April 1, 2014
I haven’t mentioned this to anyone before because it was such a long shot. Astronomical, really. I never thought that I would even have a remote chance. But now …?
Last Easter, (Orthodox Easter), the USA National Aeronautical and Space Administration, NASA, in conjunction with the Russian Federal Space Agency, Федеральное космическое агентство России or the FKA, sent out a notice to several hundred travel bloggers. Including yours truly.
They were looking for an experienced traveler and travel writer to ride to the International Space Station. They wanted to transport someone talented who could write an arresting essay about their visit there. (You know. Something like the New York Times “36 Hours in Ocho Rios.”)
The requirements are quite stringent: decent physical condition, current Passport valid for at least 90 days, travel experience beyond the Caribbean, and the ability to feel comfortable in Slavic cultures. (Ha! Jan? Polatschek??)
Single and “mature” is also an advantage. Just in case anything unforeseen happens, either during the training somewhere in Kazakhstan, or during the blast-off somewhere in Siberia, or during the re-entry heat and friction somewhere in the Ukraine, or somewhere, you know, as they say at NASA, “up there.”
Well, I just got a message on my mobile phone. (How the hell did they find the number?) It’s good news. I am on the “Short List.”