This week is “Brits in Space” week – Major Tim Peake has finished his years of astronaut training by blasting off to the International Space Station.
I’ve been watching with utter absorption because I love the ISS – to me it symbolises everything that’s right about the human race. Yes, there’s wars and inequality and we’re destroying the planet that’s our home, but if we can LIVE IN SPACE, then we have the ingenuity to solve all those problems.
The first time I saw the ISS passing overhead was Christmas last year (want to see it? You can find out when it’s passing your part of the planet on NASA’s website). There was a load of rubbish on social media that you should point it out to your children and tell them it was Santa’s sleigh passing overhead. No! No disrespect to Santa, but he’s magic and that’s eternally out of reach of us mere mortals. But the ISS is something even more special – it’s human enterprise and determination and incredibly hard work and cooperation over a great many years. Best of all (for me) – it’s human imagination made real. It’s the human ability to think, “I’d like to do that impossible thing,” AND THEN MAKE IT HAPPEN.
And on a smaller scale, we can all do this. I’m never going to go into space. It’s really inhospitable out there; I couldn’t even deal with scuba diving. But I can turn my dreams into reality. I’ve wanted to be a writer since the age of four. It’s taken years to develop my writing skills, learn what I needed to know about writing and publishing but I’ve made it and now I’ve published two of my books, with more to follow.
If there’s something you want to achieve, you can do the same. Imagine what it is you want, then set your course to make it real. If you ever feel like giving up, just remember – the Space Station proves that anything’s possible.