Retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott spent three months on the International Space Station. In this animation from The New York Times, she contemplates what she learned from her experience, living inconceivably far from her family and our home planet. She also compares it to the social distancing that so many people are experiencing today.
Living on the space station, being alone on a spacewalk, watching lightning storms crisscross the planet — all these experiences taught her that we’re all inherently connected, even when we’re physically far away.
In space, crew members had to make individual sacrifices for the survival of the spacecraft and success of the mission — and a safe return home.
“The way we peacefully and successfully achieve our missions on a space station is the same way we should be doing it down here on Earth. We need to be behaving like crew members on Space Ship Earth and not just passengers. And that’s what I think is really going to carry forward after all this…
We might not want to be self-isolating and social distancing, but by doing it as a crew, we’ll come out on the other side for the better. And it’ll be worth it, because let me tell you, nothing beats that first hug after landing.”
Listen to more stories from astronauts on TKSST, including:
• Astronaut Leland Melvin on Returning Home From Life In Space
• How a Space Suit Works – with Helen Sharman
• Dr. Mae Jemison, NASA Astronaut: I Wanted To Go Into Space
• Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station