Editorial: The joys of life beyond the frontier

Commander Chris Hadfield’s transmission-filled five months on the International Space Station are a regular treasure trove

For those of us whose questions about space travel tend more towards bodily functions than the serious business of scientific research, Commander Chris Hadfield’s transmission-filled five months on the International Space Station are a regular treasure trove.

From the complexity of squeezing out a dishcloth when there is no gravity to drag the water away, to the artistic possibilities of singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” with a guitar spinning weightlessly alongside, the Canadian astronaut’s tweets, photos and, particularly, videos have become something of a global sensation. Space is, it seems, in vogue again.

Then again, maybe it never went away. After all, nearly 80,000 people have applied so far to join a proposed four-person voyage to the Red Planet in 2023. And although Commander Hadfield touched down in Kazakhstan last night, the Mars One trip is only one way.

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