stonebender: (Default)
[personal profile] stonebender
"You see, I had this space suit.

How it happened was this way: 'Dad,' I said, 'I want to go to the Moon.'
'Certainly,' he answered and looked back at his book. It was Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat, which he must know by heart.

I said, 'Dad, please! I'm serious.'

This time he closed the book on a finger and said gently, 'I said it was all right. Go ahead.'

'Yes . . . but how?'" From Robert A. Heinlein's Have Spacesuit - Will Travel

That's the trick, how?

Now I've been a science fiction fan for as long as I can remember. In fact, there just isn't much that I read for pleasure that isn't science fictional. I read other things, but it does take effort on my part. Science fiction never really has. It's my native land. It's my hangout. It's my home.

I think part of the accepted belief system that goes along with being an SF fan is a basic belief that people should be out in space, colonizing planets, building space stations, living in places other the planet Earth. Often the same books that instilled such a strong desire in me to go to the Moon, go to Mars, go out there, also assumed only the very able-bodied would be allowed to go. Folks like me were "obviously" unsuitable for adventure out towards the stars. We would stay home.

The fact is, I probably will be staying home. Long gone are the days when it was assumed people would be living on the Moon or Gerard K O'Neill L5 colonies. The United States government hardly has launch capability anymore. Let alone the desire to put people on Mars. So we are left with dreamers, wacky millionaires and private companies to take a shot at exploring the solar system. I think we'll do it, eventually. Not likely in my lifetime and even if we did manage it. I'm not a likely candidate for astronaut adventurer. No vacations on the Moon for me. Yet I still dream of going.

A while ago I found a website that is the Internet presence for an organization that is proposing colonizing Mars. It's a one-way trip. Those who volunteer won't be coming home. This is a major drawback to me because I am enjoying my life these days. I have two fantastic women in my life and I don't in any way want to leave them permanently. So I'm stuck with competing desires. Desperately wanting to go out there and desperately wanting to be with the women I love, the family I have and the friends who add so much to my life.

I suspect that if there was any real chance I might get selected, I might not have applied. However, knowing there is a realistic possibility that people will strike out for Mars in my lifetime, I could not just ignore it. So here is what I did.

It's not my best speech on video, but they required certain information be covered. They only gave 70 seconds to do it in and I think it's more important to me that I asked rather than I asked with elegance.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-01 12:34 am (UTC)
kalmn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kalmn
You are so great. If you go, I would miss you. You'd have to send postcards. ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-05-04 03:07 pm (UTC)
serene: I love the whole world. (love)
From: [personal profile] serene
I can't even imagine how I would really react if they said "Yeah, you can go. Pack your bag." but I know I'm so ultra-stoked that you applied!

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