The trip to Geneva ended in a high with the Nasa reception at the Intercontinental Hotel. We were addressed by the astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria (above) who told us about life on the International Space Station, and talked us through a short film.
It must be a very weird life. There's the years of training, not knowing what mission if any will come. Then there's the very real risks of death associated with launch and re-entry. While up there you are constrained in this tiny tin can where nothing stays still but the views are great.
I could probably cope with that. But the worst bit comes after the mission - years upon years of receptions like this one for the good of Nasa PR. By the end of the evening after meeting and greeting with a long line with sweaty palms, smiling for dozens of snaps, and signing piles of photos his eyes were distinctly glazed.
Makes Neil Armstrong's decision to live a hermit life very understandable!
But exploring space is something that thrills us all - like many when young I wanted to be an astronaut. Its also a force for aspiration and unity in a time of gloom and disunity. To look up at the stars not down into the gutter.
So I hope they get their way and we head back to the Moon. And thanks to those who make it possible - the American tax payer.
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