Virtual Astronaut

Astronaut Clayton “Astro Clay” Anderson is a seasoned veteran of virtual events, creating highly engaging and entertaining experiences for clients, and provides world class motivational keynotes and collaborations, all in a virtual setting. Events include corporate motivational and customized talks, panels and Q&A’s, school events and much more. Client requests for customized content and presentations are welcomed.


Anderson looks to entertain, educate, and inspire –in that order—for every one of his speaking opportunities. A born story-teller, Clayton’s narrative is one of big dreams and perseverance. It is unique, heartwarming, and inspirational and shows that with hard work, a little luck, and by adding extra to ordinary, you too can be extraordinary!

The lessons he learned, compiled through years of training –including winter survival, aquanaut and spaceflight readiness training—and 167 days living and working in the vacuum of outer space, can become your lessons – leading you to stronger leadership, enhanced teamwork and your own legacy of “mission success.” He strongly advocates for STEAM… science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and a well-rounded persona, as core components in a toolbox that can take you anywhere in life successfully.

A regular contributor to (a Top Writer since 2015), and numerous publications; Anderson’s writings have been published in the Huffington Post, Slate, Forbes, Apple News, Huffington Post UK/FR, Newsweek, Gizmodo, CNET, Nextgov, Daily Digest News, and Quartz.


Clayton is a multi-published author. Following the huge award-winning success of his first book The Ordinary SpacemanTM: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut, came the 2018 release of his first children’s book –another award winner– A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press). He then successfully ventured into the world of young adult publications with It’s a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut’s Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions (University of Nebraska Press, 2018). His newest book, Letters from Space, (Sleeping Bear Press) has received numerous accolades and is already featured as a top selling children’s book, including as an “Amazon pick”.

A popular speaker on teamwork, leadership, STEAM, perseverance, and big dreams, Clayton is a hit with audiences of all ages, which have included TEDx, BP, the Idaho Potato Commission, NASA, Iowa State University, the University of Nebraska, DuPont, the Distribution Contractors Association, and many others. Clayton Anderson never gives up! Dream, Persevere, and Succeed by “…daring to be extraordinary!” People, organizations, schools, and companies need motivated focus and determination –the ability to dream big and persevere against adversity– to thrive in today’s ultra-competitive world.



Anderson is an excellent collaborator. Whether you need a voice-over for your project, a spokesperson for your company or event, or a consultant well-versed in what it takes to live and work in outer space, Clayton is your man.

Collaborate with Clay

Speech Topics

“The Dream of a Lifetime”
Hop into the flight suit pocket of US Astronaut, Clayton Anderson, and learn about the journey of this small-town Nebraska boy who spent 167 days living and working in space. Anderson, who was “kicked to the curb” by NASA 14 times before his ultimate selection, went on to become a veteran spacewalker, with nearly 40 hours working in the vacuum of space over 6 spacewalks.

Anderson’s story of humility, perseverance, and hard work gives a unique personal perspective into his life and an openly human look at what it takes to become a successful “steely-eyed astronaut”. Always entertaining and informative, Anderson will challenge attendees to examine how they may apply the same concepts to their everyday work and personal lives.

“Never a Commander, Always a Leader”
A two-time Shuttle and ISS Astronaut, logging over 167 days living and working in outer space, Anderson was never named to the coveted slot of Mission Commander. Undaunted by this apparent management oversight, Anderson’s career reflects consistent leadership in all facets of his NASA career. Through the process of pursuing his lifelong dream of preparing to live and work in space, fertile ground is provided for developing and enhancing one’s personal management and leadership style. Through his unique on-orbit perspective, Anderson offers three simple leadership tenets that could prove helpful to you and your organization as you tackle your future successes!

“If at First You Don’t Succeed…”
Appearing on his first-ever television game show –the newly-minted 2019 inaugural season of Mental Samurai– Anderson wasn’t sure of what he was truly agreeing to do. Using his performance in the game as a learning experience, Anderson illustrates the coupled needs of preparation and desire with their inherent relationship to success. Using the age-old sports adage that asks “…, how much do you want it?” Anderson clearly illustrates how pairing desire and preparation, can prepare you –or not prepare you—for reaching your intended objective.

“Turn Pages into Dreams”
As a youngster, Clayton Anderson simply LOVED to read. Cast into the pages of Superman and Batman comic books; or following the serial adventures of the affable would-be sleuths Frank and Joe Hardy; or uncovering clues with the intellectual baseball-pitcher Brains Benton and newspaper carrier James “Jimmy” Carson, Anderson found his dreams could be fueled within the pages of a good book. Now a four-time author, reaching young and old readers alike, audiences will revel in Anderson’s personable story-telling style of how he got there –from a small-town boy, to United States Astronaut, to respected author– injecting humor and passion at every turn.

“You’re Just Like Me!”
Growing up in a small Midwest town and achieving great things are often misconstrued as being mutually exclusive. In his always entertaining and conversational style, Anderson shows his audience how they ARE just like him. With personal stories and anecdotes, Anderson illustrates how we may take advantage of the nurturing and mentoring benefits from the community that raised us. Then, coupled with proper focus, hard work, and a little bit of luck, Anderson provides some simple –and realistic– viewpoints intended to help put all on a path to their personal “mission” success.

“For the Beauty of the Earth”
Spending 152 days floating above our beautiful planet changes one’s “orbital” perspective of the spaceship we call Earth. Through photos taken during his 2007 expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), Anderson provides an entertaining and reflective discussion of life onboard the United States’ most complex technical achievement. Beginning by involving the audience in a “pseudo” game of Jeopardy and the category of “US and World Geography for $5000,” the presentation focuses on how this life-changing experience led to a strengthening of his personal faith and perspective on life.


“It was an honor to meet Clay in November 2019 at Space Center Houston where he first gave a presentation about his experience and then, had a book signing. He’s very down-to-earth, humble, funny, and brilliantly smart!”
Zane B.

“Clayton Anderson is as American as mom, baseball and apple pie. He is an outstanding motivational speaker especially to a younger audience. He comes from small town Nebraska and achieved his lifelong dream of becoming Nebraska’s first astronaut. His message is that you can do whatever you put your mind to as long as you work hard and never give up. I have seen him keep an entire school spellbound by his remarks as well as bring tears to the eyes of 500 adults after a keynote address. Clayton has strong family values, an incredible work ethic and despite his success in space has his feet firmly planted on the ground.”
Rod Bates, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications

“I think the standing ovation served as the best testimony!”
– Mary Ellen Brenner, Missouri Association of Counties

“We hired Clay Anderson to speak to a group of 200 BP new hire employees. Clay presented material from his career at NASA, addressing the value of personal and institutional courage and effectively relating the technical challenges faced by NASA and BP. He is articulate, enthusiastic, and thoroughly entertaining. He tailors his message to his audience and answers questions from that audience with a smile, good humor, and a touch of irreverence. Clay has been a pleasure to work with, and I would recommend his service to any organization.”
– Aubrey Collie, BP Challenge Summit Co-Lead

“Clay is an excellent communicator. There was never ambiguity on our assignments or the expectations from the people reporting to him. Clay is excellent at delegation, yet maintaining the right level of oversight. He entrusts the knowledge and skills of those that support him. He empowers those around him to succeed and has your back when challenged. Clay makes those individuals that work for or support him to feel valued. These are powerful traits and qualities that enable teams to succeed.”
Rick S.

“When I grow up I want to be just like Clay!

“Thank You for what you do. And not for being an astronaut (although that’s cool). Thank you for being an inspiration not only to those who aspire to be you but to those you just inspire.”
– Taylor Wusk, Eastern Hills Middle School, Killeen, TX

“Thank you so much for all that you did to make Spring Break at Space Center Houston so special. Your presence gave our guests an extraordinary experience and they had nothing but praise for you! Admissions were quite high and you certainly contributed to the success of the day.”
Nancy Bille, Educational Programs, Space Center Houston-Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.

“Clay is technically competent and has the ability to appropriately balance the big picture and the details. He is very passionate about doing the right thing, both for the organizational processes and for the professional development of the people on his team. He is a personable and caring leader, one who leads by example and who communicates upwardly to his management, laterally to his fellow team leaders, and to his team-members. Clay is very dependable. He will do whatever is asked of him and he will do it well, often placing the needs of others above his own. Clay is also very witty, bringing appropriate humor into situations to place a smile on his team-members faces.”
Stephanie W.

“Astronaut Clayton Anderson spoke to over 1000 of our members in October 2012 and was a success from start to finish. He is well-spoken, funny, educational, yet poignant and received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his talk. Clayton’s presentation appealed to all ages and gave the audience a clearer understanding into the life of a NASA astronaut. On a personal level, he was a delight to work with while in Omaha. Prompt, accommodating and fun to be with. He made my job as the lecture coordinator a breeze!”
Carrie May, Omaha Town Hall

“Clay is the Coolest Astronaut I have ever met!”
– Michael O’Donnel

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