I want to go to space.
I’m going to get there, somehow.
But I’m going to need your help.
I’d just turned 30 and I decided that by the time I’m 40, I want to be able to say I’ve been to space. There’s got to be a way, and I’m going to find it. Somehow.
I’ve always liked adventures, from back packing round Iceland with mum when I was just six years old, to exploring the mysteries of ancient Egypt. I get excited by new things, new people, new experiences, I just can’t help it.
Okay, so all my friends are doing sensible jobs with real career progressions (and real salaries). They’re settling down, getting married, buying houses, having kids(!), but I appear to be going the opposite way. On my 30th birthday I felt more like a seven year old boy than the adult that influences seem to want me to be. I decided, for real, that I want to be an astronaut.
Bad timing Kate, the US is retiring it’s shuttle fleet, the world is still feeling it’s way around recession and you can’t even work for NASA because you’re a Brit. Dammit. (Find a nice yank to marry? -Ed.)
There’s the commercial space industry, but all evidence seems to suggest it’ll be quite some time before they’re ready to launch a human into space, safely anyway.
But why should a little thing like that stop me? When has “impossible” ever stopped me giving things a go? Not since I achieved something when I was 17, that not only did I not think was possible, but I did not even think it. Once that barrier was broken I started thinking differently. On the one hand things were “impossible”, on the other, *someone* had to do them. This is slightly different, no-one *has* to do it, but I just figure, if anyone can do it, it would be me. Frankly, no-one else would be crazy enough to try.
So, I’ll say it again:
I want to go to space.
I’m going to get there, somehow.
But I’m going to need your help.
I have a plan.
(My website was all lost, but I saved these comments below from a cached version – no idea how to recreate them as comments, sadly)
6 Responses to “What’s this all about then?”
Daniel Jonessays:October 15, 2010 at 11:18 pmReplyHi Kate, I’m well impressed with all your work. I thought it was just me that wanted this sooo badly. We need to come up with a plan. We need to get into space… lets do it.
Rick Newlandssays:February 7, 2011 at 2:09 pmReplyKate,
Really like your website, I share your longing to go into space (and there’s a lot of us Brits who want to!)
I’m a rocket engineer (rocket scientist is too pretentious!) so if I can help with any technical questions you might have then just ask.
Rick the Rocketeer
Amnon Govrinsays:March 6, 2011 at 4:53 amReplyIt’s great to read your blog and see you’ve met some of my Astronauts4Hire comrades at NSRC.
I hope to high-five you in a flight to space one day much sooner than your 40th birthday, happy we’ve made it beyond 100km.
Joe says:March 15, 2011 at 6:32 amReplyNice writing! So what’s the plan?
Chris Barrettsays:June 11, 2011 at 3:40 pmReplyHi Kate,
Like you I want to go in to space, However I not going to wait for someone to put me up there.
I’m doing it for myself , If you want to know more, I’ll be at the UK Space Conference 2011 at Warwick uni, on the 4th & 5th of July, heres the link http://www.intellectuk.org/uk-space-2011-home.
If you want to know more before then just email me.
BTW I love the website
KickSat.orgsays:October 16, 2011 at 1:35 pmReplyYou can send your initials and your own spacecraft into space via the KickStarter project KickSat.org as part of a citizen space exploration experiment. Maybe we’ll try a human spaceflight KickStarter project in a few years
Hi Kate, I’m glad to see you are excited about space travel – I’m just as excited as you are! I’m also learning about space exploration in the hopes of becoming an astronaut, so I would love to communicate with you on what is going on – what medium works best for you? I’m planning having my own site up by the end of August. I’m about your age, with no plans to settle down whatsoever – how can you “settle down” when space is just sitting there waiting?!
Just came across your site and love it! Like you, I’m in my 30′s and want to go in to space (one day?).. See you up there
To: The Editor, Physics World [[email protected]]
Institute of Physics
It seems that the current LYNX Space Academy advertising campaign – strap-line ‘LEAVE A MAN. COME BACK A HERO’ [https://www.lynxapollo.com/en_GB/] – does in principle also permit actual/putative female scientists and astronauts to apply. One female would-be cosmonaut ‘SpaceKate’ is making a determined effort to qualify*: may I suggest that the IoP should please back her campaign?
That aside… does not the idea of a leaving-the-Earth space-adventure sponsored by an aerosol-delivered cosmetic deodorant for men, with all the latter’s potential geochemical impact in re global-warming, seem somewhat inappropriate? Or perhaps that well-known strap-line ‘In Space, No-one Can Hear You Scream [about the Pollution of the Planet]‘ is going now to be replaced with: ‘In Space, No-one Can Smell Your BO’? Or ‘One Small Step For [a] Man. One Giant LYNX for Mankind’?
Dr Stephen Castell CITP
Chairman, CASTELL Consulting
PO Box 334, Witham, Essex CM8 3LP, UK
Tel: +44 1621 891 776 Mob: +44 7831 349 162
Email: [email protected]
Spacewoman Kate, you mentioned your friends with “sensible jobs and real career progressions” and I assume that also means for many of them, real skills. You haven’t mentioned what you can do. Making a nice-looking website is a start, but you can do that from home; who’ll pay to send you to blog from orbit? I assume astronauts are people with specialties in engineering or biology, or they’re experienced pilots, or something that makes them valuable to a space mission. I think your page here should include occasional references to how you’re building up your spaceworthy skills. Plan to be chosen because you’re indispensable!
In response to Dr Stephen Castell, could it be that they’re playing off a fear that astronauts might have to endure a mission in a tiny capsule with a person who smells bad? Or perhaps it’s worse to be breathing deodorant fumes. Research is clearly needed.
Well I have a degree in Genetics and I am a qualified broadcast journalist. I’ve been writing articles for publications including the UK Space Agency’s Space:UK magazine, reporting occasionally for the BBC and helping with the Space Boffins podcast. The current day-job includes science communication and social media for a large science/medicine funding organisation.
Really I just want to share the incredible experiences that I have been lucky enough to have, inspire some other people, and make them realise that space is “real” and something that they can aspire to. This is especially important for young people who might discount space as a serious job option because it is so seemingly “untouchable”. I want to celebrate the excitement and joy of space the best I can, and yes, one day, I’d love to go.
Nice to meet you the other week at the RAeS conference in London. You have an interesting blog, best of luck with the grand plan.
Hi Kate from Matt in Mississippi.
My Youtube username is ‘indiegun’ and I hope by now you’ve seen my ‘Space Shuttle Launch – LOUD’ video. I posted it it back in 2011 and it is creeping up on 9 million views (yay!). It’s a Discovery launch video I made for my dad who worked 25 years on the Shuttle program but never saw a launch live. Chris Hadfield even used it in his TED talks.
I’ve been asked for use of my video to open the Claremont Film Festival in California in May. I’m updating the video a bit and am thinking of using some of your beautiful words describing your Discovery launch experience as an opening title card. Let me know if you approve.
There is no monetary compensation for either of us though as this is an art college film festival. I have never monetized my video, even on Youtube as I think it belongs to everyone. Please email me at your earliest convenience and I’ll let you know what I have in mind. – thanks!
P.S. Your description of the the STS-133 launch had me in tears – I watched it live on NASA TV with my parents.
I’ve emailed – apologising for the delay(!!) but I would be honoured to be included! Sorry for making you cry! It is something that I shall NEVER forget – and nor will I ever forget just how lucky I was to have been there in person.
I enjoy listening to your Podcasts and enjoyed hearing the one about Portland State Aerospace Society. I visited one of their meetings on a Tuesday evening and was very impressed as to how they operate and to what they have done so far. That is very inspirational.