Fragile Oasis

Connecting Space and Earth: Learn. Act. Make a Difference.

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We Get to Carry Each Other

Watching a video of U2’s “One” featuring Mary J. Blige this weekend brought me back to the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan waiting for the countdown and my launch to space – and inspired me to write this post.

Just before entering the Soyuz on April 4, 2011

During the two and a half hours between the time Sasha Samokutyaev, Andrey Borisenko and I entered the Soyuz spacecraft and our launch, we had specific tasks to perform, but most of the action was taking place on the ground and in mission control. Music was piped into our capsule, including, “One.” I particularly like this song because the lyrics really capture the “Orbital Perspective,” and, I also listened to it quite frequently while in space.

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

I think both U2 and Mary J. Blige demonstrate an unwillingness to accept the status quo. Through their efforts, most notably Bono’s ONE, the song's namesake, and MJB’s FFAWN . They demonstrate a commitment to leave the world a little better than they found it.

Mary J. Blige (who, by the way, attended my alma mater Roosevelt HS in Yonkers, NY) co-founded FFAWN, The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, which is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire women to gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their individual potential through programs that foster education, career development, strong self-esteem, and personal growth.

Mary J. Blige and I went to the same high school, and briefly, "shared" this view of our beautiful fragile oasis as I photographed her CD from the International Space Station cupola.

Bono co-founded ONE, which is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

The Irish band U2, including Bono (top photo) and The Edge, visited Johnson Space Center with their families

ONE and FFAWN are just two examples of thousands of organizations around the world working to improve life on our fragile oasis. Our Collaboration Project is striving to connect humanity's changemakers to the challenges of our planet -- and to each other -- through a universal, open source platform that will help achieve common goals. Stay tuned for more.