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Margaret Lazarus Dean first spoke to Scott Kelly when he was living on the International Space Station.

“A strange lag made it hard to communicate,” says Dean, associate professor of English. “Still, even in that first call we talked about the University of Tennessee, the fact that he is an alum and I teach here, and he recalled with great fondness an orange sweatshirt he used to own, and even brought with him to space once, before losing it.”

The conversation launched a friendship between the professor and the astronaut that lead to a collaboration on Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery, which recently hit number five on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Endurance is a personal memoir about Kelly’s experience of living aboard the International Space Station for one year – an American record for consecutive days spent in space. He shares the challenges of long-term spaceflight and its effects on his body, as well as the isolation he felt while living in orbit.

Read the full story on the Department of English’s website.