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Me: What was your first thought when you first went to space?

Stephen : “ I.. There was so much going on at the moment. The pressure, the speed. But this thing I know for sure. I was nearly in my 40s when I first went to space. And you know what. I wanted to do it for 38 years. All of those rejection letters, all those No-s, pushing down’s. It was all worth it. It was all worth it. It’s always worth it.”

- Stephen Robinson NASA Astronaut (Shuttle mission STS-85, STS-95, STS-130, STS-114) - 02/11/2019

Before getting one of the warmest hugs and a free necklace as a present from this man, he also shared a little secret with me.
“See these birds right here?” - he told me quietly, “ In the beginning they weren’t facing each other. Then, one day a group came interested in my work. They told me the birds looked very similar to them, to people, not talking to each other. Since that day I started making them facing each other. Always. See, today you came and talked to me. I talked to you. It was beautiful wasn’t it?”

“I’ll end this year with my favorite place I’ve been in 2019. You can see me if you zoom in, but there’s others you can’t see without being there yourself. The spirits of the stories. It’s a secret. Between the skin of my fingers and the grass. The lava and the clothes I haven’t washed in 4 days. My heart and the fresh breeze. My lungs and the smell of the ocean. My eyes and the sky. It’s a secret between me and the land.
May you find your own secrets in 2020.”