Blast off into space by reading Chickasaw astronaut Commander John Herrington’s new children’s book “Mission to Space.”

“It started with a rocket and a young boy. Like lots of children, I dreamed of being an astronaut someday. That dream came true. Flying in space takes a lot of training. It takes a lot of hard work to do something well,” said Herrington.

In the book, Herrington shares his passion for space travel and provides a glimpse into his astronaut training and mission to the International Space Station. The book includes an English to Chickasaw vocabulary list with space-related terms.

John Herrington signs a copy of his children’s book “Mission to Space” at the 2016 Chickasaw Cultural Evening. Photo by Michael Scott Photographer

Herrington was born in Wetumka, Oklahoma, and became the first registered member of a Native American tribe in space in 2002 during a mission to the International Space Station. He spent 330 hours in space on STS-113 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, including 19 hours and 55 minutes in spacewalks attaching a strut to the space station.

He has been encouraging Native American youth to pursue higher education for more than a decade and recently earned a doctorate in Education from the University of Idaho. In addition to speaking events, he rode a bicycle more than 4,000 miles across the U.S. to bring attention to the need for Native American youth to pursue education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

In 2015, he joined first lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other high level officials scheduled to speak at the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC.

Published by White Dog Press, a secondary imprint of Chickasaw Press, the book was recently released during the 2016 Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival. “Mission to Space” is available for purchase in hardback and softcover at