Journey to space in ’Axe Apollo Space Academy’ Program

Translator: nathalia roelli reviewer: kelwalin dhanasarnsombut hello everyone. Today I would like to start off with this picture here. This picture was taken from a very high spot. It was taken 30 kilometres away from earth, by a thai who brought a camera up there.

And what you can see at the bottom is our thailand. You can notice that even it was taken during the day, the upper part is dark, but at the bottom part it is blue.

Because the balloon was nearly hit the space. When we talk about space, many people may think that it is scary and seems mysterious.

Yet on the other side, it is challenging. It makes some people want to explore for the truth of space, and where is its frontier? But this view, although it is beautiful, not many people have seen it through naked eyes.

Most people only see it through pictures like this one and those people are astronauts, who maybe work in the international space station and look down to see our world.

However, that is a very small group of people. Historically, the first man in space was yuri gagarin. Since then, 53 years have passed, not more than 600 people have seen our world from up there.

Now, the astronauts, in our view, are strong tall males. And the truth is, in most cases, the selected astronauts we have seen are the ones from powerful nations, such as the united states of america or the soviet union at the time of the cold war.

But who would have thought that a small woman from a country where no one has ever been to space before has a chance to go to the space next year.

That is my humble self. (Applause) (cheers) thank you. Now, let me tell you something about this story. This project I participated in was sponsored by axe. The axe apollo academy is going to take the first thai to the space.

The first time I heard about this project, i thought that this is my dream. The dream I want to make it come true. Something I really want it to happen, but also something least likely to happen.

They said, first, you have to be the chosen one of your country. You have to go to a camp, where we then select the ones to go to the space. So first, I have to make my way in this camp.

Thailand selected candidates by three means. I was a winner of " fan-pan-tae" which is a game show well-known in thailand. We had to answer questions within three seconds. If you want to see it, you can watch a rerun.

After that, we actually went to a camp in florida. It was a base camp that was very near to the nasa and we also used some facilities in the nasa building.

This is to let you see how we were doing there. The conditions of the real camp. As mention earlier, the candidates from 62 countries worldwide came together.

These are the pictures of the atmosphere. There are 107 people from 62 countries. Those were selected from a million, who were interested in this project. There were three people representing thailand; I was the only woman.

There were four women in the whole camp. We were split up to form the teams to do various activities. Activities that will test whether you can go to space. The first one I have done.

That day, I got up at four and went from orlando to kissimmee and went on the plane like this one. I was on the plane while filming this.

The plane was like the military plane. That was something I have already experienced before when I was in thailand. Back then, I had never been on a military plane before.

I had to sit there, and then they roll inverted. That is when you experience the g-force, people talking about. I had heard some said that the g-force is really strong, but then I thought that if the pilot can bear it, I can bear it, too.

But I had a moment of realization when I actually experienced it. When you make a five g inverted roll, you are five times heavier. For example, I weight 50 kilograms, at that moment, i suddenly weighted 250 kilograms.

The weight is not that hard to bear, but when a lot of your blood flows to your feet, you realize that if you are not holding tight, you may get fainted.

After the strong g-force, it is time to experience zero-force, a state of weightless. This is a boeing 737, of which the seats have been removed.

This is not an ordinary flight, it makes you feel like the plane is falling down. Everyone inside was floating around.

It looks like fun, but some had to thrown up because they could not bear it. Apart from activities like these, which test your capability, they also want to see if you are strong enough.

So they took the assault course, which is actually a military assault course used in the military practice. We had to climb, jump over hurdles, crawl underneath nets, did sit-ups, push-ups, and skip rope.

Approximately ten activities in a row. Women and men had to do exactly the same activities. And for me, the sport I do I am 30 years old is usually yoga.

But I had to do those activities. I remember that dennis was next to me. I could not climb over the climbing wall, i just did not know how. Do I have to use both hands or do I have to push myself up using my feet? The coordination of your body must be just right.

Once it starts, every man made the way up, while I kept falling down. My legs were about half the length of theirs.

Everybody was so tall. At that moment, I was losing my faith. They told us that from 107 selected candidates in this camp only 23 will be chosen to go to space.

So if I could not do any of these activities, it means that I am likely to loose the ticket to space. In this picture, you may see that I was at the bottom and dennis had to come down to pull me up, " you can still climb, you can do it." so I managed to climb up: sit-ups, push-ups, or carrying sacks, we all had to do the same things, for me, I feel that this is really hard, because I am a woman, and I have never done such things before.

I almost fainted but then I thought, if I have already made it this far, i have to do my best. Finally, I was awarded with one of the 23 tickets to fly to space next year.

Next to me (applause) thank you -. Next to me is mister buzz aldrin, who was the second man on the moon, after neil armstrong. He was also in the apollo 11 mission.

It was a big honour that he gave us award that day. This is the most miraculous story that ever happen in my entire life. After that, many people asked, " aren't you afraid of going to space? How can you be so brave?" but for me, I see myself as a normal person, who maybe puts more effort into things.

Rather than asking if I am afraid, ask me if there is anything I am not scared of. From the beginning, when I had to win the gameshow.

You have to understand that I am just a nerdy person who works as an ordinary engineer, but then I had to be on tv, participating in a game show.

I really had to try very hard. That is why I wanted to tell you something. We all have a comfort zone. i am sure you have heard of it before.

It is the space where we can be comfortable. Our everyday routine is in this zone. I also have one. But one day, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

A lot of people do not dare to step out. I was also one who felt that this is scary and I do not dare to step out. But when I was forced to make a big decision; either try or I let the golden opportunity i ever dreamed of slip through my hands.

So I slowly expanded my horizon until I entered the where-the-magic happens zone, where my miraculous story happened. But if I am asked whether the magic immediately happens, I have to say it does not.

Before that I have to share with you a little experience before that I was living in lampang, i was a normal child from the countryside. The first time I left my country, i was an apprentice at intel in india.

I had to live in india for a year. Many parents would not allow their daughter to go there, but since they are my parents they told me, " that's ok, dear.

Just go." so I was part of the team that got a training in india for a year. Another time was when I had the opportunity to study in france.

The hard part was that everything is in french, and I could not speak a single french word. I had to learn french, from the beginning, within four months then started to study for my master degree, all in french.

All my classmates were french. Back then, everyone told me, " you can not succeed. you are really struggled. You should learn french again for a year and come back later." but I insisted, " please let me continue. let me prove myself." and in the end, I managed to graduate with all my other classmates.

So I discovered that sometimes, the limitations that people told us or the conditions we impose ourselves, are not really there.

Do you still remember what you wanted to be when you was a child? When I received my space ticket, I had opportunities to visit schools and universities to tell the students my story.

And I realized that those who are most excited by this story are the children. And they felt that these stories can actually happen.

This is their dream. They also want to be astronauts. But as we grow up, we tend to forget about our dreams, and what we wanted to become.

Today I would ask you again the last slide, please what did you want to be when you were young? Or also, for now, what is your dream? Have your dreams already been fulfilled? If not, I want to tell you to dare, to get out and follow your dreams.

Because there is nobody who is not afraid. I was also afraid, but what I did is I dared to do, even though I was afraid. Try expand your comfort zone, stretch it out.

Because every time when you do it, you will grow. There may be mistakes. I also admit that there are many mistakes in my life. And who has never done anything wrong? I don't think there is.

If there were such people, i think they are facing a real problem because errors are always part of success. I want to encourage all of you to follow your dream, no matter what it is, no matter how far it would be.

Although others said it is impossible, there is only you who can say it is possible. Get up and make your dreams come true. Thank you. (Applause).

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