December 21, 2011
As you get closer to launch you shed earthly possessions, and your worldly stuff becomes meaningless. In my dorm room I give away my things, the tangible items needed on Earth that are of no use to me anymore. I shed the onerous chores of e-mail, phone calls, and mandatory web-based sensitivity training. I no longer worry about filling out my time card. None of this matters anymore. I am at the point where the only material things of concern are my spacesuit and rocket. A part of my heart, carefully barricaded into a small corner, is reserved for my family. As needed, I will allow such thoughts to fill me with strength.
From my perspective, I will soon be sitting in my rocket watching everyone on Earth move off into the frontier. Thus I say to you all, “Godspeed.”
Editor’s Update: Don’s Soyuz launched on time from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 8:16 a.m. Eastern U.S. time on Wednesday. Docking with the International Space Station is scheduled for Friday, December 23 at 10:22 a.m. Eastern time.