It’s strange to have artistic time on my hands now that “My Village” is hanging on display and I’ve taken a few pieces to Harcourt House for the annual Members’ Show and Sale. As I sat minding “My Village” yesterday, I started doodling illustrations for an idea I had a few days ago. For the past few months I’ve been following the adventure of “Astronaut Abby“, Abigail Harrison, an audacious teenager from Minnesota who intends to be the first person to walk on Mars. As part of her preparation, Abby has devoted herself to reaching out to other young people to inspire them to pursue studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The latest part of that outreach has been a partnership with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and a crowdfunded journey to Baikonur Cosmodrome to see Luca’s launch. On her return, Abby intends to visit schools in person and to give virtual talks and workshops about her experiences and ambitions. Throughout, this astronautic mission has been powered by social media in its finest manifestation.
I couldn’t help but think as I followed Abby’s exploits, and the exploits of Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, that Abby is, in fact, living in the science fiction I read as a teen. So, I decided to recreate a little piece of Abby’s Golden Age Science Adventure as a bit of doodling. First I jotted down an opening for a story about a mid-west teen setting out on an adventure to Baikonur, the Space Station, and Mars, trying to catch a bit of the flavour of 1930’s juvenile pulp magazine science fiction. Then, as I sat minding “My Village” I doodled in a sketchbook. Here’s the final sketch I made:
Then I scanned the sketch and did a bit of computer work on it:
Then I chiriped the product off to Abby at the mighty spaceport of Baikonur Cosmodrome from my handheld teleputer just in time for Luca’s launch to the World’s Space Station.
Now I’m about to watch Abby’s mysterious Italian mentor arrive at his destination in his Soyuz space ship. On one of I don’t know how many computers I have in my house.
It’s science fiction, I tell you!
Update, June 2, 2013 – Astronaut Thomas H. Marshburn (@AstroMarshburn) tweeted at 9:23 PM on Sun, Jun 02, 2013 this bit of Science Fiction Poetry (it even rhymes):
“Perfect morning under gray skies with a light rain & warm wind on my face. I missed life under clouds while in space.”
But it’s not Science Fiction! This is a real Spaceman celebrating his return to the Green Hills of Earth!
Tomorrow is here!
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