Christian astronaut — and his communion cups — lifting off on space mission
Online worship during the COVID-19 pandemic has helped prepare Victor…
Before blasting off Nov. 15 on a six-month mission to the International Space Station — 250 miles above Earth — NASA’s Victor Glover told The Christian Chronicle he had “sent up communion cups and a Bible.”
Might the Christian astronaut next worship God on the moon — roughly 238,855 miles from his home congregation in Houston?
Podcast: Victor Glover talks about partaking of the Lord’s Supper in space
“I would love to go to the moon, but that’s not something I control,” the Church of Christ member told the Chronicle in a previously unpublished portion of his pre-launch interview.
Last week, NASA named Glover and 17 other astronauts to its Artemis team, which the space agency said “will help pave the way for the next astronaut missions on and around the moon as part of the Artemis program.”
“I give you the heroes who will carry us to the moon and beyond — the Artemis generation,” Vice President Mike Pence said during a National Space Council meeting at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “It is amazing to think that the next man and first woman on the moon are among the names that we just read. The Artemis team astronauts are the future of American space exploration — and that future is bright.”
Under the Artemis program, the next moon mission is targeted for 2024.
“The lessons learned on my current mission aboard the International Space Station will pave the way for future exploration on the lunar surface, a dream within a dream,” Glover tweeted from space. “It’s an honor to be part of the NASA Artemis team.”
In his Chronicle interview, Glover — an astronaut since 2013 — discussed the possibility that his International Space Center mission could be his only opportunity to go into space.
“I mean, I think a total of less than 600 human beings have gone into space, and that number is greatly reduced for going to live in space and work on the space station,” he said. “It’s a huge honor, but it is very unique.”
“I would love to go to the moon, but that’s not something I control.”
Before beginning his NASA training, the former military pilot said, “I used to think I was patient, but I found out there’s a difference between discipline and patience. I have a lot of discipline, but this patience stuff is new to me. In the Navy, I would’ve done two or three different jobs by now and moved two to three times in between those. Being here for seven years — you’re right, you may have a career where you only fly once. This space station is a new way of going and living in space, and so this may be the only change I get.
“I would love to go to the moon, but that’s not something I control,” he added. “That’s really helped me understand patience. I spent some time meditating and thinking about that and praying and writing about that. I’ve also gone back to journaling. I spent a lot of time journaling in these last three years that I’ve been assigned to this mission. It’s been really an exercise in patience.”
BOBBY ROSS JR. is Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Chronicle. Reach him at [email protected].
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