News & Culture

What’s it like in space?

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When I discovered Chris Hadfield’s tweets last spring, I was obsessed. Seriously, I turned into a one woman fan club when I emailed new photos to my family, probably with the subject line: SO AWESOME.

Hadfield, who was commander of the International Space Station at the time, gained popularity when he started sharing photos and videos from orbit straight into the Twitter-sphere. Though his mission was to study human biology in space, he had time to create a lip synced video to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. You know, the one about floating around in space and coming home. Apparently he only had rights to the song for one year and that ends today. Watch the video on YouTube before it’s gone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo.

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What’s up there?

Isn’t that the big question that makes humans want to propel into space — a less than favorable environment? I was always fascinated by the mysteries of life. And it felt like some of those mysteries were explained the time I got to high school. I was fascinated by flying. By the sky. The more I learned, the more I felt that I really knew nothing. Perhaps that’s what keeps me so interested. Even when I was studying the sciences, I never thought that could be me up anywhere near the stars. I belong on Earth, but I still want to know, both what the stars are made of and what compels someone to keep going up there to find out.

Calvin and Hobbes stars
Original here.

What’s down here?

What Cmdr. Hadfield gave the world is not only a view of the stars, but a look at ourselves. We love looking up, but we have to come back down eventually just like astronauts. I loved the fact that he was in space. It was mind-boggling, but these photos reminded me of just how much we have going on right here on Earth. There’s so much beauty to learn about and preserve. Even just on a global scale, looking at ice caps, deserts or city lights makes individual problems seem so much less pressing. Yes, it’s cliche, but I know I need a reminder once in a while. Feeling small doesn’t scare me. Even small things add up. I know people are important. Just look at what we can do on Earth and in orbit.

2 Comments

  • Victoria

    First of all, why am I not receiving these emails?? I love space! ask anyone. My dream is to become an astronaut or study space medicine. I live the idea of there being so much out in the world and the mysteries of the universe slowly being discovered intrigues me more. There was one night a few years back where the sun dispersed a huge amount of solar flares that were so big and even dangerous that the sky would be lit orange all through the night. And being the astronaut wannabe that I am, I stayed up all night to see that orange sky and I didn’t even get to share any proof due to poor quality of flip phone camera and the fact that I was watching from my netted window. So next time you get any updates on space, email it over. 🙂

    • Yev

      I never knew that! You should definitely follow this guy. He recently published a book called “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth”.

      Aaand at least you’re staying up to enjoy solar phenomena. I’d rather sleep. Because I’m old.

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