This is the Spanish winner of ESA's XMM Essay Competition "What's new Mr. Galileo?":


As every night, with the telescope in my hand, I climb to the roof of my house and devote some time to dream. I look up to the sky and I am amazed at its beauty. An incredible number of stars fill the firmament which presides the marvellous satellite that keeps me company. While I prepare the basic equipment that allows me to gaze at the most wonderful part of the Creation, I remember the astronomy books from the municipal library that I have read so many times with the hope of becoming an astronaut some day.

And who has not ever dreamed of being an astronaut? I must confess that when I read or watch on television the feats of Pedro Duque and Miguel López-Alegría, my hair stands on end and I feel revive again this hope that so many times has been crossing my mind. I wonder what moves a lot of young people to leave a safe and conventional job to try to take part in an astronauts team, when they know they have to pass a lot of very hard trials. It could be that scientific and adventurous spirit some people have that has allowed us to discover through the Human History every corner of our planet. It could be the necessity of satisfying the Man desire to understand and discover new worlds. This spirit we inherited from Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Hubble, ? , and from other men and women who devoted their lives to Science. So we can?t let this hope to vanish like a gamma rays explosion, we must keep it lighted for lots of million years, as stars do. And how important it is to have young people interested in Astronomy! If we investigate about stars, we learn things about ourselves, because we are made from the same staff stars are made of.
Lots of countries invest in the Space Exploration and it allows people to develop one of their human features: to decipher the most difficult hieroglyph, to decode the incredible secrets which the Universe entails. That?s why it is necessary for Mankind to have young people to be able to discover who we are and where are we from. Today?s young people are tomorrow?s future scientists, so new researches depend on us.
We are building a new Europe. Let?s have a dream and make it lead the future of our civilization.
I?m very tired so I start falling asleep. Tomorrow, as usual, I will come once again to the roof-observatory of my house to continue dreaming in my cold and lonely nights. I point my rudimentary telescope towards the full moon that makes my nights less dark for the last time and I feel something special inside myself. I want my dream to come true. I want to discover these incredible secrets the Space hides. I want to be one of that young people that has to explore the Universe and I?ll try to do it as well as I can.

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