‘Hostile or Hospitable?’ by Sophie Robson, Fallibroome Academy

I hover near the edge of the curved window of the spaceship, like a goldfish in a bowl, I gaze at
the vast expanse unfolding before me: an endless inky obsidian black blanket, decorated with
shimmering stars, stretching to an abyss. The beauty juxtaposed with the inevitable hostility of
this chasm hangs in my mind as I take in the astounding, breathtaking view. The earth hovers
below, a mesmerising amalgamation of swirling azure blue, mossy green and pearly white,
teeming and bursting with life. Contrasting landscapes shape our familiar planet: desolate
deserts, stretching mountain ranges and unfathomable oceans lie in perfect harmony. Our

I focus again on the vast, boundless space that is before me. The excitement and promise of
discovery is at my fingertips. Yet, I remember the inhospitality of this enormous emptiness.
There is no air to breathe, no place that we could stay, outside the floating solitary speck of the
spaceship I am in. Temperatures range from scorching, searing heat to frigid cold. Darkness and
nothing continues forever. Forever and ever, with no end. I think to myself how this can be: how
there can be nothing but a profound unexplored emptiness. Outside these spacecraft walls life
seems impossible, death inevitable.

However, on the sanctuary of earth, life thrives but the fragility of it is now evident. A delicate
balance enables an abundance of life, and without the exact conditions, the thin cloak of the
atmosphere that clings to the earth, even the thought of survival is useless. Despite the
encapsulating beauty and stillness of earth from this perspective, ever present challenges of
conflict, loss, and destruction loom and churn beneath the surface. The man made craters of
pain and suffering yearn for healing. Life can be unforgiving and hostile.

Yet, the familiarity of earth comforts me, our only known home in this vast expanse. Although
the promise of exploration and discovery awaits, the reality of survival in space is unwelcoming
and brutal. The earth hovers below, a captivating collection of colour, life and opportunity.
Although the challenges of life still loom, the familiar landscapes that coexist in perfect harmony
beacon me back to our home.