People have some serious misconceptions about astronauts. They think that we eat pills for breakfast and that we spend our time floating around in a capsule. While it’s true that we eat carefully packaged and highly condensed foods, and we’re in superb physical shape which allows us to adapt to the lack of gravity conditions, it’s far from the cliche. Another misconception is that astronauts care not for their physical appearance. I guess Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong probably gave the world that impression. But it’s not true. Some of us are quite into pruning and manscaping, and take pride in our looks. Since my daughter has been doing her makeup courses in Brisbane, I’ve learnt a lot about how[…]

Used to be that you could turn on the TV and watch whatever came on. I don’t want to make myself sound too old, but reality TV just wasn’t around when I was growing up and it shows in what the young folks of today are really into. Sometimes I’ll turn on the TV a for a bit of a curious squizz and I’ll see all sorts of inane rubbish. Oh, ten idiots living in a house. How does that qualify as entertainment? I come back to Melbourne and TV antennas have popped up all over the place. Really, sticking out of every roof. You know where we didn’t have TV? That’s right…space. We picked up a lot of signals,[…]

People think that there are no trees in space. They are wrong. We had one in our capsule. It had actually been planted into a giant pot  during construction of the shuttle and allowed to grow. By the time it was due for us to go up into space, the tree was flourishing. It was an attractive feature of our space shuttle. I have to say we might have gone stir crazy if it wasn’t for old Bella (that’s what we called the tree). It was a cherry blossom tree that was genetically modified to be flowering roughly one week out of every month instead of for a few weeks every year. The psychologists working on the project made a[…]

With the arrival of our first grandson just around the corner we are extremely excited. We have been helping our daughter and son-in-law prepare as well as doing some preparations ourselves. We are going to have him stay with us one night a week to help out for the first few months. So we are redecorating one of the guest rooms into a beautiful baby’s nursery. Of course, it has to be space themed. That way, even if we get thrown a curve-ball and it’s a girl, it will still be fitting! I have had ongoing consultations with an excellent interior painter based in Melbourne. They understand exactly what I am going for and have painstakingly gone through all the[…]

I might not actually LIKE Perth, but there’s a very good reason I want to be buried there. See, on the space mission we faced many dangers. Pieces of debris just floating around from previous missions were on such example. Equipment malfunction while out space-walking was another. The list goes on, but obviously, space is not a place designed for man to thrive, not without piles of equipment to keep them breathing. I had to make sure my will was up to date before I left, everyone knew what to do with my estate, all of that complicated jargon. Not that many people die in space nowadays, but it’s still more hazardous than a trip to the milk bar. Now,[…]