Thursday, December 31, 2009

Living with Cannibals and other women's adventures

Let us usher in the new year with some excitement shall we?  2009 has been pretty dire so lets hope that 2010 is better.  Onwards..

As I write this I am sitting in my living room on Boxing Day, filled with overwhelming yearning for the day when people will make regular space flights, a day when space travel is open to all, in a similar way to bus transport is now open to all.*

Why do I feel like this?  Well, I've just his afternoon read Living with Cannibals (an unfortunate title).  It's a collection of 16 short pieces on women travellers experiences, lives and achievements since 1797.  The particular piece that so interested me was the retrospective on Shannon Lucid's career.  She went to space for 188 days in 1996.

I cannot ever decide if the idea of space travels exhilirates or terrifies me.  I would love to experience zero gravity conditions but sometimes when I look up at the stars I'm crushed and awed by the, well, bigness, of it all.  That's crushed and awed in an 'I'm terrified' sort of way.  But, the sci-fi fan in me thrills at the thought os space travel.  Who wouldn't?

Will we get regular cheap tourist flights in my lifetime?  I'm 29 and imagine being an old lady, ina rocking chair, on the porch (it's a very American image, British houses don't have porches in the same way), looking at  the sky and seeing the shuttles lift off, taking travellers to far flung destinations.

It's a very romantic image.  I'd be too old to travel, of course.  With all this in mind, I put up a poll on 28th December.  If you haven't already voted, go do so.

*Open to all those who don't live in the rural English countryside and expect more than 2 buses a day that is.  I am well aware of this country's public transport problems.


Red said...

I would love to go into space. One of my favorite images is from "The Right Stuff" where Chuck Yeager takes a jet plane straight up and can see the blackness of space and the bright stars through the thin veil of the earth's atmosphere. So. Close. Just at the edge of the boundary between earth and space that so few of us have been through.

cerebus660 said...

Hey Saranga! Have a great New Year and best wishes for 2010!!

Rachel said...

I think in 70 years time space travel will be - well, not cheap as buses, but certainly affordable. I'd be terrified going into space, but in a very healthy and soul-expanding way, I'm pretty sure.

When I was a kid I confidently predicted that by the age of 30 I'd be married and living on Mars with one or two children. I'm 25 now and can, equally confidently, say that none of these are likely, but Mars is the only one I wish was otherwise.

The book sounds great, by the way.