The Inspiring Story Of The Astronaut Who Was Rejected By NASA 15 Times Before Finally Reaching The Skies

The Inspiring Story Of The Astronaut Who Was Rejected By NASA 15 Times Before Finally Reaching The Skies

VIVIAN GIANG JUL. 17, 2013, 8:58 PM 1,269 5


In 1998, Clayton Anderson was a 29-year-old aerospace engineer who wanted to fulfill his childhood dream of going to space. One agency was stopping him from getting there: NASA. The government agency had rejected Anderson’s application for its astronaut training program 15 times. But Anderson is one of those people whose dogged perseverance is inspiring.  Anderson didn’t feel depressesd after getting yet another rejection letter from NASA. He said he actually felt “hope” whenever he received one: “Most applicants receive postcards; a letter sent on stationary meant something.” But so many rejections after so many years can wear on a man, and Anderson decided that his 16th attempt would be his last one. Fortunately, that last attempt was all he needed. In August of 1998, Anderson reported for training, which included “numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) systems, physiological training, ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques.” In 2007, Anderson boarded the Space Shuttle Atlantis for a trip to the International Space Station as a flight engineer on his father’s birthday and returned to earth five months later on his wedding anniversary. Three years later, he went to space a second time as a mission specialist on STS-131. Anderson is the first and only astronaut from Nebraska and has logged 167 days in space, including more than 38 hours in spacewalks. You can read his expedition journals here. In January of 2013, the 54-year-old retired from NASA and is now turning his attention to education. David Hendee writes at the World-Herald that Anderson has opportunities at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Iowa State University’s aerospace engineering program. If this story doesn’t embody the “never give up” motto, we’re not sure what does. Below is one of Anderson’s rejection letters featured in the book “Other People’s Rejection Letters“:



Surprises Are the New Normal; Resilience Is the New Skill

Surprises Are the New Normal; Resilience Is the New Skill

by Rosabeth Moss Kanter  |  10:00 AM July 17, 2013

The difference between winners and losers is how they handle losing. That’s a key finding from my ongoing research on great companies and effective leaders: no one can completely avoid troubles and potential pitfalls are everywhere, so the real skill is the resilience to climb out of the hole and bounce back. Volatile times bring disruptions, interruptions, and setbacks, even for the most successful among us. Companies at the top of the heap still have times when they are blindsided by a competing product and must play catch-up. Sports teams that win regularly are often behind during the game. Writers can face dozens of rejections before finding a publisher that puts them on the map. Some successful politicians get caught with their pants down (so to speak) and still go on to lead, although such self-inflicted wounds are harder to heal. Resilience is the ability to recover from fumbles or outright mistakes and bounce back. But flexibility alone is not enough. You have to learn from your errors. Those with resilience build on the cornerstones of confidence — accountability (taking responsibility and showing remorse), collaboration (supporting others in reaching a common goal), and initiative (focusing on positive steps and improvements). As outlined in my book Confidence, these factors underpin the resilience of people, teams, and organizations that can stumble but resume winning. Read more of this post

SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good

SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good [Hardcover]


Release date: August 25, 2009

Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the answer to the global crisis of business and American-style capitalism. Out of the ashes of conventional business models arises a set of companies using their power not only for profits and sustainable growth but also social good. If you think business corporations are doomed to be lumbering, bloated, and corrupt, think again. Based on an extraordinary three-year investigation, interviewing more than 350 key people at major companies around the world, Rosabeth Moss Kanter provides encouraging and astounding evidence that this assumption is completely outdated. The businesses that are agile, keeping ahead of the curve in terms of market changes and customer needs, are the businesses that are also progressive, socially responsible human communities. Take IBM. When the tsunami and earthquake struck Asia, IBM didn’ t just cut a check for relief funds and call it a day. The company used its technological expertise and skilled people to create what government and relief agencies could not: information systems to effectively track relief supplies and reunite families. While IBM did this with no commercial motive, its employees’ desire to serve people suffering during these crises stimulated innovations that later benefited the company. Or Proctor & Gamble. Despite a decade-long commitment to research and development of a water purification product, commercial prospects were unpromising. But because it was so consistent with P&G’s statement of purpose, people within the company persevered. And when the tsunami struck, it was then able to deliver roughly a billion glasses of drinking water for the victims, earning plaudits from aid partners, the media, governments, and crucially, P&G employees. SuperCorp captures the zeitgeist of the emerging twenty-first-century business. For example:

• The strong potential synergy between financial performance and attention to community and social needs
• The unique competitive advantage from embracing the values and expectations of a new generation of professionals
• The growth opportunities that result from stressing values and supressing executive egos when seeking partners and integrating acquisitions

SuperCorp is a remarkable look at the business of the future and the management skills required to get there. IBM, Banco Real, P&G, Cemex, Omron, and other companies reported on now move with the rapidity and creativity of much smaller enterprises. These companies are not perfect, but when people are empowered and values drive decisions, everything can come together in magical “Rubik’s Cube moments” of deep satisfaction. Kanter’s compelling and inspiring stories show that people are more inclined to be creative when their company values innovation that helps the world. Read more of this post

Beca Asia Emeritus Chairman Chuan Seng Lee presided over a business which grew to 40 times its original size in 25 years. In that time, the Msian-born Kiwi learnt many things about developing a NZ company in the ASEAN region


15 July 2013



Beca Asia Emeritus Chairman Chuan Seng Lee presided over a business which grew to 40 times its original size in 25 years. In that time, the Malaysian-born Kiwi learnt many things about developing a New Zealand company in the ASEAN region. He says New Zealanders relate well with Asia, but need to have passion and perseverance to survive. It can be hard to convince a potential client of the value of your product or service, so you need the desire for success and a gutsy determination to keep going if you encounter slow initial progress. Lee says many ASEAN companies have been burnt by foreign companies who talked them into deals, then made ungraciously swift exits when the going got tough. “There are foreign firms that bail and leave everybody in the lurch. (That’s why) they will be cautious.” Read more of this post

Nike’s Crazy New $160 Running Shoe Is Basically A Sock

Nike’s Crazy New Running Shoe Is Basically A Sock

TONY MANFRED JUL. 17, 2013, 12:03 PM 5,665 11


Nike released a bunch of information this week about its next running shoe — the Nike Free Flyknit. To put it crudely, it’s basically a sock with the sole of a running shoe attached to the bottom of it. It retails for $160, and goes on sale August 1st. Nike has been trying to make running shoes that mimic what it’s like to run barefoot (“naturally”) for a while. The current Nike Free has a flexible sole that curves to the motion of your foot as it hits the ground, and the support on the upper parts of the shoe is less bulky than traditional running shoes. The sole of this new Nike Free Flyknit is the same as the Nike Free, but the upper is a knitted material that’s really sock-like.  It seems pretty wild, but we’re guessing it might be a little too extreme for non-hardcore runners who don’t want to drop $160 on a shoe they’ve never experienced before. Read more of this post

How To Break The Sound Barrier With A Ping Pong Ball

How To Break The Sound Barrier With A Ping Pong Ball


Getting students excited about science isn’t always easy, but having a live demonstration that uses ping pong balls traveling at supersonic speeds will get almost any kid’s attention. Mechanical engineering and technology students at Purdue University built a supersonic, air-powered cannon that shoots ping pong balls at speeds so fast they break the sound barrier. “We figured out it was coming out at about 919 miles an hour, and it was just mind-blowing,” said Craig Zehrung, a Ph.D. student at Purdue. That is faster than an F-16 fighter jet at low speeds. Drawing upon his experience in the air force, mechanical engineer Mark French designed the cannon and turned a mundane class in to a fun learning experience. Read more of this post

Chengguan local officials allegelly beats street vendor to death in China’s Hunan Province; reporters mauled by police for vendor’s death coverage

Chengguan allegelly beats street vendor to death in Hunan Province

2013-07-18 00:38:09 GMT2013-07-18 08:38:09(Beijing Time)  SINA English


Several urban management officials, more popularly known as Chengguan in China, were accused of beating a street vendor to death in Chenzhou city, South China’s Hunan Province, according to a Weibo blast on Wednesday. The blast said the husband of a couple, who sold watermelon near a bridge, died after he had a dispute with the Chengguan. Witness said the husband was beaten in the head by an iron weight during the brawl. The families of the victim fought against the government officials who planned to loot the vendor’s corpse, which attracted crowd of onlookers. “The government dispatched over 200 armed police and finally snatched the corpse,” a reporter with CCTV revealed on his Sina Weibo.

Reporters mauled by police for vendor’s death coverage

2013-07-18 07:36:04 GMT2013-07-18 15:36:04(Beijing Time)  SINA English

By Jia Xiaoguang, Sina English

Two reporters of a local TV station in southern Hunan Province were violently assaulted by a handful of policemen when they were doing an on-scene report of the death of the watermelon dealer in Hunan’s Linwu county last night. Li Haitao and Lei Kai, two reporters of Huanan Economic TV Station, arrived at the site where a street vendor selling watermelon was beaten to death during a brawl with several chengguan, or urban law enforcement officials yesterday morning, at around 23 o’clock last night. On seeing them, about five or six policemen who were carrying out mission there soon walked towards them, yelling “No filming here! You’re dead men if you dare to film.” According to Li’s description, he then stayed in their news van while Lei got off and prepared for the report. Lei was beaten up fiercely by the charging policemen, who quickly closed in on them, thrusting wooden clubs into the van window and hitting Li in the head. Injuries of varying degrees were found on their heads, shoulders and backs after the atrocity, while Lei’s mobile phone was also taken away during their fight. They are currently writing news report in a local hotel.

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