Rocket Woman

19 February 2021

Kellie Gerardi believes we are on the cusp of a new age, one that’s an infinity from the era when only square-jawed test pilots would be considered for a venture into space.

This sense of excitement and possibility is summed up by the fact that one of the first experiences she gave her newborn daughter, Delta V, was a trip to Cape Canaveral for the launch of a Falcon Heavy rocket.

It was a gift, a marker and a vision.

Kellie is the author of one of the most acclaimed books about space of 2020, Not Necessarily Rocket Science, which is about her own rather unconventional career in the space industry.

As a young woman, an arts graduate, a social media star with a strong interest in fashion she is a far cry from the traditional image of the intrepid astronaut – men who were the Right Stuff.

And yet her already lengthy Wikipedia entry lists a multitude of accomplishments, describing her as a commercial spaceflight industry professional and a veteran of the Mars Desert Research Station who has also taken part in space suit testing. 

In 2018 she was named as a Scientist-Astronaut Candidate with Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere), the first crewed suborbital spaceflight research programme.

Wow!

And her driving passion is for the democratisation of space which she will discuss in her Big Bang appearance on Wednesday, 3 March at 5pm. Her insights are fascinating. Kellie’s argument is simple, succinct, and absolutely in tune with the history of human exploration.

The first wave of astronauts were all about function – getting there and coming home. The future is about experience. She is looking forward to a future where its artists, writers and poets fly into space, then come back and share their impressions.

Then we can foresee a real blossoming of space tourism. With that comes the need for an abundance of services. So when the first hotels, cafes and restaurants go into orbit so too will the chefs, waiters and baristas.

For full details see https://www.wigtownbookfestival.com/programme.

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