Whenever you need to step back from life, the universe and everything, watch Earth Views, live from ISS.
Last night I tuned into the live stream of NASA to see the first launch of Space X that includes humans on board. I felt a bit uncomfortable watching it. It took me a while to figure out why, but then I realised that the last time I watched humans being sent into space was in 1986, when the Challenger exploded. I was seven and watching TV in someone else’s home. It was not real-time coverage like it was yesterday, but with a short delay the images of an exploding spacecraft were broadcasted on Dutch TV and I saw it happening in the midst of adults breathing in and falling silent. Since that day I can’t recall ever having watched a launch live. Not even when the Dutch astronaut Kuipers was sent to the ISS in 2004. That explains why I felt uncomfortable. I asked myself the question whether I wanted to witness a disaster real-time. But of course all went smooth. Just like the launch of all the other astronauts that visited ISS over the years.