Extreme Travel: Would You Visit the International Space Station? #letsblogoff

Today’s #letsblogoff asks: Where’s your slice of heaven? A group of design, architecture, and construction related folks are sharing ideas about heavenly travel spots. Here’s alist of brilliant people  that posted.  ok… four, three, two, one…

Space-station

Why Do We Travel?

While my home is a small slice of heaven, it is just that, a slice. To see the world, I have to leave these aggregated comforts, conveniences, and familiarities. Why do it? Travel to different places opens my mind and feeds my spirit. I love architecture, cities, nature, visiting people, and new experiences. I come home with fresh insights, renewed purpose, and a greater sense of the world. Travel changes me.

To boil it down, I want to experience places that are shaping the world. Moreover, I want to see ideas most likely to change the world dramatically.

In other words, I want to see the future.

You might say that’s two dimensions of travel – space and time. We do it all the time in our travels backward – ancient Egypt, Rome, China. Boom, we see, touch, walk on the same stones and shapes someone built several millennia back. A drive through town is a bit of time travel, if you think about it. Time is jam-packed in cities.

I travel to see forward too.

The Extreme Future City

Given this brave thought experiment of “travel heaven,” I imagine: What is the ultimate future city built today? Hands down, it’s theInternational Space Station .

Here’s why.

  1. It is the ultimate act of optimism. Sixteen countries collaborated to design a place and explore new territories. When does that happen?
  2. It is the ultimate act of fear. Why would anyone leave Planet Earth for cold, cruel outer-space? Is it fair to say that we will only leave permanently if we have to?
  3. It’s the first and only place that people live off of the Earth. The first. Imagine that. How long will we say that?
  4. It’s travel on a new scale. An outpost. A place to go to the next place, other solar systems, and perhaps at some point, to find a sweet alien planet.
  5. You meet some really smart people, the ultimate brainiacs camp. In one week, I bet the bonding matches an entire lifetime of ordinary encounters. High risk survivals and overcoming fear does that.
  6. You get to float. And maybe even space walk. Enough said.

    Space_station_inside
  7. The journey itself is truly an adventure, an extreme blast off from earth. Remember your first plane flight? Surely a flight to space will be life altering.
  8. You get to see earth as a whole. The blue marble. Whew.
  9. We are creating a new way to live. Every small act is an invention.
  10. The space station is the most pure expression of a high tech tomorrow. Tell me, do you think we would ever build a space station the shape of a house?
Earth_apollo_17_blue_marble

Will we populate the nightscape with more space stations? I bet we will. Private corporations see profit reasons to explore and inhabit outer space. Our lives revolve around space travel inventions, like satellites and microwaves. Space engineering is the last mega-physical frontier. That challenge alone will attract the Richard Bransons of the world.

Bottom line, I want to know what we do at the ISS. What do space station visitors believe? How does living on a space station change your perspective? Upon my return, assuming that I do return, how would I see Earth differently? What would I think of people and our place in the universe?

Because I think that if you see life in perspective, that’s the ultimate travel experience.

Behind Curtain Number One

If you were given ticket to the International Space Station, would you take it? Or trade it for a week in more earthly places? 

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