Space Station Crew Discusses Life in Space with the Media | Summary and Q&A

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May 1, 2017
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NASA
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Space Station Crew Discusses Life in Space with the Media

TL;DR

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson discusses her experiences living on the International Space Station and the record-breaking achievements she has accomplished during her time in space.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What educational paths should one pursue to become an astronaut or work in astronomy?

Peggy Whitson suggests that any field in math, science, or engineering is important, as they all contribute to space flight and exploration. She encourages individuals to pursue a field that they are passionate about and that drives them to learn and excel.

Q: Can anything prepare you for life in zero gravity? What is it like?

Life in zero gravity is hard to simulate on Earth. While astronauts practice in simulations, nothing can fully prepare them for the fact that everything floats and tools need to be secured to prevent them from floating away. Working in any orientation can be disorienting, and constant attention is required to keep track of tools and supplies.

Q: What is the most important advancement gained from time spent in space?

Peggy Whitson finds it difficult to pick just one important advancement. She mentions the discoveries made by the Hubble Space Telescope, advancements made in understanding Mars as a future destination, and the critical research conducted on the International Space Station that will aid in exploring space further.

Q: How often do astronauts communicate with their loved ones?

Astronauts on the International Space Station have the ability to communicate with their loved ones every day while orbiting Earth. They can use an Internet Protocol phone and talk to their family, friends, and loved ones regularly. However, communication during future exploration missions may be more challenging, as it can take minutes or even up to 20 minutes for messages to reach Mars.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Peggy Whitson is the current commander of the International Space Station and holds the record for the most cumulative days in space by an American astronaut.

  • She emphasizes the importance of pursuing education in math, science, and engineering for those who want to become astronauts or work in the field of astronomy.

  • Life in zero gravity is disorienting and requires constant attention to keep track of tools and supplies.

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