During 2015 I kept hearing about this American astronaut aboard the International Space Station. I don’t follow NASA and the ISS as much as I would like but for whatever reason, Scott Kelly kept popping up on my social media news feeds. I began following his shenanigans and learned he would set an American record for the number of days in space. His mission was largely to study the long term effects of microgravity in preparation for an eventual manned trip to Mars.
As I mentioned last week I’ve always been a space case and for some reason, Kelly’s story piqued my interest in the final frontier once again. When he announced he had written a book I quickly pre-ordered mine on Amazon. He even wrote a children’s book in hopes of inspiring a young mind to set their sights on the stars. I picked one of those up as well hoping one of my nephews might take an interest.
It didn’t take me long to read his book even though I’m a bit of a slow reader. He wrote extensively about what it was like to live on the ISS for a year as well as how he became an astronaut. I was surprised to learn he was barely an average student in high school and even after he started college he really didn’t have a direction in mind. A book on display one day changed his life and after reading that book he knew what he wanted to do. He worked harder than he ever had and eventually lived his dream of becoming an astronaut.
For the longest time I wanted to be an astronaut and for a while it looked like I was on the path to at least set myself up as a good candidate. Eventually math kicked my chances too far away and at the time I didn’t have the focus to do what it took to get back on track. I also began to realize what I wanted most was to be a starship captain and explore strange new worlds, not conduct science experiments in a lab in orbit of Earth. While it is very likely I will live long enough to see the first humans on Mars, I doubt it will happen in what I would call my prime. So yeah a part of me has some regret for not going full-bore on my dream but I have other gifts and talents and I certainly have a full life even if it doesn’t include a walk among the stars.
Yesterday my husband and I stood in line for just over an hour at the Costco in Kirkland waiting for our turn to get my copy of Endurance signed by Scott Kelly. I saw at least two kids dressed as astronauts and people of all ages young and old stood in line with us. While it certainly wasn’t the masses I’m used to seeing at Emerald City Comicon, it was refreshing to see so many people enthusiastic about space exploration.