Astronaut's Mother's Day message from space: 'Distance doesn't change' love
Astronaut Cady Coleman, shown here with a space station robot, has been in space for the past five months.
May 8th, 2011
01:38 PM ET

Astronaut's Mother's Day message from space: 'Distance doesn't change' love

Cady Coleman is like many moms, unfortunately spending Mother’s Day away from her family.  But unlike the others, Coleman is an astronaut on the international space station, orbiting 220 miles above the Earth.

She’s the only woman on board.  Hopefully, the boys up there gave her Sunday off.  Usually each crew member gets one day a week to chill.

Coleman may be an astronaut, but first and foremost she is a mom.  Cady sent me an e-mail a few days back. I could tell she was just beaming while writing about how her 10-year-old son, Jamey, had struck out three batters in one inning in his Little League game.

She just sent me this message telling me what it has been like up there, the work she is doing and why it is so important, and her feelings on being so far away on this day.  So now, in her words:

“Being a mom is special, and distance doesn’t change the bond we have with those we love.  It never goes away, even when you leave the planet for a few months!  It seems like just yesterday that Paolo Nespoli, Dmitry Kondratyev and I strapped ourselves into a frozen and creaking Russian Soyuz rocket, and were launched into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.   For the past five months, I’ve made the International Space Station (ISS) my home in low earth orbit, circling our Earth 16 times every single day at 17,500 miles per hour.  From 200 miles above the earth, my husband Josh and sons Jamey and Josiah seem both close  and far.

"I get to talk to my family almost every day via an internet protocol phone, and once a week we get to see each other on a video conference.  I still miss lots of important events and occasions, but thanks to Josh, Jamey writes a short journal entry almost every day.  Josh sends it to me and I love to hear about life from the perspective of a 10 year old.  Jamey is fond of a cartoon where a small boy and a tiger share adventures and get themselves into all sorts of mischief.

"I brought a small stuffed tiger up here with me and I take photos for Jamey so that he can relate to what his Mom does on the space station.  From the tiger’s perspective, there is a lot of great trouble to get into here on the ISS!

"Life in our ‘zero gravity’ world on the ISS is fascinating.  We talk about floating around, but really we get to fly from place to place.  It is just like Peter Pan, except that we are grownups!  This place brings out the child in all of us, and it is a nice reminder to me to treasure the things and the people that touch my heart.

"I love looking out the window at our Earth  a fragile oasis in a busy universe.  When I see the places that I know – the places where my family lives  it makes me feel closer to them, although still a bit wistful and lonely when I see those places recede over the horizon.

"It was hard for me to go so far away, but I’m hoping that I set an example for my child and others to follow their dreams.  My family knows that I love the work that I am doing up here, and that I think it is important enough to be gone from home for so long.

"Today as I look down at our beautiful Earth, I think of mothers everywhere and realize that we are all of one family.  I am not the only one who is farther from their loved ones than they would wish to be.  Today we celebrate those women who are supporting their families, following their dreams and making a difference, and we thank all of them.

"I’d especially like to thank the women who serve our countries in jobs that keep them from home on holidays like this one.

"Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, step mom, mother-in-law and to moms everywhere.”

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Filed under: Shuttle • Space
soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. publius enigma

    I was going to say "bad hair day" but that look almost works.

    May 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gale

      Fros are easy in space. 🙂

      May 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah - too bad she's chasing her own dream...whilst her children...

      asre back at home saying "Where's Mommy?" Just cracks me up all these broads who basically dump their kids onto some else's lap to "love" their children because Mommy is too busy thinking about herself. Makes you wonder why she bothered having any kids at all Trust me - SHE doesn't need the money, so don't talk to me about how some woman can't afford to stay at home and raise their kids. I'm talking specfically about this broad - bet she'll wish she spent more time at work when her kids are older. Shameful example of a so-called mother.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Where's Mommy????

      Daddy's response: "Oh, mommy is at "work" because that is more important to her than raising you kids. She loves her work more than you. But don't worry, Janey your babysitter will be raising you instead of mommy. Janey will take you to school in the morning and listen to your problems and joys when you come home from school. Janey promises to "relay" your experiences to mommy so that mommy can pretend she's raising you kids."
      Shameful mother. Why bother having kids when you're busy chasing what is CLEARLY more important to you - YOUR JOB! Want to see where a mother's treasure is? Then see where she spends her time.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • NorthPhoenix

      I thought the same thing, what is with that hair??

      May 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    What a beautiful message! This is absolutely what Motherhood is about...we need more Moms like her to love and inspire their children to achieve great things and to hit new heights. Not to mention that she is miles above the Earth! Lovely, just lovely!

    And ya gotta love a kid who loves Calvin and Hobbes! 😉

    May 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rich In New Jersey

    "...bad hair day." Nah, I love her zero gravity hair!!

    May 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bernie

    they cant just say calvin and hobbes?

    May 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I was thinking the same thing, the cartoon they are talking about is obviously Calvin and Hobbes. The best comic strip ever in my opinion.
      May have something to do with the fact the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson, never allowed their image to be licensed.

      May 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AMERICA 1st

    I bet when the space mom gets back home, theres gona be a huge homecoming for her! HAPPY MOMS DAY!

    May 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mr. Britt

    Happy Mothers Day!!!!!

    May 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. vipul jain

    realy ..heart touching msg ..

    Distance not matters..

    May 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. vipul jain

    happy mothers day 🙂

    May 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ron San Bruno CA

    My Mom asked me, to ask you if you would please bring back some UFO footage and then I can return the 100.00 Boquet of flower I bought from FTD. Thanks and Happy Mothers Day .

    May 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lynn

    Can we say free and easy mother? Leaves family responsibilities at the door of the space station.

    May 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alientech

    Happy Mother's Day! American women rock!

    May 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. eddie2010

    Mom needs a hairbrush!

    May 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mick Ives


    May 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy


    I daily ever. I shed a tear (metaphorically) when Bill Watterson decided to quit drawing it.

    Spaceman Spiff, anyone?

    May 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pop

    220 miles takes about 2-3 trip something like New York to India non-stop flight. Mom needs to step on earth's floor. LOL. She will feel weird 2-3 weeks with dizziness and earth headache.

    May 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
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