Sunday, February 6, 2011

That Astronaut Dream


“When I was a child I wanted to become an Astronaut.”

With a smile on my face and a flicker of optimism in my heart, I shared this to the children with special needs housed in a center when we celebrated my friend’s birthday with them. More than two decades ago, one neighbor of ours would sometimes tease me as “the first Filipina who landed on the moon”, and it never fails to put a coyish smile on my face. As a grown-up now, I do still think of that once in every while when moments make me. If only the society I’m born in has the capacity and interest to put up academic facilities for this, I’m might have tried, who knows. Nonetheless, I’m happy with the field I have chosen now. I take delight in every bit of it, which most people find as dull.

But this astronaut dream might not be too far from reality now. Finally, last night, I took my chance to fly in one of the last two NASA Space Shuttle missions. I mean, me in a photo-image, not the biological-physical me, though. :p But I’ll also get to have a “flight certificate” signed by the mission commander himself when the mission returns back on Earth. How’s that? Max coolness! This “Face in Space” program of NASA is part of their tradition of carrying personal objects on spacecraft bound for outer space. A few years ago, The Phoenix Mars Lander brought a DVD containing messages for aliens to Mar’s North Pole. Our alien neighbors probably haven’t gotten it… yet, ‘coz we haven’t received any reply so far. Or they’re just being unfeelingly snobbish for now. Or probably they’re no technological buddies and come in a different life form. Or, well, there could be no one or any biological life out there, in the first place. That would be quite sad, it would have been okay with me living together with single-celled organisms if that means an escape to oh-so-typical-human-affairs in this planet that are real deal boring and annoying most of the time. Boring and annoying: social networking sites, showbiz, typical dating, big lives-desires-ego, rat race, politics, gender insensitive, economic status, labels, dogmas, societal expectations, status-quos, fights over territories, standards… and a lot more. ANYWAY.

The program is barely a good alternative to my dream, but hey I’ll take it than nothing. Practically and realistically speaking, I don’t think I’m still pursuing that career, but still it will always be my child dream.

I give NASA my appreciation for making this dream vicariously happen. It’s sweet.

Check this https://faceinspace.nasa.gov/index.aspx to join too. :)

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