The wall of the world

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Released

17/01/2019

Length

00:02:13

Copyright

ESA - European Space Agency

Description

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst reflects on his second International Space Station mission called Horizons by reading an excerpt of Jack London’s novel “White Fang” first published in 1906. Images show the launch into space on 6 June 2018, docking with the International Space Station, Earth views and scenes from Alexander’s six-month stay on the orbital outpost.

“Instinct and law demanded of him obedience. But growth demanded disobedience. Growth is life, and life is forever destined to make for light. So he entered into what had been wall to him and bathed in the substance that composed it.

Fear urged him to go back, but growth drove him on.

The wall, inside which he had thought himself, suddenly leaped back before him to an immeasurable distance. The light had become painfully bright.

His eyes were adjusting themselves to the brightness, focusing themselves to meet the increased distance of objects. At first, the wall had leaped beyond his vision. He now saw it again; but it had taken upon itself a remarkable remoteness. Also, its appearance had changed. It was now a variegated wall, composed of the trees that fringed the stream, the opposing mountain that towered above the trees, and the sky that outtowered the mountain.

Also, he forgot to be afraid. For the time, fear had been routed by growth, while growth had assumed the guise of curiosity.”

from Jack London’s “White Fang”

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