The dream of being an astronaut
There are people who love to stay home, others are adventurers and go out to get to know the world. But for me, home is not a building, It is not a hometown, It is not even my motherland. Planet Earth , this is my home and not exploring Outer Space is like staying home all the time. The thing that makes me think like that is my dream. Have you ever felt this feeling like your blood is boiling? When you can’t sleep, because there’s this thing in your head. When you can’t think of anything else. When you get goosebumps every time you talk about it. Well, that is what I call a dream. My dream is out of this world! So today I will present you “The Dream Of Being An Astronaut”. What are the difficulties? How am i supposed to make this dream come true? Am I afraid? Will I succeed? And most importantly why do I not have a future in Bulgaria?
I was very small when I fell in love with Outer Space. I couldn’t wait for summer because I really loved watching the Perseid Meteor Shower in August. I was interested in all cosmic events, storms and natural phenomena. Whenever I thought about working for NASA, I stopped because I knew that only the smartest people on the planet managed to get there. But last year something changed. I recorded a two-minute video explaining why I should go to Space Camp Turkey and to my great surprise, I won the full scholarship for this camp.
If you don‘t know this is one of three Nasa Space Camps in the world. The aim of the camp is to train participants as astronauts in the field of science. Trainees who are trained there go through all simulators and trainers. They have a real mission in the space shuttle “Discovery”. They build and launch rockets, they have different scientific presentations about the solar and lunar eclipses, they can learn interesting things about the ISS and even to build one on a computer. Also, they can learn what food astronauts eat or where and how they go to the toilet. But the most important thing for me was one movie.
While I was there we watched several movies, which can‘t be seen anywhere else because NASA provides them only to the Space Camps. The most significant thing in one of the films was the quote „Imagine that this astronaut is you!“. At that moment my heart accelerated Its pace and my thoughts broke apart. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted my life to be meaningful. So I did my best-est to win the Space Camp award „Outstanding camper“. I knew that I should not be mediocre in order to succeed it the Space area. Two days later I went back home and told my mother that I will dedicate my life to learning, exploring and making myself the best candidate for university and the First Bulgarian Woman in space!
I started school. I started reading books about space, I started to connect with people known for their achievements in astrophysics and quantum physics…I met other teenagers who want to become an astronaut. Now I text with them every single day. I went to a master class in particle physics. I am inspiring and motivating young children. I take extra physics classes,I became a student space ambassador for the Mars Generation Foundation. I even bought space clothes. Now, I am planning my trip to the American Space Camp in Alabama. I started looking for universities and moreover, with all of my hobbies and different activities or obligations I am still an excellent student in school.
My biggest problem is that I’m born and I live in Bulgaria. Bulgaria is a wonderful country in many ways but I don‘t have many opportunities here due to the fact that Bulgaria DOES NOT have a signed contract with the European Space Agency. It costs only 1 million euro, which for Bulgaria is nothing. ESA has 22 member countries and guess what – Bulgaria is not one of them. Yes, I am sad and angry about that but I am determined to fight about MY and OUR space future. How am I gonna find a solution to this problem? Well, I can only encourage Bulgarians to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. We can start doing more trainings, we can invite astronauts from other countries or people with more experience in the space area or just scientists.
I will tell you what I am gonna do by myself. Firstly, my prority is to graduate from school with excellent marks. This summer I will get my scuba-diving licence. Next year I will start going to Astronomy club, I will go to different international camps and academies. I want to meet with the two Bulgarian cosmonauts Georgi Ivanov and Alexander Alexandrov. I want to apply in three universities: one of them is Cambridge, the other one is International Space University and last but not at least Harvard. Except this main things I have to do, I also have different features, which I have to improve in myself. I have to work on my patience, my will, my tolerance, my team-work, my character, I have to take care of my mental and physical health and so on and so forth. And YES, I’m doing these things but the responsibility is not only on me doing this.
WE have to be vocal. WE have to share stories like mine and even promote the Bulgarian Space exploration in front of the government. More Bulgarians should realise what we can have. Everything will change If we sign a contract. We will automatically have an astronaut! Children and teenagers could go to the ESA space camp. Our kids and peers can contribute to the science. Why haven’t we sent a Bulgarian to Space since 1988? Why, Bulgaria? Why? If we want to see a change in the world, we have to start with ourselves. Many people tell me that I have to quit. That everything I do is meaningless, that I can‘t succeed. And you know what? I promise that someday I will be proud to say „I did it“. I will get my American citizenship If I have to. I will learn Russian perfectly If I have to and If I have to – I will try 50 or even a hundred times until I succeed. I would love to do all this without leaving my country! Live your dreams and make them a reality! „We are launching the rocket! Roger, It‘s the commander.“
Describe yourself in 5 words?
Ambitious, wild, change, extraordinary, myself.
What are your top 5 values (principles or standards of behavior)?
Justice, responsibility, organization, purpose and will.
What are you most proud of and why?
I am most proud of my achievements and that I’m not like the rest of the teenagers. I am not scared of being myself.