To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before...
NASA is a boo.
One of the things that I love most is space. I am a HUGE space nerd. Literally ask any of my friends. I was first introduced to space when my dad dragged me to see Star Trek. Since walking out of that movie theater in 6th grade, becoming an astronaut hasn't been just some wild dream that could come true.
This is going to seem weird coming from a girl, but I have become a huge space nerd. On my ceiling- glow in the dark stars. On my walls- posters of the stars and planets. Next to my window- a cardboard cutout of Captain Kirk. My love for space started out as any secret obsession would, so I never truly voiced it to anybody. My whole perspective had been changed by this movie because I realized that I wanted to see the world, not just traveling to Europe or another country, but really seeing it-from above.
While reading about Scott Kelly and the International Space Station, the light bulb turned on: I knew nothing about the space program, so I typed into the Google search bar "women in space." What I found was that there have been 58 women out of 536 astronauts in space. 58 out of 536. While reading this, I realized why voicing my desire to become an astronaut had never happened. Women don't become astronauts; it's not a field that they thrive in. No wonder I never told anyone.
When I did begin to tell people about my dream, I felt afraid as if I were stuck in a horror movie. What if they think this is odd or weird? What if people wouldn't believe in me? What if I begin to think I don't belong in space? When I finally gained enough courage to tell my friends, they laughed it off thinking that I was joking. My parents ignored it and told me to focus on becoming a doctor, expressing that becoming an astronaut is a childish dream and I won't be able to do anything with my life. Their judgments and criticisms stayed with me all through middle school.
But in high school, everything changed. Shaking off the criticisms, I became more interested in space, touring the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Walking through the centers, it was easy to picture me there, testing the zero gravity simulators or riding around in a rover in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility.
My dream started coming true when I actually applied to an internship at NASA. Filling out the application felt like my astronaut career taking flight. The questions were not foreign to me- they were all about space. 10, 9, 8, 7… I counted down the days until NASA would respond back to my application. Unfortunately, my career was like a failed NASA mission, discovering that the internship was only for college students. However, this did not discourage me. I continued to find more ways to express my interest in space and will continue to, counting down the days until I become an astronaut.
It is said that it is natural human nature to want to explore, which is why we have traveled to space. For me, my curiosity compels me to know what is up in space. We have no clue about anything in space except for our solar system. Space is the biggest mystery and we need to know more. I need to know more. There are trillions of stars, billions of galaxies, millions of solar systems, and thousands of planets that are yet to be discovered, and I want to discover them. I want to know if there are other life forms. I want to know what is beyond Dallas, beyond the Americas, beyond Earth, and beyond the Milky Way. Space is infinite and I want to explore it. To loosely quote the movie that started it all, I want to go boldly where few women have gone before.