Today ends my long, tedious journey across the stars to a planet 8.5 light years away from Earth, a planet that has been theorized to contain all the necessary resources to sustain human life, water, oxygen, plant and animal life, and more. Today, I will finally set foot on solid ground after, well I can't seem to remember how long it has been. Note, the cryo sleep seems to have affected my memory to some degree as I have trouble recalling my last moments on Earth. If my memory serves me correctly, I left Earth sometime in 2018, which means my trip took approximately 34 years to complete. This seems accurate, as the ship's propulsion drives move the ship at about 1/4th light speed. So then, I haven't touched solid ground in 34 years. Well, there's one mystery solved. I am currently looking out one of the windows on the starboard side of the ship, looking onto the planet I will soon be walking on. This day is one to be marked in the history books, as it is today, for the first time in history, man as set foot on a planet outside their own star system. The computers are currently running a diagnostic of the atmosphere to confirm it's makeup, and also to ensure the water is drinkable. No matter what, I will be going down onto that planet within a couple hours. Earth didn't spend 2 trillion dollars and 15 years of secrecy to develop this ship just so I could go up next to a planet after all. Funny, 2 trillion dollars for a ship, yet the camera they gave me to take pictures with was only worth about 750 dollars 34 years ago. I wonder what kind of camera someone could get for 750 dollars now? I do remember this camera a little bit, though. I was told to take it home and practice with it on my family and friends, get used to it's feel and it's features. I turned it on, and it slowly whirred to life after 34 years of dormancy. I started checking everything, and even taking a few test pictures to ensure it still works, which it does. I then went to the slideshow portion of the camera, and I looked back at all the fond memories I had with my friends. Yeah, I remember this photo. A couple weeks before leaving for my journey, me and some friends went down to a bar and they got wasted. They tried to hook me up with some drunk woman at the bar, who I don't even think was 21. I politely refused, and they called me a pussy whipped little bitch for not fucking every last woman I met. They seem to forget, or at least not want to acknowledge, the fact that I am, or was, happily married. Yup, those are my friends...were my friends. Speaking of happily married, I came across a picture of me and my wife, Leslie. I remember we were walking through a rose garden near where we live, and we had someone take a picture of us as we kissed under a wooden arch that was covered in roses. It was so romantic, and it was on that day that I fell in love with her all over again. I put my hand over the picture, as her image just brings back too many painful memories. I had to continue past her, and I did. I stopped on a picture of my little boy, Jack. He was wearing all of his Boston Red Sox gear, along with a catchers mit while holding a baseball. He wanted so badly to become a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, I wonder if he had realized his dream? He always wore Red Sox gear, the hat, the jersey, everything. We would always play catch in the yard, and it was there that I took this picture. He was only 10 when I took it, which means by now, he must be 44 years old. He probably has his own children in High School by now. I had to laugh a little. Because of the cryo sleep, I haven't aged a day since I left. I am biologically still 32 years old. My son is actually older than I am. My laughter turned quickly to sorrow as I realized that by the time I get back, he will probably be 78 years old, but I will still be 32. I will almost certainly have to watch my son die. I quickly turned off the camera to avoid thinking about it, and instead, turned my attention to preparation for landing on the planet surface. I know that back on Earth, this planet is called Alpha-Simon 23776-98, but that doesn't sound like a proper planet name. I remember the day I left for NASA, just about a week before the launch of this space craft, my boy came up to me and asked me what planet I was going to visit. I told him the name, and he didn't like it either. He told me he had a better name for it, so I asked him what it should be called. When he told me, I knew right away that it was the perfect name for this planet.
Good night, and God bless.
Commander Richard Gilman