It’s funny how the tiniest little mistake can have the most catastrophic and irreversible consequences.

The Mars Orbiter fell, burning a fiery streak down through the atmosphere and crashing into the red dust, all because the Americans and Europeans didn’t realize they’d written their code in different units. The Mariner 1 exploded into a fireball of tragedy and crushed dreams a mere 294.5 seconds after lift-off because of a missing minus sign. And no one can forget what happened to all the colonists of Rigel 7, all for the want of a spare fuse.

I am an astronaut. They teach you, over and over again, until it’s absolutely drilled into your mind, into your very bones, that if you let go of something on a walk to immediately forget about it. It’s gone. Don’t ever try to reach for something in space that’s floating away. Newton’s First means no second chances.

Because in space there is zero air resistance. There is zero room for error. There is only inertia.

Now I just wish someone would reach for me. I’m so alone.


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