And so, I was not a military test pilot, but as soon as NASA expressed an interest in flying scientists and people who were not military test pilots, that was an epiphany that just came like a stroke of lightning.
I didn't wish those tragedies upon the people who played them out. It was certainly tragic for them, but not for me. All of those things brought me to where I am. Without those things, I couldn't be who I am, I wouldn't be here.
I think there are huge lessons there, for young people who are getting started in life, as well as other people. And that is, to take responsibility for your own life. Only you are responsible for the course you take from there.
Most of our history in space has been communicated in terms of action - what people do, a chronological list of events which have transpired - as opposed to the human experience of having done those things.
When you're looking that far out, you're giving people their place in the universe, it touches people. Science is often visual, so it doesn't need translation. It's like poetry, it touches you.
The statistics of life out there and the statistics of intelligent beings and advanced civilization is a certainty, the way I look at it. that It has not been accepted, because we've been in an anthropocentric era.
I feel particularly close to them, because I am now out in the universe. I'm in a position to see nature from another point of view, to be outside the earth and see the big picture.
It's hard to say what drives a three year-old, but I think I had a sense that nature was my solace, and nature was a place in which there was beauty, in which there was order.
Their spirituality was in nature, even though Emerson was a preacher on the pulpit, he ended up going out into nature for direct, face-to-face communication with God, if you want to call all of this creation part of God.
There really isn't a time to pause and have a celebration. I feel so serious about the whole thing.
I've already written 300 space poems. But I look upon my ultimate form as being a poetic prose. When you read it, it appears to be prose, but within the prose you have embedded the techniques of poetry.
Poetry is its own medium; it's very different than writing prose. Poetry can talk in an imagistic sense, it has particular ways of catching an environment.
If we ever start communicating with living creatures from other planets, the number one priority is, how are you going to communicate information? Even between different cultures here on Earth, you get into communication problems.