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The author has the distinction of being the only wife of a European astronaut who has worked in the area of human spaceflight. Her story is told from a unique perspective. Lena provides a first hand account of the ins and outs of the complex astronaut spaceflight system.
My Countdown captures the individual stories of crewmembers Roman Romanenko, Bob Thirsk, Frank De Winne and their spouses Julia, Brenda and Lena, as they prepare and embark on a unique spaceflight mission. Delivered with raw emotional intensity, it reads like a novel, sharing the aspirations, anguish, surprises and disappointments of its subjects. Yet it is resolutely biographical, offering a vivid recollection of events as they happened. An easy but precise overview of space science and technology is also provided. Readers will not only become familiarized with the human space flight program, they will also be left with an exhilarating sense of having been a part of the adventure.
My Countdown is suffused with an intimacy and honesty that renders the lives of the crew and their spouses in an unprecendented light.
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|Lena De Winne. Born and educated in Moscow Lena accomplished Masters Degree in Engineering from Moscow Power Engineering University. With her interest in linguistics, art and psychology she worked in professional sports and advertising, participated in organization of the first professional tennis tournaments in Russia. In 1992 Lena moved to The Netherlands and in 1993 started working in support of the European flights to the Russian Mir station and eventually transferred to the area of human space flight promotion in the International Space Station Program. In parallel to her work she accomplished MBA in The Netherlands and PhD in psychology in America. During these years she met Frank De Winne, a former military pilot and now a European astronaut from Belgium, who became her husband. Their life on the road in preparation to his half-year-long flight to space in 2009 as the first European commander of the International Space Station, Lena's experience of a "wife of an astronaut in flight" combined with over fifteen years of work experience gave her a unique perspective for sharing this story.|