It’s Cool We’ve Got A Mainer Doing Space Walks…But I Can’t Watch Them!
I think it's pretty safe to say that being able to travel to space is one of the coolest, most mind-boggling things human beings have done ever. I 100% recognize how awesome that is. It's also amazing that we are able to watch the men and women we send into space, do things... in space!
As Mainers, we have the distinct honor of having one of our very own onboard the International Space Station at the moment, U.S. Navy Captain and NASA Astronaut Christopher Cassidy, from York.
Captain Cassidy gets to do all kinds of super cool things in space, not the least of which is to do Space Walks. And he got to do one of those today. He and NASA's Bob Behnken (from Missouri) got to take their 10th Space Walk together, on a mission to install some storage for robotics components, and replace some batteries outside of the I.S.S.
Of course, in this day and age, NASA has the technology to stream these Space Walks live, from all sorts of different angles, including go-pros strapped to the astronaut's helmets! This is unreal and creates a very cool opportunity for those of us who are Earthbound to check out what's going on hundreds of miles above our heads. And I always set out to watch them with the mindset of wonder that would be appropriate for such an amazing event.
But instead, what always ends up happening is that I watch for about 10 minutes and then have to turn it off...because I end up having a mini-panic attack. I get too anxious that they're going to either drop something and have it float off, or that the astronauts themselves will somehow float away into the abyss.
Let's face it, I'm not really great wielding a hammer here on Earth without causing potential damage. Put a gigantic space suit on me, with thick gloves and tools in my hands...it's almost guaranteed that something's getting wrecked. And somehow, the one thing I'm not supposed to damage would become damaged, and then the entire International Space Station would implode because of me.
That's why I'm not an astronaut, and they are.
I know--it's a completely irrational fear. My brain understands that they are tethered to the ship. I can hear, in the preparation leading up to them even setting foot outside of the I.S.S., that they're equipped with rescue jet packs. I know that each astronaut has years of training and knows what to do when in space.
But I can't help but freak out! (I can listen to it, no problem. But the minute I look at the screen, I start to sweat!)
And it's not even because I've watched any "space" movies where folks have floated off. I just have a ridiculous fear of outer space. Not even aliens. Just the vast void that's out there.
Perhaps it comes from a deep-seeded insecurity in my own abilities, knowing that I'd be the one to screw up in space, if I ever had the occasion to be there (which I never would because I'm terrified of heights--and unless I accidentally fell asleep on a rocket ship, there's no way I'd ever be in the vicinity of outer space on purpose.) Maybe I have trust issues... I have no idea. It's the same reason I hate watching anything with shipwrecks where people are stranded in water where they can't see the bottom.
But there's nothing stopping YOU from enjoying today's Space Walk! So, here you go. Enjoy it for me 'cause I can't watch it!