"And then, the Earth being small, humanity will migrate into space, and will cross the airless Saharas which separate planet from the globe and the sun from the sun. The Earth will become a Holy Land which will visit by pilgrims from all the quarters of the Universe. Finally, men will master the forces of Nature; they will become themselves architects of systems, manufacturers of worlds."
ORBITAL SPACEFLIGHT SOYUZ TO THE ISS
Those are the words of Winwood Reade, in his reflections on THE MARTYRDOM OF MAN, which he composed 1872, almost 90 years before man would realise the dream of venturing out into the universe, at large. Who would have thought that the vision of one man could be the reality of courageous men to follow?
Moreover, now it is your turn!
This is not the final frontier for you: it is just the beginning! You have realised a measure of strength in yourself you have never thought it could be possible, and your soul has awakened like the fire that now burns below you. You have tested your limits and success is yours!
Your journey begins when you travel to Russia to start your training. After a full medical examination, you will be briefed on your training. You will travel between Russia, Europe, the United States, and then off to Kazakhstan. Adventures like parabolic flights, underwater manoeuvres inside massive space suits, and stratospheric flights are all part of the preparation for your mission into space. You have felt the force of 7g is in top fighter jets and the weightlessness of being in a centrifuge; you find yourself understanding more and more of the language of your trainers and tour guides.
After months of pushing yourself to limits you've never imagined yourself capable of, it all comes to this…
It is early morning in Kazakh; the eerie mist of a new day envelopes you walk up the steps with your two travelling companions to enter the Soyuz TMA-M spaceship. Belted firmly in the pressurised suit you have trained in until it becomes like a second skin, you realise that you are now in one of the rarest places on earth, where few people have been since the dawn of space travel. You are part of history.
You feel the rumbling below you like a fireball of power revs up to take you to the starry heavens. Slow at first, then faster and faster you rise. In eight minutes you accelerate from 0 to over 17,000 miles per hour!
After you break through the forces that hold mere men bound to the earth, almost 90 miles above the Earth, your flight levels off and you can relax and enjoy the two-day excursion that will take you to your home at the edge of the universe. The voyage is easy for you. Your two companions expertly complete their duties at the controls. Meanwhile, you can visit with your family via a video/audio connection, and you can write e-mails to the earthlings you left behind! Imagine their surprise when you email them while on your way into space!
Out the window, the earth looks surreal from your orbital vantage point. Night and day pass you by an amazing 16 times in a 24-hour period. The view is spectacular, and it leaves you breathless!
In a mere 48 hours you have travelled between 236 and 360 miles into space and before you is your new home for the next six to seven days! Your guides adeptly dock your ship, and you enter the large space station; leaving behind the comfortable confines of the narrow Soyuz. Welcome home!