and 38 hours and 28 minutes in executing 6 spacewalks. He applied 15 times before NASA selected him as an Astronaut in 1998; and he spent 30 years working for NASA, 15 as an engineer and then 15 as an Astronaut.
Succeeding in one of the most difficult and coveted jobs in the world through perseverance and a never-give-up mantra, Anderson employs NASA’s “Plan, Train and Fly (Execute)” philosophy to all his speaking engagements and projects. Coupled with lessons learned in the areas of leadership, persistence, and passion, he provides unique and “out of this world” insights for those seeking to achieve practical execution.
Clay’s AWARD WINNING book, The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut, children’s books A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet and It’s a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut’s Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions and a special “Astronaut Edition” Fisher Space Pen are available at www.AstroClay.com.
STEAM / Education
The moniker of STEM… Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math appears throughout the world intending to raise awareness with respect to the need for young people to pursue these fields of study. Adding the A for arts, brings everything full circle, yielding a big picture view that captures the essence of what Astronaut Anderson believes are key educational and professional pursuits. After all, painting is — in its simplest form — chemistry. Playing a musical instrument — whether it be a guitar or trombone — conforms to basic laws of physics. And what better way to help induce a more socially empathetic and aware society, than by invoking STEAM to produce a cadre of well-rounded scholars?
STEAM also serves as a solid foundational lexicon. In all educational disciplines –when one tries to “talk” or “learn” in a specific language– having a basic grasp of relevant vocabulary is critical for all youth. More so, with those who have a passion to follow a career or educational path in a STEAM-related field (or maybe even one day become an Astronaut!), one simple word –introduced at an early age– can open a whole new universe in a young mind. In writing A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet, Anderson seeks to emphasize the importance of this exposure, i.e., a simple awareness of, or introduction to, certain words that will one day lead to more in-depth knowledge and understanding of its meaning and the discipline(s) that surround it. Promoting STEAM education is a key component to enable students and adults alike, to compete worldwide in all education and employment venues. Astronaut Anderson’s presentations are intended to do just that… using his life’s lessons of perseverance and his passion to succeed, to inspire and suggest how the benefits of a STEAM-focused approach can be a critical asset in pursuing one’s dreams while creating a more well-rounded citizenry.
“The Dream of a Lifetime”
Hop into the flight suit pocket of US Astronaut, Clayton Anderson, and learn about the journey of this small-town Nebraska boy who spent 167 days living and working in space. Anderson, who was “kicked to the curb” by NASA 14 times before his ultimate selection, went on to become a veteran spacewalker, with nearly 40 hours working in the vacuum of space over 6 spacewalks.
Anderson’s story of humility, perseverance, and hard work gives a unique personal perspective into his life and an openly human look at what it takes to become a successful “steely-eyed astronaut”. Always entertaining and informative, Anderson will challenge attendees to examine how they may apply the same concepts to their everyday work and personal lives.
“Never a Commander, Always a Leader”
A two-time Shuttle and ISS Astronaut, logging over 167 days living and working in outer space, Anderson was never named to the coveted slot of Mission Commander. Undaunted by this apparent management oversight, Anderson’s career reflects consistent leadership in all facets of his NASA career. Through the process of pursuing his lifelong dream of preparing to live and work in space, fertile ground is provided for developing and enhancing one’s personal management and leadership style. Through his unique on-orbit perspective, Anderson offers three simple leadership tenets that could prove helpful to you and your organization as you tackle your future successes!
“If at First You Don’t Succeed…”
Appearing on his first-ever television game show –the newly-minted 2019 inaugural season of Mental Samurai– Anderson wasn’t sure of what he was truly agreeing to do. Using his performance in the game as a learning experience, Anderson illustrates the coupled needs of preparation and desire with their inherent relationship to success. Using the age-old sports adage that asks “…, how much do you want it?” Anderson clearly illustrates how pairing desire and preparation, can prepare you –or not prepare you—for reaching your intended objective.
“Turn Pages into Dreams”
As a youngster, Clayton Anderson simply LOVED to read. Cast into the pages of Superman and Batman comic books; or following the serial adventures of the affable would-be sleuths Frank and Joe Hardy; or uncovering clues with the intellectual baseball-pitcher Brains Benton and newspaper carrier James “Jimmy” Carson, Anderson found his dreams could be fueled within the pages of a good book. Now a four-time author, reaching young and old readers alike, audiences will revel in Anderson’s personable story-telling style of how he got there –from a small-town boy, to United States Astronaut, to respected author– injecting humor and passion at every turn.
“You’re Just Like Me!”
Growing up in a small Midwest town and achieving great things are often misconstrued as being mutually exclusive. In his always entertaining and conversational style, Anderson shows his audience how they ARE just like him. With personal stories and anecdotes, Anderson illustrates how we may take advantage of the nurturing and mentoring benefits from the community that raised us. Then, coupled with proper focus, hard work, and a little bit of luck, Anderson provides some simple –and realistic– viewpoints intended to help put all on a path to their personal “mission” success.
“For the Beauty of the Earth”
Spending 152 days floating above our beautiful planet changes one’s “orbital” perspective of the spaceship we call Earth. Through photos taken during his 2007 expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), Anderson provides an entertaining and reflective discussion of life onboard the United States’ most complex technical achievement. Beginning by involving the audience in a “pseudo” game of Jeopardy and the category of “US and World Geography for $5000,” the presentation focuses on how this life-changing experience led to a strengthening of his personal faith and perspective on life.