Thursday, October 30, 2008

Major Tom

In my spare time I scroll through the science and technology pages and focus on astronaut ailments. It's my pride. It's my joy.

One of the more poignant things I've read was on astronaut depression. If you think you're lonely down here, imagine being stuck in space. Then you really have problems. The article didn't mean to be funny or quirky but it reflected a couple of images that one just couldn't help but see as being sorta goofy

Most of the ailment revolved around people who are placed in close quarters with other, in high stress, away from other people for long periods of time.
"In 1985, a mission on Russia's Salyut 7 space station was scrapped after colleagues noticed the commander seemed uninterested in the work and spent hours looking out portholes. Three years earlier, a mission on the same space station was hampered by tension between two astronauts."

How tragic. Here you probably have one of the most highly trained elite people in Russia and the poor guy just ended up zoning out and looking out the window all the time. The matter gets even more bleak when you see here this sad cry for help from former cosmonaut Valentin Lebedev who wrote in his diary "We don't understand what's going on with us. silently walk by each other, feeling offended."

Being an astronaut sounds like a mix between going to a Nirvana concert in 1991 and working in a cubicle.

Sometimes I feel like an astronaut. But the one thing I have going for me is that my I don't have any additional physical tortures on me. The article noted that "Space and weightlessness can affect mood by playing havoc with natural body rhythms and sleep. On the international space station, for instance, the normal day-night cues are disrupted as sunrises and sunsets come every 45 minutes."

I get slightly depressed in the mornings. But I can handle that once every...oh I don't know...24 hours. Can you imagine going through that 32 times a day?

....32 X 45min =24hours , for those of you keeping score at home...

That would be a total mind, body, and soul fuck.

Oh and if you don't know why I wrote "Major Tom at the top, look at this. And if you don't know why I chose the picture at the top, it's U2's "Zooropa boy" drawn to emulate Russian cosmonauts who were sadly stuck in space for longer and longer space missions. The picture seemed rather apropos.

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