Saturday, November 20, 2010


Behold! Aurora Australis…the Southern Lights…

During a night pass this week over the southern Indian Ocean, we were greeted with a magnificent moonlit Aurora light show out over Antarctica . dancing across the sacred moonlit night. “…and I think to myself…what a wonderful world…”

On this sacred night, when the aurora looked like rain, I reflected back on my childhood dreams of flying a spaceship through the infinite expanse of space... to be among the mosaic of billions of stars, and visit other worlds. Now as I look from space at our planet I realize that had I been born and spent my childhood here in space... how much greater and more vivid my dreams would have been to visit this blue planet.

The approaching dawn... the aurora borealis... the cities awakening to a new day collide to make this masterpiece. "And, while with silent lifting mind I've trodthe high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and touched the face of God."

The Earth at night is a masterpiece of light and motion. Aurora Australis dancing on a moonlit night…a new dawn just beyond the horizon. The small pinpoint lights that you see in these night images are pixels on the camera’s image sensor blown out by particles of cosmic radiation…one of the hazards of the job out here

“Oh, nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass…glory in the flower…we will grieve not…rather find strength in what remains behind.” - William Wordsworth.

Sasha, Misha and Tracy heading back to Earth in Soyuz 22S.

Farewell friends…until we meet again on a different shore

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