As for now, a crazy feeling of floating in space lingers with me after watching a live broadcast from the space. How amazing that we could share the astronauts' perspective as they look down on Earth. Three men from around the world occupy the satellite: Russian, Japanese and American. They've trained for the event for years and get on well. We explored their tiny zip-up sleeping quarters, their toilet arrangements and the way they must take care with fluids. It wouldn't do to have coffee bouncing off complicated equipment. They demonstrated how they could cart-wheel around the area, and needed to constantly push themselves away from the walls to remain in the camera's view. Of course, there's no up, down or sideways in space.
One of the things the men mentioned is the beauty of Earth's color. The deep blue and aqua from the oceans which make up most of the planet set the Earth apart from other planets and make it unique. The Japanese astronaut stressed his view after traversing the earth 16 times a day. His sense of pride about his home country altered to encompass the whole of the world.
My compatriot and fellow Capricornian Stephen Hawkins said he hoped to see mankind occupying Mars by the end of the century. The English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, is dear to me. We were born on the same day: January 8th 1942. I imagine us waiting on a cloud together, discussing what we'd do with our lives. He has achieved so much, despite his physical handicap. All I've done is write futuristic fantasy adventure novels (co-written with Edith Parzefall.)
Many believe that private business will fund future space ventures . With countries suffering economic decline, world-wide enterprise have the funds to invest in such agendas.
Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish permanent human life on Mars. The Mars One site is worth taking a look at, if only for the fantastic display. Click on the link, which will open in a separate window. https://www.mars-one.com/
Chosen from 200,000 men and women who responded to the call, the global selection for the first humans to live on Mars has already begun. In an extensive training period, 1058 hopeful candidates will learn a very wide range of disciplines to form astronaut teams.
The next selection phases during 2014 and 2015 will separate the remaining candidates with rigorous tests.
Donations from individuals and contributing companies make it possible for Mars One to continue their efforts to establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2025.
I've just finished reading a book about space written by Mark Iles, which amplified the strange feeling of floating around my room. Click to see A Pride of Lions by Mark Iles. It will open in a separate window.
Don't make the mistake of thinking this book is set in Africa. Far from it—the characters in this novel traverse deep space far away from the planet Earth, which has been damaged by scientists. Just like a real situation on the latest space shuttle, where the astronauts take turns in reaching for the microphone hanging in the air before speaking, the trainee characters in the novel share their experiences in the omnipresent moment. The story sets a scene which resembles a movie, in that the reader grasps the bigger picture as well as each player's perspective.
In The Pride of Lions, the reader gets insights into each character during the intensive training, the unfolding of events, and the battles against alien creatures in their struggle to stay alive against overwhelming odds.
Mark Iles' writing transported me into a future which could so easily become reality.