I’ve been hoping for this book for 20 years.

As a kid, I invested myself in a plethora of interests one of which was the space program. I loved every era of NASA history, reading and watching everything I could lay hands on. I still watch rocket launches and space walks – and I might read a little less, but the allure of a new space book, even one that covers pretty much the same thing as many that came before, is very hard to resist.

Many of the people I can point to as the “heroes” of my teenage years were connected to NASA.  Many of those people are obvious like John Glenn, Gene Kranz, Jim Lovell, and Neil Armstrong. And others are less remembered like Robert Goddard, Deke Slayton, Bruce McCandlless, Guion Bluford, and Eileen Collins. Falling somewhere in the middle are the first six women who served as astronauts. Everyone knows who Sally Ride was, but I always found Shannon Lucid and Kathy Sullivan’s stories more interesting, and teenage me was disappointed to find they never got any biographies or autobiographies.

Several years ago, a news article about another celebrity falling from grace prompted some morbid googling on my part. Many of those people whose flight numbers I memorized and whose pictures I posted on my wall must be still alive, right? How were they faring the test of time?

I am happy to report that as a whole most of the names I looked up came through unscathed. Mostly because all we as a public know about them is their time in NASA, but I still take that as a win. If they had done something worth being drug through the mud for since then, I’m confident it would have made the news. But unexpectedly, one of them stood out in a good way.

Kathy Sullivan retired from the space program to do equally cool and impressive work with NOAA. In fact, given how little press her time as an astronaut seems to have gotten, she’s probably better known to the public for her work there than at NASA. However, while Dr. Sullivan might not have been the first American woman in space, she got to be the first American woman to do a spacewalk.

And finally, I’m holding her book.