Nicole Paulhus
October 09, 2013 5:00 pm

I usually enjoy space. I’m a big fan of leg space and cherish my personal space. Yet, when it comes to outer space, I’m pretty petrified. I’d sort of forgotten about my fear of outer space, given that it’s not something I encounter too often now that I’m out of elementary school and not an astronaut. However, this weekend I saw the film Gravity and it all came rushing back. Space is scary. In fact, that’s what the movie should have been called, Space Is Scary. It’s far more accurate. The film contained hardly any gravity and was constantly terrifying. Poor Sandra Bullock just kept getting hit with more and more crap (literally and figuratively). George Clooney sure is pretty, though. Where was I? Gravity, Clooney, space, oh right! Here are ten reasons why outer space makes me nervous, brought to you by the movie Space Is Scary starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

1. Without You I Just Can’t Breathe

No air! No air! There is no oxygen in space. We, as humans, need oxygen to stay alive. Just to survive on the most basic level in space requires oxygen tanks, airtight suits and sealed spacecrafts. If you get stranded and your tank runs out, you’re dead. If your suit rips or your helmet cracks, you’re dead. If you can’t get the door to your craft closed, you’re dead. There are too many “you’re dead” scenarios here for my taste.

2. No Gravity!

I would actually probably love the whole no gravity thing for a while. I’d come up with some really fun games and annoy the crap out of my fellow astronauts. Then, after the novelty of Moon Ball and Outer Space Quidditch wore off, I’d get really frustrated with everything floating around all the time. Simple tasks like eating and using the bathroom would be a major chore. Eating is the best. Eating should never be a chore, even in outer space.

3. Becoming Untethered. Um, What?

Becoming untethered is when the cord that attaches you to the spacecraft, the one thing keeping you from flying off into space forever, rips or detaches. The thought of becoming untethered hadn’t occurred to me before watching Gravity, but now it’s all I can think about. Becoming untethered and floating endlessly in space has officially knocked being buried alive from the top spot on my worst nightmare list. Congratulations, “Becoming Untethered,” your certificate is in the mail.

4. Satellites and Comets and Asteroids and Meteors and Meteoroids and Meteorites 

The list of things that can fly through space and hit me or my spaceship is too long. Even when we’re landbound, there’s always the possibility something will fall from space and hit Earth. Sure most things burn off upon reentry, but what about the things that don’t? I’m not sure how scientifically accurate it is, but the ending of Armageddon was way way way too close of a call for me. #NoOffenseToBenAffleck

5. Houston. Houston?

The thought of being up in space and losing contact with earth is terrifying. Sure it’s great to “unplug” from social networking and the internet every now and then, but to completely disconnect from your home planet when you’re floating in outer space? Nuh huh. No way. And this is assuming I know what I’m doing and can operate the space craft. If I were in a situation where I was depending on Houston to guide me back to earth and suddenly lost all contact, I’d probably go fetal and just give up. This is all a moo point (like a cow’s opinion) since I’d never pass the NASA physical, anyway. Oh, and the fact that NASA is kinda shut down and I wouldn’t apply to begin with.

6. Being Around People That Long

While I would absolutely not want to be stuck in space alone, I also wouldn’t want to be stuck in space with a group of people. I need me time to decompress and refuel. From what I’ve seen of spaceships, the cabins aren’t that large and everyone is pretty much on top of one another all the time. What would the small talk be? “Hey you see the sun?” “Yep.” “Cool, huh?” “Yep.” Awful. Outer space is basically introvert hell.

7. Aliens

Aliens could be really friendly and cool. They could teach us new technology and welcome us with open arms like in The Neighbors. They could also be horrible monsters who want to take over our bodies like in The Host. Who knows! I don’t! They could be here now, gaining power and waiting for the right moment to attack.

8. Burning Up Upon Reentry

Reentry into Earth’s atmosphere is definitely the scariest part of space travel. You’ve made it so far and survived this long. You’re finally on your way home and your spaceship burns up and explodes upon reentry!?!?! That’s the worst. That’s horrifying. If I’ve battled aliens and asteroids and awkward astronaut small talk, I’ve earned the right to live to tell the tale.

9. The Unknown

I lied, the scariest part of space is the unknown. NASA and other space programs have come so far in their space exploration. We’ve been to the moon. We’ve orbited Earth. We even poked around Mars a bit. Though, even after years of study and exploration, there’s still so much we don’t know. I like to know things. I like to have a plan and more or less predict how things will unfold. Not knowing what objects might be hurling at me or what creatures might be lurking out in the dark or what exists beyond our limits is pretty darn very nerve-wracking.

10. We’re Killing Our Planet and Will Probably Need To Find a New One

If you’ve been saying to yourself, “Girl, why are you so worried about space? Just don’t go to space!”, I’m with you. I don’t want to go to space. However, I’ve seen enough TV and movies to know that one day, probably soon, we will have completely destroyed our planet and depleted it of all its resources. We will no longer be able to survive on Earth and will need to evacuate, move to space and start over. Ever see the movieWall-E? Those images of post-human Earth didn’t look too far off from where we are today. Now, I’m not saying it’s going to happen tomorrow or even next year, but I am saying it’s definitely maybe going to happen and we should be mentally prepared.

Feature Image found here.

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