There’s a certain zen peace to being in space that you can’t find anywhere on Earth. Personally, I think it’s to do with the possessions. On the space station, everything we owned we also owned by someone else…or should I say, there WAS no true ownership. It was a blessed system of former possessions transitioning into objects, simply floating around and available to be used by all. I still don’t know who originally owned the red toothbrush all these years later! It’s a mystery! Then I was brought back down to Earth and suddenly everything was taxes, prices, mortgages, don’t use my toothbrush that’s gross. When would it end? I had to acclimatise to a whole new world. The first[…]

You know, one thing I always thought we were missing on the space station was a coffee lounge. Maybe the technology just isn’t there yet, or we just don’t have the will. Or the space. Or the fact that beverages in zero gravity are just really hard (the go everywhere, and in the instruments if you’re not careful). But How many times were we up there, wishing we could just have a place to hang out and watch the Earth rise? We couldn’t talk about our days, because there were no such secrets. Everyone knew what everyone else was up to, all the time. So we’d talk about the next best thing: our hopes and dreams. Kaylee wanted to do[…]

I remember one time, back in space (that’s where I used to live), we celebrated a lunar eclipse. Truth be told, we couldn’t actually see anything because our vantage point wasn’t great, but we knew from the calendar that there was going to be a lunar eclipse so we celebrated accordingly. Well, I say ‘celebrated’…all we had was some orange flavour fizzy drink that had long since lost its fizz, but it was better than recycled water. It still felt special, because it was something we didn’t usually do. Here on Earth…well, there are so many things to do, just in Melbourne. Business who need private function rooms really know what they’re taking for granted? All of them are so…there. All the[…]

Finally, something I feel I can do. I feel that a lot of the content of this blog is filled with reflections on the differences between Earth and space and my … well, I suppose my dissatisfaction with returning home. It’s not that I’m not grateful. I am. I love my wife and our life is pretty incredible, but there’s it feels strangely dull to be back home. As though space was this grand, exciting adventure, except that it wasn’t. I know that, in space, a lot of my time was filled with just waiting around or just trying to get some sleep, but I miss the constant excitement of it all. You can’t imagine what it’s like to see[…]

An astronaut has to wear many hats. While I was on the space mission I was part time astronaut, mechanic, chef, doctor, botanist and therapist. A range of skills is required to fix various things when they go wrong including each other. Being back here on earth is a lot simpler, there’s a guy for everything! We recently had a problem with our kitchen sink. It appeared we had blocked drains, Melbourne is very different to the moon when it comes to fixing such a problem. My wife simply says, ‘oh darling, call a guy to fix that’. What she doesn’t realise is, I am that guy! After I investigated the blockage I realised one of the advantages of being[…]

I know, I know. I’m an old sod who goes on and on about his glory days in space. Whatever. I know I’m brilliant. I don’t need little trolls on the internet like you reading this telling me what I am or am not. I’m an ex-astronaut for love’s sake! Do you have any idea what that means? That means I studied engineering at university and graduated with a PHD in aeronautics. It means I went through hours and hours of grueling training, physical discipline above anything you mere mortals could ever understand. Do you honestly think that I can’t repair a domestic oven? Well, the missus makes a call to a fridge and oven repairs company to come over[…]

It’s rare to find something that requires my expertise here. Unsurprisingly, peak physical fitness and a vast knowledge of different engineering functions rarely come in handy as a part time lecturer living in suburban Melbourne. There just aren’t any emergencies or problems that can be solved through utilising my skills. Having been in space and done things under such enormous amounts of pressure, making potentially life or death decisions in the silence of space, deciding which pest control company in Frankston I should call to deal with our termite problem seems a foreign, meaningless problem. Often, the only time I have to think, to really use my brain in a day, is in creating problems for my students. At least[…]

Hello, lovely readers. What follows is the synopsis of my forthcoming novella. Feel free to provide some feedback below. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. His name was Christian, child of God. Always a diligent Catholic, insides sooty with the dark flame of desire. Yet Christian’s desires were no mere temptations of earthly delights. No, his urges and proclivities were far more sordid, impelled by a demonic force hidden deep within. It came as no surprise to his mother when he was reported, at the supple young age of fifteen, attending funerals in Perth. It was the directors themselves who first alerted Mrs Gunter to her son’s odd behaviour. While outwardly Christian projected the image of the perfect son —[…]

I get asked to do a lot of publicity events in my time in space. There aren’t too many astronauts knocking around Melbourne so I tend to get a few calls here and there to deliver talks, answer questions and feature in the media. I don’t attend all of them but the only thing I love more than being up in space is helping others to get there so when it’s educational I always try and find the time. I recently got an inquiry asking me to deliver a lecture to a group of students undertaking a game design course. Apparently they wanted me to provide some inspiration for the development of a game based in space. The game would see[…]

Finally, something that makes sense! I’ll take four, one for each of my rooms. They come in different sizes and colours? Who knows, but I’m finding out. The thing about being in space is that at first, you’re not used to the artificial oxygen. It tastes off and metallic, like you’re stuck on a train car or in some metal smelting factory 24/7. I wasn’t sure if I could breathe the stuff for months, but eventually I just got used to it. And in the few moments when I noticed that it wasn’t ordinary Earth oxygen, I realised that I preferred it. Then I got back to ground, and…well, I suppose this oxygen will do. Who knows what’s on the[…]