Astronaut Jeff Williams is blasting off into space today on a Russian rocket, headed to the International Space Station where he will spend 6 months. This will be his third space voyage and his second 6 month stint on the space station. He will be among the leaders in time spent in outer space.
He is a devout Christian and a Missouri Synod Lutheran. Our paths have crossed several times–he is a fan of my book on vocation!–and I have gotten to know him. Pray for a safe blastoff today. And pray for him from time to time on his long, long mission away from his family. (He’s also written a book that I wrote an introduction for. Stay tuned for news about that.)
So let’s consider the vocation of an astronaut. How can a space traveller live out his faith in that particular line of work? How can he love and serve his neighbor?
UPDATE: The launch went well, and he’s in orbit. Thanks to Paul McCain at Cyberbrethren for posting a video of the launch, which includes both the blastoff and shots inside the capsule. (Jeff is the astronaut above and to the right.) Paul also posts some more details, including how to sign up to get Jeff’s twitter feed from orbit. His last message closed with “sdg,” the same letters Bach used to conclude his musical compositions: “Soli Deo Gloria,” to God alone be the glory.