One free trip to space or free international travel for life?

One free trip to space.

This is a difficult one. You have all the safety issues to take into account and I love international travel, being fortunate enough to have been abroad most years of my young life. But just being able to go anywhere whenever I want for my whole life would make it boring and not as special. One free trip to space would be enormously special.

It’s funny though, isn’t it, how small we are. We are literally a fly in a cathedral (well, literally in terms of size comparison) in our solar system alone which is a couple of light years wide, let alone the observable universe which is billions of light years wide – and who knows how much is out there that we can’t see?

And yet, >0.01% of people have ventured off our little fibre in a carpet universe. Because I am so small, I think that a trip to space would be special. And it would. And if it’s free then wow – who could say no to that just because they’d rather spend a lifetime exploring the different microscopic features of our tiny carpet fibre? And of course I’d get to experience what astronauts mean when they say you can’t tell up from down, when they talk about the awe of seeing the Earth as a beautiful ball floating in a black sea.

I would not give up that opportunity.

However, I have to say that when I think of places I’d like to visit I think more of Greenland, Canada, the French Polynesia, Scandinavia and South America than space. Maybe there’s a good reason for that. Of course, Earth-bound travel is fine and probably nicer, more hospitable, perhaps even more beautiful than space. Few other planets we know of are as dynamic and none are as geologically active or fertile as ours. Because we have people, we have so many different cultures and towns and cities to explore.

Still, I could not give up the opportunity to go where so few others have gone before and conquer my fears, free or not free. And I know it never will be free, but who knows, it might even be affordable in my lifetime. The world’s first commercial spaceport is already being constructed.

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