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It's True: We Have Visitors From Outer Space
It's not exactly the news everyone's talking about, but I have no idea why not: Three astronauts have just landed safely on Earth, after living on the International Space Station for the past year and a half. That's right. While we go about our terrestrial business -- following celebrity gossip, doing the dishes, grumbling about our commutes which totally do not involve spacesuits and plummeting through the atmosphere --these people have been living in outer space.
You must see the whole article on Discovery News, which includes a photo of the Soyuz capsule landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan, buouyed by a parachute, looking exactly like a child's toy. I find it mind-blowing that this goes on and that we aren't all running around in the streets, giving each other high fives. They lived in outer space! And then they came back! In a little floaty capsule thingy that someone engineered, that someone else built! It worked! It works over and over! I mean, I'm sorry, but space is really far away. Space.com has some amazing images of the landing, and the astronauts exiting the space capsule, which can't really be a bathysphere made from trash bags, the way in looks in these photos.
NASA astronaut Don Pettit wrote of his experience living on the space capsule,
"On Earth, the frontiers opened slowly. The technology of sailing was known and advanced for over a thousand years before the Earth was circumnavigated. Such bold acts require the technology, the will, and the audacity to explore. Sometimes you have one, but not the others. I only hope that my small efforts here, perhaps adding one grain of sand to the beach of knowledge, will help enable a generation of people in the future to call space 'home.'"
He kept a must-read blog of his time on the International Space Station, which includes poetry, photographs of Earth from space, and hilarious guide to space-dinner-party-etiquette.
Isn't it thrilling to remember that in these know-it-all times, there are still Big Adventures to be had? Frontiers to explore? People doing completely crazy things like, well, this:
A Message From Outer Space
So You Want to be an Astronaut
Teenager Shoots Her MIT Acceptance Letter Into Space
NASA Astronauts Having Fun on the Moon
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