I am the proud daughter of an aerospace engineer and grew up with space in my blood and maybe even hardwired into my thinking and feeling. My dad took me to see the premiere of the Stanley Kubrick movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, and well, I was hooked. Space was my new frontier.
So pretty much for my entire life, I have followed everything about space – both fiction and nonfiction. I have my favorite authors for science fiction novels and then of course there is the ongoing NASA missions and private ventures by Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic). My dad and I used to watch all of the NASA launches and follow all of the news. He would love the intimacy and immediacy of the information we have today (International Space Station @StationCDRKelly !)
My personal Mars encounter was The Phoenix Mars Lander, a 2007 mission of exploration with the landing on May 25, 2008. I had the enormous honor and pleasure to be invited to go to the Tucson facility and watch the landing. The incredible energy in the room and the excitement and tension of people holding their breath through the “seven minutes of terror”… it was amazing, just amazing. I hope all of you get to experience this type of passion, excitement and intensity in your life’s work.
Plus, there’s always cake!
All of this brings me to The Martian, the book by Andy Weir and now the movie directed by Ridley Scott. Go see the movie and read the book. I do recommend doing both (though usually I do not as I am either disappointed in the book once I’ve seen the movie or disappointed in the movie once I’ve read the book.) But not this time, wonderful experience all around.
Probably going to go see it again tonight, my space odyssey continues…what is yours?