Interview series with the authors of “Into that Silent Sea,” French and Burgess, Part eleven

Today in Space History (TISH) has been granted an exclusive opportunity to interview authors Francis French and Colin Burgess based on their book “Into That Silent Sea,” which TISH highly recommends for reading. This is part eleven.

Archives for the complete interview series | one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen

If you had a free ticket for a lunar orbit in 2020, would you go and why?

FF: Anytime someone says “free ticket,” they are probably going to get my attention! And lunar orbit would certainly be a tough free trip to beat. The experience of seeing the barren lunar surface up close, and seeing the fragile, beautiful Earth from that distance, would certainly be unforgettable.

However, when I hear how much such a ticket would actually cost a space tourist, I’d have to have a lot of disposable income to justify that to myself. There is so much here on Earth that is incredible to see and experience, for far less money. I could quite happily spend half of my life underwater exploring coral reefs and never grow tired of it – at a fraction of the cost of a week in space. It echoes a little of what we heard from those astronauts who did make that long journey – they went there to explore the moon, and yet for many of them, it was seeing the earth from afar that was the real learning experience. They rediscovered their own planet.

CB: Quite frankly, I would prefer to spend several days simply orbiting and viewing our home planet. Over the past four decades or so I have heard or read the words of literally hundreds of space explorers who describe the absolute majesty and beauty of this blue planet from space, and to me this would represent the ultimate in adventure and personal enlightenment. Of course I’d love to see the moon close up, and would say yes to such a trip in a flash if offered, but if I had to choose I’d choose to orbit the Earth. At my age it’s a moot decision anyway, and I’ll just have to continue to realize my dream vicariously, through the shared experiences of others.

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~ by tellinghistory on December 20, 2007.

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