God I absolutely LOVE images and personal reflections from astronauts in space. .... !
Funny, last whole round it was via TWITTER and the protocol naming of AstroPaolo and names like that... Now, though, I suppose due to Google's NAME POLICY, nothing fanciful like that was permitted....
So tell me, +Ron Garan
, how can we easily spot all your peers -- all astronauts on Mission, and particularly those who love to take photos and share observations?
I think it's hands down still one of the greatest advances of mankind -- not the spacecrafts and engineering to get there per se -- THAT TOO IS STAGGERING... But no, it's the ease, OBVIOUSNESS and fluidity of INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION on all these Missions... We see Explorers, we see Researchers, we see, Scientists, we see Problem Solvers, we see Inventors, we see, Discoverers, we see Cooperative Routines and Collaborative construction.... and none of it, not one piece of it, is polluted by the petty nationalistic governmental possessiveness of the various participating nation states.
For those of us who witness all of this, NONE of it is a surprise! It was only a surprise once -- when the US and USSR first collaborated on the International Space Station so many years ago. And the fact that it was a surprise then -- an exuberant uplifting surprise -- way back when is a testimony to how pathetic governments can be at indoctrination and demonization of an entire language or demographic and geographic region of people. I say this not to dwell on that past, but to emphasize the majestic nature of the now, as a cautionary reminder that there was never ever anything evil about Russian/Soviet citizenry or people. Yet we in America were explicitly taught that they were in fact EVIL, out to kill us, out to crush us.
And when the smoke clears, it's always the same: GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURES, or theories of ECONOMY, imposed upon people by other people -- sometimes by force, sometimes by charismatic deception, sometimes by megalomania, sometimes by thirst for money and power to control resources, sometimes by bait & switch -- and sometimes not even imposed at all, but rather experimented as a potential improvement to a prior methodology that could use improvement. But over and over and over again, PEOPLE, citizens are tarred with the outrageous deeds of their governments decision makers (I won't use the word "leaders", it is often not apt).... and then State Media goes in for the kill to teach the population how horrifying every single living in Quadrant X of the globe is, by virtue of their residing there.
Sadly, the USA discovered in the past ten years in particular, that it TOO has "State Media" --- and its State Media, carried out by Conglomerate Media Networks whose interests are served via quid-pro-quo lobbying by US Senate and House Legislators' votes which corporate networks' unlimited treasuries buy via election financing ---- is every bit as good at demonizing entire populations of humanity as any of the worst offenders thru-out modern history since Television was invented.
But all your images of multinational cooperation, and alignment of purpose, and the commonality of human values shared across all cultures, obliterate all of the disinformation... And for me they, correctly so, SHAME the nations who continue to proliferate stories that paint inhabitants of entire regions of the world as EVIL or "our enemies". Such obsolete, silly, pathetic, last-gasp thinking. Thankfully, no one has to read my 1000 words (nor will they). The images always say it better. Thank you, to all of you up there, and all of you on Planet Earth too.