As a kid who grew up watching Star Trek, who is old enough to remember the moon landing, space travel isn’t anything new to me. Still it amazes me, not just the technology and science of it all, but the pure, raw courage it takes to put yourself inside that capsule and let yourself be sent where no one has gone before.
I also remember the Apollo 13 times, and how we all held our breath… even kids like me in school were watching. Talk about reality TV. That was reality. I also think that might have put just a bit of perspective on humans and space travel. Certainly the Challenger disaster brought home that message — we all watched and were reminded just how dangerous space travel can be.
Today we hear once in a while about the international space station, about helmet malfunctions that might have been avoided… but space travel isn’t something most people think about every day. We’ve forgotten about it.
Thanks to NextDraft I saw this in Texas Monthly, the fascinating story of Sonia Van Meter, an astronaut who is a semifinalist for a privately funded, one way mission to establish the first permanent human colony on Mars. Mars One. That is wanderlust for you. Along with an incredible thirst for knowing, experiencing, being on the front lines of discovery.
I also learned a good deal about the man who is her husband, Jason Stanford, who shared his own thoughts and feelings on his wife’s ambition, her dream. In case you’re wondering, the mission will not leave until 2024, and there are still substantial hurdles to overcome. His wife is not the only brave one, not the only hero here.
Jason really and truly loves this woman, doing what all those who have loved explorers have always done… supported and believed because the one they love believes. How cool is that?
When I was younger, watching the astronauts climb aboard those cramped capsules, I never knew how those who loved them got through that. Stood the risk, faced down the danger because the person they loved most wasn’t afraid. That’s what this modern astronaut spouse is going to do, proudly and with dignity.
It won’t be easy, but it will be impressive.