Think of all the things you stumble upon while aimlessly scrolling through social media, and the heights of excitement might be tempered by a good online shopping deal or a funny meme your dad loved.
For most of us, it seems unlikely that we will see the opportunity that will take us into space.
But that’s exactly what happened to north London photographer Rhiannon Adam, who in 2023 will become the first openly queer woman to walk on the moon.
As our collective fascination with the final frontier climbs to heights not seen in decades, she is one of several explorers who will help Britain have a big year among the stars.
“I don’t think this will happen in a million years”
Of all the reasons to be excited about space travel in the coming year, none exemplifies the wonder it inspires in our lives more than Ms. Adam’s upcoming space travel.
“In a million years, I never thought I’d go to space,” she told Sky News.
“When you’re a kid looking up at the sky and all these constellations being explained to you and trying to find your place in the world, you’re literally dreaming.
“But it’s always just fantasy. I’ve seen Star Trek, but I never thought it was going to happen.”
How did the opportunity come about?
The 37-year-old’s trip to space includes a seven-day mission to the moon, where the spacecraft, dubbed Starship, will orbit the moon before returning to Earth.
She was one of eight artists in an all-civilian crew chosen by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as part of dearMoon, a rocket mission developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Ms Adam was selected after applying in March 2021 when she came across others doing so on social media.
Another photographer on the team is British-born Karim Iliya, whose work has been published in National Geographic.
“This experience will push my own practice in a new direction,” Ms Adam said.
“The possibility of engaging with science and bridging the gap between art and science is really exciting.”
Who is leading Britain’s charge in space?
The UK’s role in space exploration is most notably that of women.
As 2022 looms, the country’s first-ever rocket launch is being overseen by Melissa Thorpe, head of Spaceport Cornwall.
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride,” the Canadian native told Sky News ahead of the match. Historical eventswhich was postponed from early December to mid-December.
“We’re very proud of what this will do for the UK.”
Another milestone was Rosemary Coogan, an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland, Chosen as Britain’s third-ever astronaut.
before her Helen Sharmanwho became the first Briton in space in 1989, and Tim Peakehe performed the historic spacewalk 27 years later.
Ms Coogan has been one of the first new astronauts at the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2009 and will undergo rigorous training for future missions in 2023.
“It was a real honor to get the call — I was so excited,” she said.
“I feel very lucky to have this position with so many people applying, and I really want to make the most of this opportunity to learn as much as possible and do my best.”
“History is not on our side”
The role of women in space travel is part of an international trend to be brought to the lunar surface NASA’s Artemis missionswhose goal is to land a woman on the moon for the first time.
It is an honor for Ms. Adam to be part of a growing list of women playing very high profile roles in the space.
“It’s really important to see women doing these things,” she told Sky News.
“A lot of times women don’t apply for things and history isn’t on our side. It’s been an extremely difficult time as a gay man – there are many parts of the world where my existence is illegal.
“So hopefully this opportunity can help inspire others to see and hear who they are and that they don’t have to hide in the shadows.”
‘Inspirational’ opportunity for former Paralympian
Speaking of history, another British astronaut will do so in 2023.
Former Paralympic athlete John McFall, who will train with Ms Coogan after becoming ESA’s first disabled astronaut, hailed the opportunity as “exciting and exhilarating”.
As he prepares to go into space, the UK will also prepare to launch further into space of its own.
Hope to follow this fabulous name start my task Those from Cornwall were launched from Scotland, especially Sutherland and Shetland.
These will be NASA-style vertical glasses, not Cosmic Girl jet-like horizontal take-offs, but only cargo satellites, and that’s just the ingenuity of the British, not any of the British themselves.
That might just be the Honey Moon mission in 2023, though Ms Adam will fly a different flag.
Born in Cork, the flag she chose to fly above the globe was the Irish tricolor.
“It’s built in the Irish spirit of adventure,” she says, and no one will dispute that.