It should be obvious by now that I’m fascinated by outer space, a place I’ve seen on TV but will probably never visit. If I did get a chance to leave the atmosphere, I would want a window seat and would spend most of my time looking back at the place I’d just come from.
From what I’ve seen on the printed page and the flat screen, all views of Earth from orbit are enthralling. Even the ones that don’t allow me to say “Hey, there’s my house!”
I don’t know how long it would take for the scenery to become ordinary or (heavens forbid!), boring. Maybe that’s not possible, but there’s a chance we’re going to find out now that a couple of guys have been sent to the International Space Station to stay for a year.
Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko will help answer a boatload of questions during their odyssey.
The one that caught my eye (literally) is this one – quoted from the BBC article linked above:
“However, there are other problems that doctors still need to study and understand. They have poor data on the effects on immune function, for example, and there is considerable concern about the damage spaceflight causes to the eyes. This is a newly recognised phenomenon, and appears to be related to the way fluid is redistributed in a weightless body.
Pressure is seen to build in the skull and on the optic nerve, and a large number of astronauts return to Earth complaining that their vision is not as good as when they went up.”
So in other words, space is beautiful, but the longer you stay, the less you’re going to see. If diminished vision is part of the deal you have to cut to experience the stunning visuals of long-term space flight, is it worth the price?
When have you agonized over a trade-off?