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Mission Elapsed Time: 37 years and counting

Reading time: 5 minutes

Another loop around the Sun. The very packed one.

I ran over 1200 km in training (almost no official races due to pandemic times, you know). I bet the unofficial time for 5 km to 20:58, and almost met with my PB at 10 km (but this calendar year and season still has one important race ahead, so I hope to get it better). I put a lot of effort into my training – reducing the very hidden fat by four percent (!) and keeping the launch mass tight. That translates into hours of training, both running, cardio and flexibility. Into hours spent on running, sometimes in harsh winter conditions, to prepare for the fastest marathon in my life (which is just around the corner). And diet. Yes. Believe me or not, it was tough enough going to bakery on Saturday mornings and not buying donuts. My runner’s mentality improved much, and if I go out for running just one day after exhausting half-marathon training session, that means, something has really changed for the better. All this effort is to improve something in my life, to prove myself I can run really fast. As I always wanted.

I published The Equation of a Word, a set of short poems, long-time kept in my personal drawer. It took me quite some time to polish them, and to translate them – that’s the very first poem book of mine translated into a foreign language. The Equation… evolved since the first idea around 2012, and when I realized I want the poems to be as much precise as possible it took almost a decade to get it done. I believe I got it right. The next set – The Aperture of a Word is in the works, still 2-3 more poems to finish it, but I made a jump here. It’s being prepared in two languages – Polish and English, and it is actually quite interesting to write poetry in two languages simultaneously. You start to think on getting the words together so that you’re as much precise as possible in any of the languages. Meanwhile, The Mechanics of a Word got a refreshment, with English translations, similar to the very first poem book of mine – The Trial of a Word.

I passed medical screening for a private pilot license, and it was just in time for the ESA Astronaut selection. I applied.

Working as an astronaut is the biggest dream of my life, but – for most of it, it was far beyond reach, due to political reasons. Poland joined ESA in 2012, and it was after the previous selection. Now, as a citizen of an ESA Member State, I got a chance to apply. With all the required documents set, I pushed that blue button: Apply. It took me quite some time to prepare them, my CV was re-done all-and-over again and again. And again. At first, I wasn’t sure if I met the minimum requirements. I did. Then I wasn’t sure what to put in the CV, but when I started drafting it, I realized, I will have to cut it down. I don’t know if I’ll pass to another selection round, but despite that – this single chance changed my mindset and allowed me to believe in my dream stronger than before. I still have much to do in Polish Space Sector, but having a chance to work in Earth’s orbit and beyond… well, I’m all for that.

Speaking of Polish Space Sector. I became a Project Manager for the Largest Polish SST-related project. We work together with all SST-interested entities in Poland. We’re not the Prime this time, but I do my best to deliver our part of the challenge.

We deployed in Australia two brand new SST-focused telescopes for the Polish Space Agency. Due to pandemic, we did it fully remotely. Long story short, we had to integrate all the hardware and software within ten (10) days, test it, disassemble, pack it and send it, so that the telescopes could arrive before December, 10th 2020. The local staff had the next 10 days to integrate it on site. We’ve made it successfully into the launch date of December, 22nd. I gained a lot of knowledge during this project – from cable layout, hardware configuration, up to dealing with Australian customs service, which I was solely responsible for. It is so easy in EU. When I recall all the process and issues involved, it is so fortunate, the hardware arrived in one piece (not one piece), and it started day to day operations since day one. At the end of the day – we made it, long work hours, solving packaging and delivery issues… well the special Australian-ready screws required for the mount waited three weeks somewhere on the border of states, arriving to Perth just in time. Industry standard says it takes at least half a year for such a project, but, Polish people have there own meaning of industry standards. It’s possible in 2 months. We did it.

Last but not least, there is now a brand new website of mine. It’s a vast refreshment from the previous one, following simplicity, and taking into consideration speed and accessibility. You can easily test it using tools such as Lighthouse built into the Chrome browser. With website updates, I started to clean my digital life a bit, which will take some time, but the goal is to get all my works in one place all together. You can take a quick look on almost all projects I was involved in, read already most of my poetry, and the Lunar Expedition 1 Diary is back online. Enjoy!

The next loop around the Sun is just around the corner. Stay tuned.