Thursday, November 7, 2013


An Astronauts Guide To Life On Earth is my latest favorite book. Written by Col Chris Hadfield it his journey from when his was a boy in Canada watching the moon landing to becoming an astronaut and all of the work and dedication in between.

In the book he refers to people like me who are going on paid space tourism flights as "Space flight participants"  as opposed to full fledged astronauts.  The definition of an astronaut used to be a person trained to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member on a spacecraft.  In 2004 a new category was created for the commercial space traveler by the FAI ( Fédération Aéronautique Internationale ) the world governing body who decides what the criteria is for going into space.  The FAI code recognizes any flights that exceed an altitude of 100 Kilometers or 62 Miles the participants are awarded astronaut wings.  So technically I will be an astronaut when I do go, but I could never with a straight face say that when compared to people the go through years of training and a lifetime of dedication to achieve that goal. 

That said just the chance to taste a little bit of what these men got to experience would be amazing.
Last November my friend Don Asher and I participated in the Astronaut Scholar Ship Foundations annual fund raising dinner.  One of the memorable moments was the photo with 10 Apollo Astronauts, 6 of them moon walkers.  Top row L to R: James McDivitt, Dave Scott, Charlie Duke, Edgar Mitchell, Richard Gordon. Bottom row L to R Buzz Aldrin, Tom Stafford, Eugene Cernan, Don Asher,  Me, Alan Bean and Fred Haise.  An amazing group to be standing in the middle of.

I would just feel too self conscience and like a poser to go around saying I'm an astronaut.  So maybe I'll just go with a simpler idea of just experiencing the dream flying into space, just for a moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment