Alex writes: I took this photo last night and dedicate it all my readers and to our astronauts circling Earth on the International Space Station – I hope you find it as inspiring as I have.
I ‘tucked’ a crew member and volunteer research subject into bed for an overnight brain wave monitoring and asked Seb to come out for a walk to look at the stars. We never leave the base alone, it is too dangerous. A sprained ankle could stop us from getting back to the base and we could freeze to death in less than an hour. It is better to adhere to the buddy system and do everything together.
Once outside I was knocked off my feet – not only by the cold, but what I saw above – the Milky Way. Never in my life had I felt so small and insignificant.
I have never been sure of what lays beyond our solar system, but standing beneath this most magnificent sight of my life, you can only but wonder.
The Antarctic breeze blew gently around me. The sound of silence prevailed. On the one hand I felt completely alone, but on the other hand I felt warm.
After making a wish, I regained my senses and we fled for the warmth of the station – fortunately just in time to save my ears.
And on waking up this morning, I have never had a better sleep.
The dark may cause fear, but if you take the time to adapt and look within it, you never know what you may find – at the bottom of the ocean, in the night sky, or under your bed in the middle of the night. If you don’t overcome your fear of the ‘unknown’ and ‘monsters’, you will never see marvellous secrets hidden in the dark.
I hope this photo inspires you too for the days, weeks and months ahead. In terms of the space exploration we are only beginning. We have to continue pushing out into the great beyond.