On July 20th 1969, at the age of 7, I attended my great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration in a banquet hall in Yonkers, NY. My great-grandparents emigrated from Russia to America many years earlier. Late in the evening (late for a 7-year old boy), all the guests gathered around a black and white TV and watched as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the 1st footprints on the Moon.
Watching that historic moment is one of my most vivid childhood memories. That night, that 7-year-old boy knew with certainty that he wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up. On July 20th, 2000, 31 years to the day after the historic Moon landing, that boy and 16 other members of the Astronaut Class of 2000 received phone calls from the Chief of the Astronaut Office, Charlie Precourt, informing them of their selection as NASA astronauts.
Since July 20th is such a significant day, I think it’s very fitting that the Fragile Oasis Team has chosen July 20th 2010 to launch the first step in what I believe will be a very informative, useful, and important interactive website. The Fragile Oasis website has these goals:
- Get the word out that the International Space Station is an incredible global asset
- Highlight the scientific advancements being accomplished on the International Space Station
- Inspire students to academic excellence
- Allow people to “experience” living and working in space vicariously through crew members currently living on the International Space Station
- Use the unique orbital perspective to inspire people to improve life on our planet
This blog is just the first step. Presently I am using it to document and share my “Road to the Launch Pad,” and after launching to the International Space Station, I will use it to document and share the experience of living and working in Space. What will set Fragile Oasis apart from other “Space” websites is its focus on life on Earth, including interactive 3D mapping that highlights “Crew Members*”, “Crew Member Teams” and Student Teams who are working to make life better on our planet through humanitarian projects or scientific research. * A Crew Member is our name for members of the Fragile Oasis community
I look forward to watching the Fragile Oasis vision take shape over the next few months and I am also looking forward to using the website to interact with everyone during my mission on board the International Space Station. Please stay tuned….
Please join with people all over the planet who look for opportunities to better their community and world, and as a result, make life better for those with whom they share this fragile oasis.