I’m not sure where the last while has disappeared but I’m finally back. It’s been so busy and as I get closer and closer to graduation I realise how much I still have left to finish…..
A few weeks ago, I came accross a documentary program on television. It must have been the anniversary of the crash of the space shuttle, the one where Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli Astronaut was killed along with the entire team of the shuttle. The film was unexpectedly fascinating. It followed the journey from when Ramon was identified as a potential for the astronaut training program…over the four year period until the fatal mission. They interviewed his family throughout the 4 year period and also the other Israeli who was Ramon’s backup…and his family. The film followed the astronauts during their training program; their move from Israel to the US, where they lived, the issues around their family (spouses and children settling in etc.). In addition, the film documented the great excitement of the individuals involved but also the whole countries response to the idea and later reality of an Israeli astronaut.
As a spectator, it is amazing to watch a film where for the most part, you know more about what’s really going to happen than the makers of the film. It’s a stunning position to be in where you watch the very people who are later going to disintegrate in front of your eyes, taking with them the hopes and dreams of a whole nation. It is an incredibly moving experience to feel that you get to know the astronauts and the interaction between the whole team, the affect Ramon had on the other people he went to space with.
They spoke of him with great affection, admiration and appreciation. They all spoke of the wonder of being in space; how incredibly humbling an experience it proves to be, how privileged they are to be among the very few in the world that can experience the wonder and splendor of our planet viewed from space.
And then the captain of the mission said something that stayed with me ever since I watched the film. He said that how ever amazing it is to experience space travel, what stays with you of the experience is now where you go, but who you go with.
I can’t stop thinking how strange it is that, it takes mankinds ability to discover and explore space to realise that what really matters is the wonder and splendor of the human experience; that to really connect with a person is one of the biggest thrills that results from any journey, no matter where you go.
These chosen people, the smartest and best in the world, needed to fly to space in order to understand the basic idea that human connection is the most meaningful of our experience in this life. How beautiful!