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Spaced out adventures await

I may have been physically confined to my home for the past couple of months as the state, nation and world have fought against the deadly coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped me from taking an out-of-this-world adventure.

The past month I have been spaced out — quite literally — not that it’s anything new to me.

I have been fascinated with space and astronauts since my childhood. I spent hours watching Apollo mission launches, spacewalks and landings. I even created a special space scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings about the missions.

I had my mom buy space snacks — food sticks, Tang and specially packaged ice cream for astronauts.

As a teenager, I was an avid reader of science fiction books, letting my imagination take me to far off worlds where I met an assortment of characters, human, robot and otherwise.

And, naturally, I was also a fan of space-themed television shows and movies. I still am.

So when I couldn’t travel to places as close as the nearest store or restaurant, I returned to outer space.

I started by binge watching two series on television: “The Mandalorian” and “Space Force.” If you haven’t seen either of these, I highly recommend them.

“The Mandalorian” returns to the world created by the “Star Wars” movies. It tells the story of a bounty hunter. In between his tasks, there are flashbacks that reveal how he became a Mandalorian, which is kind of a cross between a job and a character like a stormtrooper.

Up until the most recent “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” I didn’t realize stormtroopers were actually people who were assigned to the job because you never saw them outside of their uniforms or without their helmets. With so many droids and robots running around, it was easy to assume they were nonhuman.

Despite never seeing his face and with very little personality displayed, it was easy to become a fan of the Mandalorian and his principals.

“Space Force” stars (and was co-created by) Steve Carell and is a satire of the real Space Force created by President Donald Trump. It follows Carell’s character, a recently promoted four-star general, who is appointed to head the new military agency and must team up with an eccentric scientist, played to perfection by John Malkovich.

Ironically, while in the midst of watching the series, I saw a commercial for the real Space Force and it took a moment for it to sink in that it was for the actual space warfare branch of the U.S. military.

I also began reading a new book, “Gates of Mars,” the first in a new trilogy written by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hayes, who penned the series about Bonnie and Clyde a few years ago.

The book, which comes out June 16, is set in the year 2187 and takes place primarily on Mars. Much like George Orwell’s classic novel “1984,” the world is under the ever-present watchful eye of Halo, an artificial intelligence program that sees and knows all. In a society where nothing goes unnoticed, the story follows a law enforcement officer whose sister has vanished.

Amid all that fiction and frivolity was the launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. Not since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011 has there been so much enthusiasm and interest in space travel in the United States.

Making the launch even more meaningful is that a part of Boulder City was on that flight.

As with all manned space flights since Apollo 7 a Fisher space pen was aboard. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley carried the company’s original AG7 pen to the International Space Station, where there are more than 50 space pens, according to the company.

All this just shows that you can find adventure no matter where you are or are not.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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