Proust Questionnaire with Mori Ono


Ella Rosewarne

Mori Ono enjoys time outside as plants bloom in Ann Arbor. The nearby blooming magenta bushes have added color to Ono’s view recently.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Being swept up in a moment of curiosity that has me yearning to discover more about something fascinating. 

What is your greatest fear? 

A fear that at the end, I’ll be overwhelmed by a desire to be young again, to take the chances and make the memories that I never did — and know that I never again have the chance to do those things. 

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? 

My indecisiveness. No matter what kind of decision I have to make, I spend way too much time trying to make the best decision, only to regret it later on. 

Which living person do you most admire? 

Brian May. How does one become a rock star and an astrophysicist? 

What is your greatest extravagance? 

Large-size cup of bubble tea. 

What is your current state of mind? 

Gratitude at the luck I ultimately have. 

On what occasion do you lie? 

How would you know that what I would say wouldn’t be a lie in itself? 

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

  My hair after sleeping in. 

What is the quality you most like in a man? 

The ability to build on each others’ sense of fun and humor. 

What is the quality you most like in a woman? 

Care in times of need. 

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? 

Bruh. Ope. Literally. Uh. Crikey. 

When and where were you happiest?

  Maybe it’s painfully nerdy, but the International Space Development Conference a couple years ago in DC! I met so many amazing people working in the space industry, and driven peers from across the globe. It seemed like everywhere I went, I could have an exciting conversation. 

Which talent would you most like to have?

  Balancing the study and the fun. 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 

A tendency to be socially awkward. Sometimes, meeting new people and jumping into a conversation seems so easy, until I actually try! 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

  My Space Settlement Contest entries. Throughout the near-sleepless nights spent researching, thinking and writing, I felt an incredible sense of drive and passion from within me. Regardless of the awards they got, they stood as something I was proud of. 

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? 

The Voyager 2 spacecraft. Imagine seeing four distant planets, their rings and their unique little moons! 

Where would you most like to live?

In a tropics-themed O’Neill Cylinder–a large space station that rotates to simulate gravity–to combine peace with excitement. 

What is your most treasured possession? 

My Squier Affinity Stratocaster guitar. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

  Making a decision fully under your control, and wishing you could change it — even when it’s far too late. 

What is your favorite occupation? 

Aerospace engineering — particularly on the space side. There’s so much out in space — in resources, energy and just plain opportunity — and so much that aerospace engineers can do to make the most of it. 

What is your most marked characteristic? 

The goofiest laugh. 

What do you most value in your friends? 

Loyalty, conversation and wildness. 

Who are your favorite writers? 

Carl Sagan and Cixin Liu. 

Who is your hero of fiction?

  Iron Man. Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

Which historical figure do you most identify with? 

Gerard O’Neill: one guy who transformed the way we imagined the possibilities of space. 

Who are your heroes in real life? 

Anyone who can see the connections that create the tapestry of the big picture. 

What are your favorite names? 

Julianna and Katerina  What is it that you most dislike? 

Stagnation and a lack of mutual understanding. 

What is your greatest regret? 

Staying in my shell when I could’ve reached out. 

How would you like to die? 

Being able to say the lyrics to “My Way” and have it feel honest. 

What is your motto? 

“Ad Astra Per Aspera.” (Through hardships to the stars)