An Incredible Trip To The Moon And Back
We were very excited. And who wouldn’t be? After all it is not every day that you get to travel to the Moon. The Moon had been on our bucket list for quite some time now and we were happy and looking forward to a great time on the Moon.
We took a flight from Ahmedabad to Thiruvananthapuram city and from there took a cab to Thumba, a small nondescript town on the outskirts of the city. The only distinctive feature of this town was the fact that it housed India’s only Spaceport. Thumba is located very close to the Earth’s magnetic equator and hence its pride of place in India’s space programmes.
It took an hour at the Spaceport to clear immigration and we were finally seated in our spacecraft ready to blast off on our lunar odyssey. The Space Hostesses moved around cheerfully making sure everyone was comfortable, the Captain fired his staccato greetings on the PA system and informed us that the flight to the Moon would cover a distance 370,300 Kilometers and would take 8 hrs. and 35 minutes, the spacecraft would travel on an average speed of 58,536 Kms./Hour.
We fastened our seat belts and waited for takeoff. There was a loud roar and the spacecraft shook violently and we were off, on a trajectory that would pierce the Earth’s atmosphere and take us to the Moon.
“Crew, disarm all doors for landing”, the staccato command from the Captain, woke me up from a deep slumber. I realized immediately that I had literally slept my way to the Moon.
The Captain was now back on the PA system, barking out safety instructions:
“Stay on the dark side of the Moon and do not wander away from the OE(Oxygen Enriched) Zone, it could be fatal
“Wear protective shoes and gloves and do not touch any Moon rocks with bare hands”, you will be fine!
We soon disembarked from the Spacecraft and passed through immigration and were out of the Spaceport. We got into a Moon Buggy which took us to our Hotel. We crashed into our beds, tired and eager to drive away our Space lag.
Top 3 tourist attractions on the Moon
The Sea of Tranquility
This is a must see sight on the Moon, it is a sea of dark and solidified lava which is at a lower altitude and stretches as far as the eyes can see. One can sit on the banks of the Sea of tranquility and simply gaze at it for hours and hours. One can also take a Moon Buggy ride across the circumference of the Sea.
This is a unique museum cum memorial, built at the very spot that Neil Armstrong took his fist small step for man and a giant leap for mankind. The Museum has on display the space suits used by Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts, the original Moon Buggy and many other memorabilia. The high point of the museum is the unique Lunadrome where one can personally interact with holograms of Neil Armstrong and other Space travelers where they answer whatever you want to know about the Moon and Space.
There is also a section of the Museum devoted to EARTH. Here we saw the holograms of many species of animals which once roamed the earth but now extinct. These included Tigers, Lions, Elephants and Apes. The last exhibit in this section sent a chill down our spines, the caption read, “Save Man, who is on his last leg”
On the Moon the time difference between a sunrise and sunset is two weeks. Also parts of the moon remain in perpetual shadow while parts remain in perpetual light.
A sunrise generally happens every 29.5 days on the Moon and is an event which is eagerly awaited. We had planned our visit to coincide with this occurrence. We were excited to see a sunrise on the moon.
But to say the least, we were disappointed as the sun rose abruptly over the horizon, no rosy tinged hues, no kaleidoscopic colors like what we get on earth. We were told that as the Moon does not have an atmosphere the light directly hits the surface of the Moon and hence the light is not broken up into myriad colors.
Some tips which will come in handy if you are planning a Moon trip
- Daytime temperatures on the sunny side of the Moon reach 273 degrees F (134 C); on the dark side it gets as cold as minus 243 F (minus 153 C)
- Any time is good to visit as the Moon does not have any seasons
- It is a myth that there is no gravitational force on the Moon, the force is there but much less, so if you are worried about your weight, the Moon is ‘the’ place for you, you shall weigh just 16.6% of what you weigh on Earth
- Be prepared for food that you may not even recognize, all food on the Moon is freeze-dried, dehydrated and thermo-stabilized
- In terms of clothes, you would not need those bulky space suits of the kind Neil Armstrong wore, all you need is special heeled protective shoes and a good pair of gloves, because you will not lose heat as there is no atmosphere on the Moon
We had a great time on our first space trip, how about you? Which was your first space trip? Do let us know all about it through our comments section.
A loud and deafening roar woke me up. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes thinking we had landed back on earth.
A cool breeze blew in from the open window, a jet was flying high up in the sky with a deafening roar and slowly the sound faded away. I looked at the clock on the bedside, it was 3 in the morning!
I sighed and looked out of the window, the Moon shone brilliantly in the dark sky, slivers of moonlight streamed through the window and fell on the face of my wife as she slept serenely oblivious to the turmoil within me.
I again looked at the Moon and smiled to myself.
“What’s wrong with you? Why are you grinning like a lunatic?
The questions came from a sleepy and slightly puzzled wife.
I looked at her, and before I could answer her questions, she had gone back to sleep.
With a last lingering look at the Moon, I too snuggled back into bed.
Did you like my journey to the moon? Have you had any such experiences?
DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional account and any resemblance to any person, place or thing is purely coincidental.