The Launch

 

I buckled my seatbelt and turned my head to look out the window. The blue sky filled with clouds billowing around outside. I frowned and pressed my cheek to the glass. There I could barely see the sliver of the runway running on and on, but there it was, just in front of us. A smile filled my face and I took in its features. Like a rollercoaster it had a track that would allow the plane to gather speed then zoom off into infinity. I was waiting for that moment just like every other passenger.

My mind can picture the moment when the engines are fired up and there is a slight roaring in the distance (NASA created these new planes so that you can’t hear the fierce noise of the engine. In my opinion, it isn’t as fun as the old ones where the intense noise jolted you into fear.) You barely feel anything as the plane glides on the tracks. It picks up speed and before long it reaches the end of the tracks. There is a slight feeling of being in open air, then zoom, you’re racing up. There’s a strong jolt as the plane breaks through the atmosphere and then you’re in space. The plane continues to zoom along, and you peek out your window and look at Earth in amazement. How lovely…you whisper. For the rest of the ride you continue staring at the blue and green planet covered in swirling clouds. It is mesmerizing, and you can’t take your eyes off of it. But, too soon, you arrive at the moon. There are no windows anywhere on base so this is your last opportunity to stare at the lovely planet. The ship comes to rest in its cradle with a jolt, and the windows are covered. You leave the ship in a trance and look for that blue and green floating marble. There aren’t any windows, and you wonder why that has to be. Seeing the Earth is the best part of being on the Moon. What else could…

My mind snapped back into the present as the captain spoke.
“This is your captain speaking. Please remember, this is a test run. Please follow the safety precautions and be prepared to eject yourselves from the plane if the need arises. The flight attendants will walk around now to introduce those who are unfamiliar with the safety precautions of space planes. The plane will ascend to the end of the ramp then will continue along an arc until it descends down another ramp. We will be testing the capabilities of the plane and the ramps. After this test run, the passengers will decide whether both the plane and ramps need improvement or if they are ready for global use. Thank you for putting your lives on the line for the good of space travel, and have a nice flight.”

I sighed. Yes, that’s right we weren’t going into space, we were just going up then down. Risk? There is none, all danger has been accounted for in the safety protocol. It’s a joke; even if it is what keeps us alive. I know it will go as planned; already the engines are humming. Now we’re sliding forward, and there’s the slight free fall. My hair flies up. My glasses slide up my face. A slight humming resounds through the ship. That’s the noise of the rockets being fired. My stomach curls and ties itself in a knot as I feel as if I’m going up and down at the same time. This is how it feels to go in an arc aboard a space plane. We dip back down into a freefall and I slide forward. My glasses fall to the floor of the plane. Here we are clunking onto the tracks for the descent and slowing down. But I can still feel the sensation of being fired up into the sky, and I long to go back up, to reach higher, to go far away. A sigh escapes my lips as I reach down and grab my glasses. In my head I compile the day’s events.

My accomplishments for the day were: testing an almost perfect spaceship and
launch mechanism. And, day dreaming about the old days…

Problems with the ship: not being like it used to be (which really isn’t a problem).

Problems with the tracks: a slight jolt at landing (that would only affect the people who want comfort, comfort, and even more comfort).

Dissatisfactions: things being too good and too perfect.

Wishes: that life was not perfect.

Reasons: life is to be studied because it is perfectly imperfect. Somehow it all just links together though humans mess with the links. Everything that is new is less wasteful though I wish for the old spaceships to be back. They are my love.

I left the ship with a smile on my face; in truth I loved everything that was new and breaking frontiers. I longed for the past even so.