Cosmic Explorations: My Journey from Bordeaux to the Moon and Back

Imagine stepping into a realm where the laws of physics bend, where your senses recalibrate, and where you, for a fleeting moment, gain superpowers.
By BIBOP GRESTA
February, 2024

What I am about to tell you isn’t a scene from a science fiction movie; it’s a journey I recently undertook, orchestrated by the visionary Christina Korp, founder of Space For A Better World. Christina is a powerhouse in the space community, having managed Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin for a decade and produced Emmy-nominated VR experiences. Her passion for promoting women’s issues and sustainability led her to fund this incredible organization in 2020, which has been advocating for the ways space benefits the planet and people every day.

Upon touching down in Bordeaux, a driver from the Rothschild family was waiting, their family crest displayed prominently. I had no idea what awaited me, but the adventure had already begun. I was transferred to the Rothschild estate, where some of the world’s most exquisite grapes are harvested and transformed into the legendary Châteaux Lafite wine. Sleep was elusive that night, my mind buzzing with anticipation for the adventure that awaited. As dawn broke, I was introduced to our “moon team,” a diverse group of individuals hailing from various corners of the globe. The team was an eclectic mix, featuring two veteran astronauts and a cadre of entrepreneurs and professionals from a range of industries. We were whisked away early in the morning to a specialized facility, where we were briefed on the day’s activities. The excitement reached a fever pitch as we donned our brand-new aeronautical suits, each one tailored to fit like a second skin showcasing our brand new Moon badge.

THEN CAME THE MOMENT WE HAD ALL BEEN WAITING FOR: BOARDING THE AIRCRAFT.

At first glance, the aircraft seemed like any other, but as I ventured deeper into its belly, I was greeted by padded white walls that seemed to whisper secrets of the extraordinary experiences that lay ahead. And extraordinary they were. As the airplane climbed higher and higher, I felt a sudden release, as if all the pent-up pressure within me had found an escape route. For the first time, I was free—utterly and profoundly free. Free to float, to spin, to explore the boundaries of my own potential in a way I had never thought possible. This wasn’t just a fleeting moment; it was part of a meticulously orchestrated three-day event designed to stretch the limits of our imagination and deepen our connection to the cosmos. From the instant we set foot on that plane to the final parabola, the air was thick with anticipation, each of us eager to experience the awe and wonder that comes from defying gravity. It was an experience so transformative that it seeped into the very fabric of my dreams, leaving an indelible imprint on my consciousness.

During the flight, we engaged in activities that would be impossible on Earth. Imagine doing one-arm push-ups on Mars or leaping like an Apollo astronaut under lunar gravity conditions. These activities, supervised by our instructor, were not just for fun; they were a way to physically and emotionally connect with the universe. The highlight? When astronaut Jean-François Clervoy broke a balloon of blue water and launched it towards me. Witnessing its dance in suspension before it enveloped me was a moment of pure magic, a vivid illustration of the laws of physics at play in a weightless environment.


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What truly elevated this journey to an unparalleled level of extraordinary were the remarkable individuals I had the privilege to share it with. Christina Korp, the visionary behind this adventure, had meticulously curated a program that was a harmonious blend of art, poetry, and science. This wasn’t just a trip to the stars; it was a holistic experience designed to engage both the mind and the soul. One of the most memorable parts of the program was a visit to a centuries-old vineyard, where we were introduced to the ancient art of winemaking. As we sipped on some of the world’s finest wines, I found myself getting to know my fellow adventurers on a much deeper level.

Among them was Nicole Scott, a former NASA astronaut who had journeyed beyond our atmosphere and looked down upon Earth from the vantage point of the heavens. She spoke eloquently about the “overview effect,” a cognitive shift in perspective that astronauts often experience when viewing Earth from space. According to Nicole, the moment you pass through the airlock into the Space Station, you’re greeted by a distinct, almost metallic smell—a sensory marker that you’ve entered a different realm.

Space travel doesn’t just change your viewpoint; it changes you to your core

— Bibop Gresta, Founder/CEO Hyperloop Italia

And upon your return to Earth, the sensation of weight, something we take for granted, suddenly becomes a grounding experience, reminding you of the planet you call home. “Space travel doesn’t just change your viewpoint; it changes you to your core,” she emphasized. “It instills in you a yearning for the weightlessness, the freedom, and the cosmic connection that can only be experienced in the vastness beyond Earth’s atmosphere.” Her words weren’t just spoken; they were felt, reverberating through the depths of my being and adding a profound layer of meaning to an already transformative experience.

SO, WHY AM I SHARING ALL THIS WITH YOU?

Because we have only one Earth, and experiences like these remind us of our collective responsibility to protect it. As we marvel at the wonders of space, let’s also turn our gaze inward and appreciate the fragility and beauty of our home planet. Let’s unite as a global family, committed to sustainability and the betterment of life for all. Because in that weightless moment, floating in the embrace of space’s gravity, I realized that we are all astronauts on this spaceship called Earth. And it’s time we started acting like it.

But here’s the most exciting part: this journey is no longer the exclusive domain of astronauts and billionaires. Programs like the one orchestrated by Christina Korp are opening up to the public, offering more people the chance to experience the awe and wonder of space. By embarking on this cosmic journey, you’re not just a passenger; you’re a pioneer. You’re part of a movement that’s pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, all while contributing to a cause greater than yourself.

And the best part? Your participation doesn’t just fulfill a personal dream; it contributes to the advancement of science and space programs that benefit us all. So, I urge you to take that leap, to defy gravity, and to experience the cosmos. Not just for yourself, but for the future of our planet and the generations that will inherit it. So, what are you waiting for? The stars are calling, and it’s time to answer.