National Geographic: Destination Space


Foale was accepted into

the astronaut class of 1987.

He stood out even among

this elite corps.

On his third shuttle mission,

Foale and his crewmates circled

the Russian space station Mir.

Foale instantly felt its allure.

At that time I can remember seeing

Yelena Kondakova in the window there,

and she would wave and say, "Hey,

we want you to come and have tea."

And, I said, "With pleasure,"

and that was about the limit of

my Russian and, uh,

unfortunately we couldn't stop

and have tea.

We had to back away.

And I said, "Some other time."

Mir has its grip on Foale.

In two years he will return, the fifth

American to live aboard the station.

In his more than four months onboard,

Michael Foale will learn that Mir is a

place where dreams collide with reality.

He will experience the terror of space

as well as the wonder.

The great attraction of space

is that

that is sort of the incubator

of everything.

And the mysteries of existence,

the origins of the universe,

the presence of, call it a god,

resides out there.

And I think one of the motives

for going into space

or studying space is trying to

understand our place in the cosmos.

One astronomer's obsession

with our place in the heavens

drives him to the remote hills

of Puerto Rico.

Twice a year, Seth Shostak travels

to an enormous radio telescope

to listen for signs of

extraterrestrial life.

Sharp cuts in funding and years

of hearing only false alarms

have done nothing to deter Shostak.

For him, the search itself

is irresistible.

You know, it's like that carrot

in front of you,

because that carrot seems to be

getting bigger.

Every year we do this,

the equipment is a little better,

we can check out a few more

star systems, and, you know,

I wouldn't do it if I didn't think

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Alford Van Ronkel

Alford Van Ronkel was born on July 2, 1908 in Illinois, USA as Alford Arthur Von Ronkel. He was a writer and actor, known for Destination Moon (1950), The Bamboo Saucer (1968) and Once Upon a Scoundrel (1973). He was married to Carol. He died on March 30, 1965 in Hollywood, California, USA. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "National Geographic: Destination Space" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 11 Apr. 2021. <>.

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