The Final Frontier

William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk) officially dubbed astronaut and the oldest person to go to space.

Obviously, as a Trekkie, I tuned into ABC’s news live to watch my fictional hero go to space. However, it meant so much more to the man behind the character. James Kirk had captained many voyages in space…Bill, on the other hand, had never been to space once.

Blue Origin has received a lot of hate for various reasons. But as I waited and watched, I honestly found myself excited by the technology and the dreams that made civilian travel to space an option. Maybe in the future…anyone truly can go to space. It’s thoughts like this that bring a smile to my Trekkie face.

I withheld an exclamation of “wow!” as I watched the ship called, New Shepherd, take off. The raw power and precision of it was astonishing. Watching someone I cared about—nerve racking!! As the ship gained speed, far surpassing 2,000 mph, I imagined the G-forces 90 year old Bill was facing.

And then, they were in space.

I could see the black coldness from the outer cameras on the rocket as it fell away from the lone capsule back to Earth. I gaped in awe as it’s thrusters were enacted and it landed almost perfectly back at the landing point—with a chest rattling boom.

It had successfully been to space (just past the Karman line) 15 times. This time marking its second manned flight. Here is the flight path of the rocket and it’s capsule:

When the capsule landed safely, everyone breathed a sigh of relief and the celebration commenced. Cars/trucks sped down the sandy paths toward the waiting crew, who are now official astronauts.

I watched as Bill exited, a little shaken up but moved by the whole experience.

I hope I never recover from this…” Bill told founder, Jeff Bezos. Going on to say that it was unlike anything he had ever experienced, and that everyone should go to space to encounter it for themselves.

Shatner: “I mean, the little things, the weightlessness, and to see the blue color whip by and now you’re staring into blackness. That’s the thing. This covering of blue is this sheet, this blanket, this comforter of blue around that we have around us. We think ‘oh, that’s blue sky’ and suddenly you shoot through it all of a sudden, like you whip a sheet off you when you’re asleep, and you’re looking into blackness – into black ugliness. And you look down, there’s the blue down there, and the black up there, and there is Mother Earth and comfort and – is there death? Is that the way death is?”

“…It’s so much larger than me and life; it hasn’t got anything to do with the little green and blue orb. It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death. Oh my god, it’s unbelievable.”

Bill even breaks down on tears a couple times, so moved and changed by the experience. And it’s all very strange to see against the backwash of the other astronauts laughing and celebrating, champagne being passed and shot out all over the desert. Bill even subconsciously dodged the spurting alcohol, clearly apart from the young throng not only in mind, but in heart.

I was equally moved by his words. Although, such an experience for me would not be marred by the feeling that Earth is happen chance. Miraculous by mistake and doomed to be overcome by the black deadness of space should we fail to change how we treat her.

It’s fragility would not make me nervous or worrisome, but would give me a sense of wonder and peace that if it was not for God, we would not exist at all. This fragile blue orb is in good hands, and it is God that keeps it together. Are we able to destroy it? I don’t know…but I do know that what we are able to do is very different than what will actually happen.

God has a plan and a purpose. He has the final say.

As my son woke up, drawing me back to Earth—literally! I could not help but consider the brevity of life Bill encountered as he passed through the thin blue shield of our atmosphere into space. The lifeless void.

Is this death?

He asks, immediately feeling the absence of life for the first time. Whereas Jim Kirk would smile at the unknown, Bill struck me with a kind of fear and repulsion toward it.

This ugly black, this empty, cold, suffocating void of darkness…the total absence of life, in every definition of the term.

Our Earth resides here.

Our living Earth. And quite possibly—the only one.

When I look out at the stars, it’s majesty, it’s chaos, and now even it’s dangerous unknown…I encounter God there. He created it all (in my belief) for us to enjoy. Maybe even to explore….but I doubt we will find little green men or life on another planet….no, God spun the entire vast Universe into existence merely for us to look up at in wonder.

It proves that our problems really are quite small and infinitesimal. That He has the whole world in His capable hands.

I really hope that someday, Bill and others like him will come to the realization that God is in control. And it’s only by Him that this blue little orb survives and thrives amidst nothingness.

I pray as my son grows, he also will not fear the unknowns of space but will stare in wonder and the stars and, in turn, behold the wonder of God. Who exists apart from time and space itself. Who created this blimp of land, Earth, and sky for His beings to live upon.

“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. The Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”…” (Genesis 1)

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