I know there are no guarantees in life. But some risks are riskier than others, no?
As you might have read in the news Anousheh Ansari did just that. I was biting my nails as I watched the lift off on NASA TV. Boy, what a scary place to be. The bottom of the shuttle is exploding in flames as you lay in the spacecraft thinking about all the people and the life you are leaving behind…maybe forever.
But no guts, no glory.
I speculate that most people would go for it. I wouldn’t be one of those people. I look at life as a series of experiences. Orbiting around earth would be one of the experiences that one can have and no doubt a very rare and unique experience. But I wouldn’t weigh this experience over scuba diving or climbing Mt. Everest. I realize that scuba diving is something everybody can do, so it may not be a unique thing to do in a world perspective. But it is a unique experience for me. In my mind sacrificing scuba diving, traveling around the world, growing old with family and friends and what not is not worth the one experience of floating around earth feeling nauseated, bloated and sick all the while.
Having said that, I have tremendous respect for those who dare to go on these incredible adventures. The kind of advances we have made with space travel and whatever little we know about our universe blows my mind. None of this would have been possible without these courageous cosmonauts backed up by the endless hours of work the scientists have put in. The photos of objects in space some hundred million light years away from us and conceivable ideas about births of galaxies and planets never cease to amaze me. We have come a long way from the days of lore when earth was flat and sun revolved around the earth. If I weren’t numerophobic I would have considered becoming a cosmologist. Since my little brain does not allow me to conceive trajectories and equations very well I play around with tiny cells and bacteria to see what’s going on inside these little buggers. That’s as much fun too.
But I digress. Coming back to space travels, I have been following Anousheh’s blog since she took off and she has been updating it from outer space. Things like, what space smelled like and how her insides went for a spin even after she stopped spinning around.
I was finally able to take a look outside and saw the earth for the very first time. Tears started rolling down my face. So peaceful, so beautiful, no signs of borders, no signs of war…just pure beauty.
You can read her blog at http://spaceblog.xprize.org/
Such curious little creatures we are.