There’s a Canadian on the International Space Station right now. His name is Bob. He’s circling the world, at every trajectory, like a ball of yarn. He goes around every 90 minutes. I don’t know why.

Up on the Sunshine Coast, where you can see the stars clearly, we have been tracking Bob. We shout Hi, Bob! up at the sky when we see the light of the space station pass. We wish him safe passage. It kind of feels like he is our friend, this fellow Canadian, 160 miles up.

Saturday night, we knew Bob would appear at 9:22. He was late. Two minutes later, Fran spied him coming up through the trees to the west. We shouted our usual goodwill messages, but Clarence and I moved beyond the campfire, out into a purer dark.

Clarence and I watched Bob’s progress on the International Space Station as it went eastward. We talked about the space station and how cool it was to see it all so clearly. But then Clarence got bored and went back to the fire.

I watched til Bob went past the trees on the horizon. He was traveling east, but out there in the solitary dark, I wanted to send him a message of solidarity. A message that he was not alone. That I was thinking about him, increasingly westward as he orbited the earth, out there in cold and lonely space.

2 Comments to “Space.”

  1. By John, September 2, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

    I’ll have to remember that: “Hi Bob!”

    Makes me tear up a little, and somewhat scared.

    What’s the rover on Mars that’s stuck? Spirit? I was listening to a documentary about this little rover stuck in some soft sand somewhere on the surface of Mars, and I was tearing up, thinking of this poor little robot out there, all alone, with no way to get home, and no plans to collect it.

  2. By Liz, September 2, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    It made me surprisingly emotional, too. I didn’t know Spirit was stuck, though. That makes me tear up as well.

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