As a kid one of my fantasies in life was to travel into space. I like to think that in one way or another we all shared that dream. We all heard the stories when we were children of flying cars in the future and as well going into orbit to visit a space station or even being able to visit a base on the moon as being a regular part of life.

And then reality sets in and that reality is that none of this ever happened. Yes we do have the International Space Station. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html and before that there was the Russian MIR space station and Skylab as well, and the Apollo-Soyuz space missions. And of course we have the glory days of NASA. http://www.nasa.gov/ Space projects Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle. Be we never was able to make space travel a regular part of life for the average person.

As a child I was a fan of science-fiction and I am still a fan of it as an adult. I recall when I was younger watching television shows like Star Trek http://www.startrek.com/ Space 1999 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_1999 and UFO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_%28TV_series%29 Even the original and the remake of Battlestar Galactica http://www.syfy.com/battlestar/ The remake was a fantastic show and I totally loved it. I have even watched the prequel Caprica http://www.syfy.com/caprica/ and that is another great show I think. And of course my all time favorite movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_%28film%29

Well it looks like my childhood dream of going into space is about to come true in an odd roundabout way. It seems that NASA has a program called “Face in Space.” You can view the site at. https://faceinspace.nasa.gov/index.aspx The text below is from the homepage of “Face in Space.”

“NASA wants to put a picture of you on one of the two remaining space shuttle missions and launch it into orbit. LaterReturn to this site after launch to print your Flight Certificate – a commemorative certificate signed by the Mission Commander.”

I thought that this was so cool. So of course without any hesitation I signed up and submitted a photo to send into orbit. Once you submit your name, and photo you print a confirmation page that has your ID number to use later to get your flight certificate. According to the website once the Space Shuttle lands after its mission you go back to the site seven days later to get your certificate.

I have always wanted to check out a shuttle launch in person, but never have. But when one does launch I try to catch it on television. So I thought this was just perfect for me. It’s not actually me going up but an image and I am totally fine with that. Besides it’s the final two launches who would not want to be a part of that and history? As well there is no fee or cost for doing this, it’s totally free and free is always a good thing.

After submitting my information and my best photo I have saved my confirmation to my net book. While looking at my confirmation I joked to myself. “I just booked a flight on the space shuttle.” My photo will be going up on flight STS-133. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/index.html

I picked that flight because it’s the space shuttle Discovery that will be going up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Discovery And if you recall earlier in my post I mentioned that my all time favorite movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey. And if you remember the spaceship that character Astronaut David Bowman traveled in was named “Discovery One.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_One HAL was the super computer that operated the spaceship. So in an odd little way it’s my tribute to my love of science fiction and my childhood fantasy of going off into space.

And of course I am not actually going up in the flight; it’s just a photograph that will be taking my place. But at lease by sending a photo it will be a part of me that will be going up into orbit.

When this launch does happen I do plan to view it on television for now I have a special interest since my image will be going up. And you know I will be screaming at the top of my lungs yelling “go, go, go” when it does launch.

Not everyone gets to live out their childhood dream. But if given the opportunity to live out your childhood dream how could you refuse such an offer not to do so? The only difference between a dream and reality is that one (the dream) never happens. It just stays a thought… So for me to be involved in this project by NASA along with many other people who have signed up just brings the dream to life for me.

So I am counting down to the 4:33 p.m. EDT – November. 1, 2010 launch. For on that day a dream becomes a reality.



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