I Leapt From The Stratosphere

sky space milky way stars

This was not only interesting to hear a little bit about the engineering of making this feat possible, but it was also inspiring.

But I think the thing I liked the most about this whole TED talk was Alan.

Years ago when I was in college, I worked at Zion National Park for the summer. I would take kids on hikes and teach them about the rocks and animals. One day this family walked in from back east. We started talking about the meteorite shower and the incredible night sky that Zion provided. As the subject of the conversation turned to stars this dad just lite up. It was clear that he was a star enthusiast. The dad then explained that he had brought a telescope, and not just any telescope and definitely not one that you could buy off of Amazon.com, and asked me if I’d like to join their family in watching stars that evening. It turns out he was a rocket scientist and worked for NASA and had brought one of their transportable telescopes. But I had no idea he was a NASA rocket scientist until his kids have told me. He wasn’t wearing clothes or hats with NASA boldly printed noticeably just waiting for someone to ask him about it. He didn’t introduce himself saying, as Gary from D.C who works for NASA.  For all I knew this was just a good dad taking his kids on a road trip who had a particular interest in space. He seemed like an ordinary guy. He didn’t have to broadcast his resume before him so that others would be impressed with him. He was comfortable with who he was and didn’t need the world to validate that he was somebody special.

And that’s what I see in Alan Eustace. When I think “astronaut,” I think of some cocky, top gun, jet fighter pilot wearing mirrored sunglasses and a tee-shirt that’s two sizes too small (which may not be entirely fair since I have never actually met an astronaut before, that’s just as immature as assuming Mormons have horns without never meeting one).

Watch Alan Eustace’s TED Talk: I Leapt From the Stratosphere