Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars by Kate Greene

Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars by Kate Greene

Author:Kate Greene
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group

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I came across Collins’s book the summer between my junior and senior years of college. Though I was a chemistry major, attending a small liberal arts college in Kansas, that summer I lived in a dorm room at North Carolina State University, thanks to a National Science Foundation program that placed eager undergrads in physics labs around the country. My assigned project was to use a device called an ellipsometer to analyze the electrical properties of a semiconductor material that some people hoped might one day replace silicon in computer chips. It was a lonely summer. I talked little and walked a lot in Raleigh, a city with wide, busy streets and afterthought sidewalks. The local used bookstore, Reader’s Corner, was like an oasis. I picked up some Woolf that I didn’t read as well as Collins’s book, which I devoured. Never had I read anything by an astronaut that was so clear and unsentimental, so evocative and well written. I’d drifted away from my astronaut dreams in high school and college—it felt like kid’s stuff—but that summer, reading that book, I resolved to get my Ph.D. in physics, to recommit myself to going to space. “Your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths,” Rilke wrote.


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