We sat in the capsule, right on the edge of the caldera of Mount Aso. It was going to erupt within a matter of hours. No one knew exactly when, but we knew it would be soon. The capsule was made of ceramic designed to withstand the heat of the eruption. The ceramic was laced with a fiber composite designed to withstand the forces of the eruption.
We were going to sit inside the capsule, and watch the eruption up close. The first humans to study an eruption from the inside. Sitting on the edge of the caldera through the eruption was certainly risky. It’s not like we could test the capsule thoroughly enough to guarantee we would live through the eruption. But rather than sit there, nervously waiting for our potential demise, we took a more truculent approach, daring Mother Nature to do her worst, we were ready.