Nebraska Authors

Clayton Anderson

Born 1959 Omaha, NE (USA)

Nebraska's first and only astronaut, Anderson had a 30 year career at NASA. Aside from his memoir Ordinary Spaceman (2015) he has written several children's books, A is for Astronaut: Blasting through the Alphabet, 2018 for the youngest readers and It's a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut's Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions, for teens and young adults (University of Nebraska Press, 2018).

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Memoirs; Space Exploration; Astronauts; Children's Books


Ashland-Greenwood High School, Ashland, Nebraska, 1977
Bachelor of Science in Physics, cum laude, 1981, Hastings College, Hastings, NE
Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, 1983, Iowa State University



Places Worked



Tom Osborne Leadership Award, Leadership Hastings, 2012
Ak-Sar-Ben Court of Honor, Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation, 2011
NASA Spaceflight Medal, 2008, 2011
NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 2008, 2011
Russian Federation Medal for Merit in Space Exploration, 2011
Charles Bessey Medal, University of Nebraska, 2010
Outstanding Alumnus, Iowa State University, 2008
Outstanding Alumnus, Hastings College, 2008
Honorary Doctorate degree from Hastings College, 2004
Distinguished Alumnus Award, National Council of Alpha Chi, 2001
NASA Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition (QASAR) Award,1998
NCAA National Christian College Basketball Championships Official, 1997, 1998
Johnson Space Center (JSC) Certificate of Commendation, 1993
Outstanding Young Man of America, 1981, 1985, 1987


Association of Space Explorers
Hastings College Board of Trustees


The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut. 2015. (with Nevada Barr)
Outposts on the Frontier: A Fifty-Year History of Space Stations. 2017.
A is for astronaut : blasting through the alphabet. 2018.
It's a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut's Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions. 2018.
Letters from Space. 2020.
So You Want to Be an Astronaut. 2023.

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Clayton Anderson

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)