In February 2003, American astronauts Donald Pettit and Kenneth Bowersox and Russian flight engineer Nikolai Budarin were on a routine fourteen-week mission maintaining the International Space Station. But then the space shuttle Columbia exploded far beneath them. With the launch program suspended indefinitely, these astronauts had suddenly lost their ride back to earth.
Too Far from Home chronicles the efforts of the beleaguered mission controls in Houston and Moscow as they worked frantically against the clock, ultimately settling on a plan that felt, at best, like a long shot. Latched to the side of the space station was a Russian-built Soyuz TMA-1 capsule, the rocket equivalent of a 1976 Gremlin. Despite the inherent danger, the Soyuz became the only hope to return Bowersox, Budarin, and Pettit home. Their harrowing journey back to earth is a powerful reminder that space travel remains an incredibly dangerous pursuit.