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“:


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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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