By Jack Krasula
Recently, Colonel Jack Lousma was a guest on “Anything is Possible,” my weekly radio show on WJR. This Renaissance Man has been a Marine, military leader, scientist, astronaut, U.S. Senate candidate, the president of three companies, husband, father and a man of faith.
Lousma, who spent 67 days in space and completed 988 revolutions of the Earth, had some thoughts on what it was like to walk in space.
“When you’re in space for weeks every day kind of blends into another,” said Lousma. “The days you do space walks are special. I did two and it takes all day to prepare for and to unprepare from a spacewalk. When you are inside the spacecraft looking out at its altitude of 250 miles, you can just see part of the Earth, but when you go outside you have this three dimensional perspective that gives the sensation of speed and you’re going around the world every hour and a half.
Lousma continued: “You see cities, freeways and airports. It’s like gliding along on a magic carpet into the sunrise, into the sunset, into the sunrise, into the sunset. You see the colors of the oceans, the white of the clouds, the snow on the mountains, the green and brown patchwork of the farmer’s fields, the beautifully painted deserts the way the Master painted them and all their living hues of blues, reds, browns and purples.”
But there are things you don’t see.
“The thing you can’t see while you’re out there are the boundaries that separate the countries or the red and black lines that separate people from each other,” said Lousma. “You realize that they weren’t placed there when the world was created, but they were placed there by us and by man’s inhumanity to man.”
It’s here that Lousma’s faith steps up front and center.
“You get a sense that we are really small in this great universe that God has created and we’re so insignificant. We’re just in this Milky Way galaxy going around a mediocre sun which is just off in the corner of the galaxy. If you wanted to go across our galaxy at the speed of light, that’s equivalent to going around the world 71-ÂÂ2 times every second, it would take you 100,000 years just to cross our galaxy. To get to the next star beyond the sun it would take over four years at the speed of light. To get to the next galaxy would take over 2 million years. And now we think of our universe as 14 million light years big. If you were to count all those galaxies you would realize that there were enough galaxies in this whole universe for each of us on Earth to own 10 or 15 of our very own. Now I’ll tell you, that is big and it makes you really feel small, but it really makes you know how much God loves us to worry about each hair on our head and what goes on in our daily lives.”