At the beginning of the year, Wired sent me out to New Mexico to photograph the state’s rich history of aiding space exploration. While New Mexico’s importance in the space race is undeniable, its day-to-day relationship with the cosmos was a bit underwhelming. You can read more about that in Michael Haney’s excellent story. I brought my pal Cole Wilson and we visited Spaceport America where Virgin Galactic will launch its private space tours. The facility is outside of a strange town called Truth or Consequences. We also went to a couple space museums along the highway. White Sands has a cool rocket park that we shot and ended up camping out in the insane landscape. And in a final effort to understand zero gravity (and kill time before our flight) we went to a trampoline park.

Being in New Mexico for the better part of a week got me thinking about what it might be like to travel through space. Much like New Mexico, it’s quiet and barren with lots of time and distance between points of interest. While both seem incredibly beautiful, I don’t think there’s a whole lot to do. I’m not so good at sitting still and staring out the window. Thus I hereby formally retract my childhood bid to be an astronaut.