During this time when Canadians are confined to their home, or home office, with many unemployed and most suffering in some way from loss of income, to say nothing of Covid 19 virus illness, yesterday I heard an inspiring conversation that could benefit each of us.
The radio station was CKNW, Vancouver (980 on the AM band) and the interviewer between 3 and 4 PM was their Lynda Steele. Lynda’s guest was Commander Chris Hadfield, who now resides in Vancouver. She asked what Chris remembered most of his experience of being in space. Answer: Primarily the view, being continually surrounded by windows and having that spectacular view-scape to look out on, the whole time he was up there. He commented that even on our worst days on earth we can look at the sky and think of that.
Lynda’s other questions were around size of the capsule, number of space occupants with him and how long he was in space. Chris had taken three trips, each a bit different but he estimated upwards of 140 days away from earth altogether. He compared the quarantine period some of us are experiencing now, to the time the astronauts spent in preparation for each mission.
Asked about the fear factor we have over the virus, he explained that once departed earth and into the mission, each of the astronauts knew what their job was, they had trained for it so well that any fear disappeared, to be replaced by all that knowledge and experience.
Like a Compact Car
The space in which 3 of the astronauts worked was small, “about the size of a compact car,” were his words. Sometimes there were 6 people working together in the larger craft, other times 3 team members would return to earth and be replaced by 3 others.
Referring to being in the compact car capsule space, Lynda remarked that she needed to work at home now in her condo, with her husband, and they usually got along well together. She asked if Chris had any advice for her, or for others in a similar situation.
Having heard him speak publicly before, and knowing of his music and singing in space, I thought Chris was brilliant with these particular answers. He referred to having his wife and a son at home. With a small group existing in such a small area together, he explained that on each day of that confinement in space he made a point of doing something nice, that was unexpected, for one of the team. Additionally, he made certain he said something pleasant, every day, to each of the others on the team.
It left me close to tears, and I can only assume that such policy continues in his home on earth. Let us each try on these difficult days to incorporate those thoughts and considerations from one great astronaut. Thank you for them Commander.