Community Radio

WRBP | Community Radio – Season 8, Episode 10: Living in Space

April 30, 2023

Season 8, Episode 10
May 14, 2023
Theme: Living in Space

Space: the final frontier. These are the opening words from the introduction to Star Trek, arguably the most important piece of science fiction from the 20th century. As a major Star Wars fan, I don’t actually have a hard time saying that. Star Trek is aspirational. The concepts present throughout the television episodes and motion pictures depict an inspiring culture of inclusion, diversity and idealism. Things that may have seemed impossible on Earth in the 1960s are commonplace in this world.

Perhaps that is because of the setting. The world of Star Trek is one that is not only in the future, but outside of the confines of Earth as well. The stories we see take place on starships, space stations, other planets, and moons, locations wholly unfamiliar to nearly every human being on the planet. Most of us will never know what it’s like to leave the atmosphere of our planet. However, there are people who truly have gone where no man has gone before – including nine Americans who lived on our country’s first space station, Skylab.

Skylab was launched on May 14, 1973. Before the end of the month, three astronauts were living on the station, making repairs to parts of the station damaged during launch and deployment. Two other 3-person crews of astronauts would follow, each staying for a longer period of time than the crew before. These astronauts conducted experiments and observed the sun, giving us – in my opinion – one of the most awe-inspiring photos of our solar system’s star.

But in reading about Skylab, I am more fascinated by the experience of the human beings who lived there for weeks. The design principles that focused on habitability; the demands on their time by Mission Control; eating and showering more than 200 miles above the Earth. When I get overwhelmed packing for a vacation, I remind myself, “I can buy whatever I need when I’m there.” That is literally impossible in Earth’s orbit.

Fewer than 600 people have even been to space. And only a portion of those people have spent extended periods of time there. What would it be like to actually live there, beyond the boundaries of our atmosphere? Most of us will never know – but I think it’s neat to consider it. So, our theme for episode 10 of Community Radio, season 8 is Living in Space.

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