November 29, 2013

The Ultimate Frontier......

"The feeling of weightlessness, floating around like a feather. The absolute silence where you will not be able to hear anything other than your own breathing or at the most some radio chatter. The abyss of darkness extending to astronomical distances which a human brain is not able to put into perspective. The best view ever possible for a human, of seeing the Earth, from a height of 330km, to see the planet as gigantic blue ball and the one we call as home. The fear that even a small malfunction would put a big question mark on ones ability to survive."

Now that can be described as my ultimate frontier..... SPACE !!!!! And this frontier is placed even higher than entries such as Antarctica in my bucket list ........ Ofcourse I would have liked traveling to other planets, staying there and that sort of things, but come to think about it, I don't suppose that would happen within my lifetime, unless someone introduces a wonder drug that would make me immortal :) !!!!! (philosophers stone someone ???!!!! :P). I even thought of applying for the recent competition for the one way ticket to Mars. But it got me wondering whether I would really like to spend all my life in some barren planet breathing compressed air from a cylinder which I might have to carry for the rest of my life in that god-forsaken planet. The answer was definite NO... I would love to visit any planet, but no matter what, I would love to return back to earth, which is MY HOME...!!!!! The serious applicants must be truly brave(or mental :P ) to take a one way ticket to this planet and NEVER TO RETURN BACK TO EARTH...EVER !!!!! Definitely not my cup of tea. The first batch is expected to blast off from Earth in the year 2022. Lets see how that goes.

And movies like Gravity are further fueling my urge to achieve this final frontier. This movie was hyped as "The Closest you will ever get to Space !!!!!" and watching the movie in IMAX 3D paying 500 odd bucks I in fact felt a lot closer to space. But deep down I know that such sort of virtual experiences is not gonna satisfy my spatial urges on a long term basis. And the reports that they have started commercial operations beyond the stratosphere has been quite encouraging, such as Virgin Galactic, a ticket for which would make one poorer by around quarter million dollars. Of course the cheapest among these so called space tourism operators is the $75,000 balloon based trip to the edge of space. (Link) That comes around to INR 45L, which of-course is still quite a big amount. Interestingly in comparison one can reach the summit of Mt. Everest for around INR 25L (assuming one is in top physical condition). Hopefully by the time I retire (not sure when I will be doing that :P ) I would have saved enough and there would have been higher frequency of space flights so that the ticket price would have come down considerably. Probably would have to start an account similiar to my PF so that I would be able to contribute small amounts to it on a yearly basis and watch it grow until the final showdown :P.

The nearest space like experience I had apart from the above mentioned virtual one has got to be scuba diving, which I did in the beginning of this year. The weightlessness, the silence, the view(of course a different world altogether) and the fear. In short it was all there.Being born as a human has got to be one of the most gifted things one can possibly have on this planet. So many experiences one can enjoy and yet somehow I wonder whether one lifetime would be enough for it. Hopefully some sense would prevail and all the so called "humans" would try to protect this planet in unison. This is one experience wherein my blog title "My Earthly Experience" would not be appropriate for !!!!!!. Funny that for everything else it is :P.

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