Sometimes Wish I Were an Astronaut

 “Astronaut Guide” by Paul Hudson, CC-BY-2.0.

Astronaut Guide” by Paul Hudson, CC-BY-2.0.

Everything about space is cool. The stars, our Sun, satellites, comets, asteroids, meteors, dark matter, vacuums, supernovas, the unknown…  I’d love to see our galactic neighbors. I don’t need to go to Mars or the moon. I would just love to drift in space for while.


The way different types of matter behave in space is very cool too. The video below was taken aboard the International Space Station.

During Expedition 40 in the summer of 2014, NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman — along with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst — explored the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity on the International Space Station. The crew “submerged” a sealed GoPro camera into a floating ball of water the size of a softball and recorded the activity with a 3-D camera. NASA Marshall Center

*3D Version: So Cool!

That video was completely amazing. I totally want to do that! I want to play with a water sphere whilst floating around above Earth. Not floating all whilly nilly mind you. I don’t have a death wish. I want to be on some sort of space station or galactic visitors’ center.

So, why does water behave that way in space? Here’s an explanation from Live Science:

“Whether water sits in a lake or a glass of water, Earth’s gravity pulls the liquid downward into the shape of the container it’s in.

But in space, gravity’s effects are different. Objects in orbit are indeed affected by gravity, but they are in freefall, moving constantly sideways while falling toward Earth [Learn more ]. This renders them effectively weightless.

Up there, surface tension shapes water into spheres. Magnetic-like molecules on water’s surface cause the surface to behave like an elastic skin. Each molecule is pulled with equal tension by its neighbors.

The tight-knit group forms the smallest possible area — a sphere.”

I’ve been mesmerized by space my entire life. David Bowie had a song in the late 60s called Space Oddity. I first heard the song when MTV did some sort of documentary on Bowie in the 80s or 90s. Note: That was back when MTV still played music. As a kid, I saw it as a everything that made space travel awesome. Here am I sitting in a tin can. Far above the world. Planet Earth is blue. And there’s nothing I can do. That sounded awesome! Now I see that really wasn’t Bowie’s artistic intention.

I know there are a lot of downsides to hanging out in space. When I learned about the cramped, the tight quarters of space shuttles, the havoc low gravity wreaks on the body, and Maximum Absorption Garments (adult diapers); I was out. My dream of becoming an astronaut abruptly ended. I may not want to be an astronaut, but I still dream of going to space. A space tourist, that’s what I’d like to be.

 

How about you, Dear Reader? Do you want to go to space?

7 thoughts on “Sometimes Wish I Were an Astronaut

  1. I love that the space-suited figure at the top is reversed, or at least the NASA patch is 🙂
    All we have to do is solve the artificial gravity and cosmic/solar radiation problems, oh yeah and the gravity well thing-y and we’ll be on our way. I’d like to think there’ll be an off-world permanent presence in my lifetime. I guess we’ll find out.

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