I've been thinking about the final frontier lately. And I'm thinking I wouldn't want to go.
Like, say, someone from NASA called you on a secure line and said, "Long-term space travel is possible! Want to take a pleasure cruise to the Saturn rings?" I would be the opposite of Lance Bass and just. say. no. Even if the pleasure cruise was a 30-day trip orbiting Earth I would just. say. no.
There are a lot of reasons space travel freaks me out. Granted, a lot of them have to do with movies and books I've read. The most recent book I read, "A Million Suns," takes place on a spaceship that is set to travel 300 years to colonize a new Earthlike planet. The ship has a crew of people who are keeping things going, living their lives, procreating, growing crops, "losing" history and also losing their minds because the landing date has been set back several hundred years past the original landing date. Count me out.
And what about "Space Camp"? Being accidentally shot into space was not the best thing ever for those kids, who repeatedly almost died in a series of precarious situations. (This movie also reinforces my fear of robots but that's a topic for a different day.)
Don't even get me started on the "Alien" movies.
Then there's the more primal fear I get when I think about space. It's difficult to describe, but I'll try. The closest thing I can compare with is the feeling I got when I went snorkeling in Hawaii in 30-foot waters. After getting into the water, I looked down and nearly lost it. All the air exited my lungs, I screamed but no sound came out, I was paralyzed with fear. I felt like I was going to fall down, but instead I hovered. I hovered and I kicked, and I barely moved, yet I was drifting ever further from the boat without trying. I imagine floating around in space would feel a lot like that. No control. No real power.
H and I watched a 3D Imax movie a few years ago about space. There is a scene in which Leo DiCaprio describes the star nursery, and how there are unknown amounts of them. Groups of stars comprising galaxies. Clusters of galaxies forming the entire universe. And as we're drifting through this (remember, it's 3D!) I started to feel sick, just like I felt floating in Hawaii.
It's a too-big universe out there, and just how insignificant we are can be overwhelming.
So there you have it. I would not go to space on a pleasure cruise. The only way I'm leaving Earth is if I'm forced out because the planet is about to explode. And even then only if my entire family drags me kicking and screaming. I would eventually stop screaming. I hope.
What about you? Would you go to space?
All images taken from the Hubble.
Labels: Would You