Earth Rise


This is a NASA image taken by Apollo Astronauts. When the space program was first expanded, it was said that everything NASA learned would be in the public domain. Now, after many years, we learn that research data is the property of the Primary Investigator doing the research. I don’t know if NASA holds copyright to any of these images, or if the astronaut/photographer can claim copyright. This image comes in various versions, taken by different astronauts on different missions. I don’t remember which on this is.

This image invokes many feelings as I imagine living in a tiny capsule, or in a small tin can, or crowded and cramped living quarters on a moon base. I so much want to go to the moon, to Mars, to distant planets and have always wanted to travel in space since I was in grade school.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are living in a tiny tin can, doing research work, or maintenance work, or service work, or administrative work, and you look out the porthole and see this. Now imagine that you want to go ‘home’ and can’t. Perhaps you are sick of living in tiny quarters, breathing mechanical air, smelling that smell of confined living space in space. You have grown tired of the people you are forced to tolerate after the excitement of exploration has turned to the daily drudgery of staying alive in a hostile environment. Perhaps the risk you face has become a nightmare you can’t escape and you want to go home, and can’t. Perhaps there is something back there, on Earth, that prevents your return. You want to feel the sun on your face, breath the sea air, or watch birds in flight. And you can’t.

Or perhaps, you are delighted to be where you are, and have no wish to return to Earth. The view out your porthole is only a reminder of what you left behind, and your attention is focused on the future and what it might become.

Perhaps your life on Earth wasn’t all that pleasant, and as uncomfortable as living inside a tiny tin can might be, you have no desire to return to the life you had on Earth.

I look at this image and want to be there. All my life, I’ve wanted to be there. Now I am too old, too poor, in declining health, without a chance, waiting for the end.

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