You Can Fly

Even without the benefit of years of expensive transcendental meditation, you can truly fly. The only trick is that you have to get yourself into space first. But once you’re there, the experience sounds an awful lot like the wishful daydreams I’ve had about it. I say this because I’ve been reading astronaut Ed Lu’s blog-in-space called Greetings Earthlings.

With all this space shuttle mess we’re in, it’s easy to forget that there are people still living in orbit. Lu is doing an entertaining job of describing what it’s like to be there. I was particularly struck by his description of flying.

The next thing to think about is how hard you push off. If you push too hard, you end up going really fast, and the next thing you know you are crashing into something on the other wall. Again, with nothing to slow you down in the middle of the module you are kind of helpless until you hit the far wall. It turns out that you don’t need to push off from the wall as hard as you might think. On the ground, it takes a lot of work to move around because you are constantly fighting the force of gravity trying to make you fall to the floor. Up here, a push of maybe a few pounds is about right to fly across the module at a comfortable speed.

It sure sounds like fun, but I think at some point I’d be ready, as with a carnival ride, for it to be done. Here’s a picture of Ed Lu flying (or maybe he’s hovering, I can’t tell). [via Slashdot]