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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (bacon Chat Log)Hosted by Dr. Jack Bacon of NASA and JSC OM5 VIPER Team

    kindra johnson - Chat Guest at Barton from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    Hello Dr.Bacon

    Hello! I'm here at JSC.

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Welcome to the Space Explorers, Inc., chat about the Centennial of Flight with Dr. Jack Bacon of NASA's Johnson Space Center.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    When you put people or animals in the "Vomet Comet", Do they really throw up?

    Yup. I've been there 4 times: 160 parabolas, and sick for 128 of them.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    why do you guys pick snooopy as the meadle

    Snoopy is the watchdog over Astronaut safety. The Astronauts asked Schultz if they could adopt him as a mascot after the Apollo 1 fire. Snoopy knows what it's like to be shot down, and thus encourages safety.

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 12/10/03 at 13:30.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    What is like to float in outerspace?

    It hurts every bit as much to walk into a wall at 2 meters per second as to float into one at that speed. You feel sort of woosey to start when you first get into microG, but after that, it's fun!

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    How do you explain the difference between microgravity and zero g?

    Micro-G is one millionth of a Gravitational acceleration. ZERO G is just that. ZERO! It's nearly impossible to get to absolute ZERO G except at an infinitesimal point, so we try to achieve pretty cloe: 1 microG over the whole space station.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    Do you know when NASA is going to make a space shuttle into mars?

    A Shuttle won't go to Mars. It's designed to go to and from Earth orbit. NASA has no FIRM plans to go to Mars, but is making the technology to let us make those plans. The European Space Agency wants to organize the world to go in about 2034, though, and I'm sure that it will be a worldwide effort.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    how hard it is to fly a erplan

    Flying an airplane is easy! A Sailplane is a bit harder, because it has no engine, like a paper airplane.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    Have you ever trained a monkey to ride on the "Vomet Comet

    Takes no training...just go!

    Sheldon Doxilly - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    My question is what was your best subject in school and did you like it?

    Loved science and especially math, but mostly, I liked to learn new stuff, and to piece it together into the BIG PICTURE. That's why I turned into a systems integrator.

    JAVIER SEPULVEDA - Chat Guest at WALKER MIDDLE SCHOOL from ORLANDO, FLORIDA asks:
    What do you like about your job??

    I get to travel and to meet people all over the world who are making history, adn who are the best in the world at their jobs. It's NEVER boring.

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    Does each module have its own self-contained air/water/heat supply? Or does the base supply those needs?

    The ISS is an integrated vehicle, with centralized power systems, thermal control, and life support. There is some redundancy (for reliability), but there is a big infrastructure that supports the laboratories. This is the first time that this has been done: the MIR was made of a lot of self-contained little spacecraft, like a bunch of motor homes trying to be a skyscraper!

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    What impact have the recent solar flares had on the astronauts in the space station?

    They got a slightly increased radiation dose. However, they fly below the Van Allen Radiation belts, which trap a lot of incoming radiation. They are still well within their medical limits, even though they got a bit of an unexpected dose...like getting a surprise trip to an XRAY machine.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    Did you want to be an astronuat when you were a little boy?

    I always wanted to work on spacecraft. Even before I tried (unsuccessfully) to become an astronaut. Itís something Iíve wanted to do my whole life. Mostly, I wanted to build things!

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    How long did it take to make the "Vomet Comet"?

    It's a normal airplane without the seats, so it's pretty easy to make. We've actually gone through a lot of them...7, I think

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    Have you ever traveled to the moon?

    I have not, but 24 americans have been to Lunar orbit, and 12 of those have walked on the moon. The Chinese have announced that they would like to go, adn I suspect that our President will tell us that we're going back there soon, in his speech next week at Kitty hawk

    Jessica . - Chat Guest at Walker Middle School from Orlando, Florida asks:
    I have two questions that I would like for you to answer for me! How long did you have to go to college to become a scientist and did you have to have any special training?

    You can be a scientist at any age with any training, as long as you folw the scientific method. To get a really good job, you need to finish a 4-year Bachelor's degree, or 2 more years for a Master's degree. I spent even more time than that...six more years, to finish a PhD, but that's not REALLY necessary, except for a limited few folks.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    What excactly are you working on?

    My team works on INTEGRATION. We handle all the stuff that isnít part of anyoneís hardware: things like pointing (attitude), orbit size (altitude), power management, thermal conditions, contamination, and all kinds of neat things. Mostly, it's the stuff that needs doing that nobody else seems to own.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    What is it like to be flodind in the air

    You feel surprisingly heavy. Try this experiment: swing your arm around in a circle. You'll feel it seems "heavier". That's INERTIA, and it has nothing to do with gravity. If you float in microG, you feel a LOT of those INERTIAL effects every time you move, and so you still have a definite sense that you have a lot of mass. Very surprising!

    Ellen - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    How do you feel about the advancements made from Da Vinci's time to today?

    DaVinci had 23 basic mechanisms with which he did ALL of his designs, and he had the wind, water, and animal power to drive things. We have so many more energy sources, adn new principles of physics (like semiconductors, and superconductors, and chemistry at our disposal, so things are moving REALLY fast, with lots of new inventions and ideas. Yours is the generation that can make even more change than Da Vinci did!

    sam smith - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan from Medina, Ohio asks:
    have you studied William Boeing

    Sorry...I have not.

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    Is the water suppply entirely self-contained or does it need replenishment (losses due to various causes?

    The Water gets PARTIALLY recycled. We collect it out of the atmosphere, adn turn that into Oxygen by passing electricity into it. (The Hydrogen gets dumped overboard, so it doesn't explode!). We resupply a LOT of water using the Shuttle, which makes literally tons of it as part of its power generation. Right now, we're conserving all the water we can, because the Shuttle won't be coming for awhile.

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    Are there any animals aboard the space station (spiders, fish, etc.)?

    Not at the moment, but some are coming when we get the centrifuge module in a few years. They'll be the basis of a new scientific field called GRAVITATIONAL BIOLOGY.

    Chrissy Paape - SEI Staff at Space Explorers from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    Could you tell us about your book My Grandfathers' Clock?

    I use 28 generations of my ancestry to show how life gets better in every generation from the Dark Ages upt to our time in the Space Age. You can count on having even a better life that my generation has had, if the trend continues!

    Ellen - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    What do you feel about growing plants on the International Space Station?

    I'm all for it. We've done a little, and will do more once we've finished assembling the ISS

    Chrissy Paape - SEI Staff at Space Explorers from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    Was NACA (National Advisory Council on Aeronautics), the precursor of NASA started as a result of the Wright Brother's first powered flight on December 17, 1903?

    Actually, it was more in response to WWI, when we realized that although USA had invented the airplane, Europe had pulled far ahead of us in developing it. NACA started as an advisory committee (Orville Wright was on it) and quicky grew into the Langley memorial lab in Hampton Roads VA. in 1920.

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    What will you do to celebrate December 17 the 100th anniversary of flight?

    I'm going to be on a telecast to Ohio and to North Carloina students, together with Astronaut Nancy Currie and with the 2 crew aboard the ISS. I'm looking forward to it!

    jacob jacquet - Chat Guest at sota2 from la crosse, wisconsin asks:
    why did you start your job

    I always wanted to MAKE some history. We do it every day in th Space program. We're really making a difference, like the folks who developed electricity, magnetism, chemistry, and the other forces of nature for our use in our technology. We're developing GRAVITY as a tool to use in our technology, and it's going to be REALLY important...almost as big as fire or electricity!

    jacob jacquet - Chat Guest at sota2 from la crosse, wisconsin asks:
    how old where you when you stared your professoin

    Six. I've been getting better at it every year since then!

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    Would you rather fly the Wright Flyer or in the space station?

    The ISS for sure.

    Jeanie - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    Were you inspired by any of the aviational pioneers to join your field of work?

    Yup. Both of my grandparents! My Grandparents met in 1920 when they opened the doors of the first site of NACA, which later became NASA. They build airplanes like the WWI vintage Red Baron stuff. Iím 2 generations later, and I build the ISS. Pretty fast progress.

    Shery Bennett - Teacher at Barton Elementary School from Lake Worth, Florida asks:
    how hard it is to fly an airplan

    Easy! It's the landing that's hard!

    Holly Novion - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How come a comet is a comet and not a planet or asteroid? Thank you for taking your time in answering my question! thank you very much.

    Comets are different form planets because they are smaller, They are different from asteroids (which ALSO sometimes have very elliptic (egg-shaped) orbits because they are made partially of ice, which lets them give off a lot of gasses when they heat up on the part of the orbit that goes near the sun.

    Alex Beebe - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan from Medina, Ohio asks:
    How long have you studied space?

    42 years

    Ellen - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    Being the 100 years since powered flight what do you think flight will be like in another 100 years?

    I think that people will still travel subsonicly, for the most part. it takes a LOT of energy to go supersonic. If you go fast, you might as well go all the way to orbit (or beyond), where there will be hotels and a big tourist business. I also forsee that ground transportation will start to use a lot of magnetic levitation and superconducting magents for propulsion: you'll basically "fly" along a rail at 300 km/hr (180 miles per hour). I write about that in my last book: My Stepdaughter's

    Ellen - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    Do you think we would be as far as we are today, if Da Vinci wouldn't have been so preseptive to flight?

    Yes. I think that it was the industrial revolution that really started bringing all the necessary pieces together. SOmeone would have flown soon after 1903 if the Wrights had failed.

    Jeanie - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    Do you enjoy your job?

    I LOVE it!

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    Does the shuttle take the garbage back down?

    Some of it. The Progress does most of the Garbage duty: it burns up on reentry

    Alex Beebe - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan from Medina, Ohio asks:
    Have you studied the wright brothers?

    Yes. I like them for their methodical nature. Did you know that they didn't go to college?

    Charlene Smith - Teacher at Langston Aerospace Environ from Hot Springs, Arkansas asks:
    Next Wednesday we will be celebrating the Centennial of Flight in a big way. Do you ever do live audio-conferencing with students?

    I'll be doing a live videofeed that day, but to a group that's already set up special for the day.

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    How have the experinces you have had as a scuba diver and pilot helped you to do your job? What was the most useful training you had to become a systems integrator?

    A curious mind and a likable personality help. Mostly, you're negotiating compromises from specialists in a lot of different areas, who each have to give up a little of what would make their OWN system perfect, to make the whole thing work better. Thus, it's good to be friendly, and to teach a lot.

    Xavier Michaelson - Chat Guest at Holmen High School from Holmen, WI asks:
    Do you think it will take us until 2018 to return to the moon?

    Much Longer. 2034 is optimistic, but possible

    Stecia - Guest Student at Walker Middle School from Orlando, Florida asks:
    have you ever preformed the same experiment in space?

    Define "Same experiment". Sometimes we repeat a data run to get statistical data because we never get ean EXACT answer. Soemtimes, we do an experiment over and over using slightly different settings, to understand how things trend with respect to each other. We try never to lose any data!

    Kevin Shirtz - Chat Guest at Shiocton from Shiocton, WI asks:
    How long do you think it will be before we have reusable space vehicle.

    We have one...The Shuttle. We do throw away the external tank, but we throw away many tires in the life of an automobile too!

    Xavier Michaelson - Chat Guest at Holmen High School from Holmen, WI asks:
    Will we send humans to Mars one day?

    No Doubt. It's absolutely certain, and probably in your lifetime.

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    What can living aboard the space station teach us about living on another planet or the moon?

    Any relation to the Cindy Duckert I used to know? We're learning how to live and work in space. The Centrifuge on the ISS will give us our first understanding of how plants and anials live and grow in 1/6 G (The moon's gravity) and Mars at 1/3 G.

    Kris Goyins - Chat Guest at Elliston School from Elliston, Montana asks:
    Dp you forsee colonies in space?

    Absolutely. I work each year on design competitions for students to works on such colonies. You'll have the chance in your professional career to work on such plans, if not implement them!

    Amanda Johnson - Chat Guest at from Barron, WI asks:
    What would you like to see happen in the Space Program over the next 100 years?

    I'd like to see gravity become part of our technology, and to see us start to tap some of the INFINITE resources that are out in space. The whole Earth is less than one millionth of the mass in the solar system. Perhaps there's some fortuynes to be made in mining out there?

    Xavier Michaelson - Chat Guest at Holmen High School from Holmen, WI asks:
    What kind of spacecraft will astronauts take to Mars?

    It will be specially designed. it will probably have a plasma drive engine (you'll need to look that up) and will be a multinational effort, built in Low earth Orbit and launched there. It will have an orbiter, several landers, and an infrastructure that will probably be auto-landed long before the crew leaves earth's orbit. The Infrastructure will provide life support and propellant manufacture out of the Mars environment.

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    What books or movies inspired you? What would you recommend today?

    2010 is the best Sci-Fi movie ever made. VERY realistic in its technology, and inspirational because it shows UA and Russia working together in Space, and DEPENDING on each other. That is, in fact, the description of my JOB these days! I also liked MAROONED for the same reasons.

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    Yep, you're my Jacok Bacon and I'm your Cindy Duckert- you have the same grin you had in college and still like to work with young eeople

    Awesome. A small world, and always a pleasure to connect with any intelligent person in it! GREAT to see that you're inspiring the next generation too. Your kids should feel honored to have you as a teacher.

    Xavier Michaelson - Chat Guest at Holmen High School from Holmen, WI asks:
    Do you think humans will ever travel outside our solar system?

    Eventually, but it will take a few generations. You'll need a fusion reactor first, to make the necessary energy.

    Amanda Johnson - Chat Guest at Barron High School from Barron, WI asks:
    How long will it be before the spacecraft are nuclear powered?

    Some are today: mostly Russian military satellites, and all deep space probes (the ones that go beyond mars, where sunlight falls off too much to be useful!). Nuclear is a topic of active NASA research, but the public has a great fear of it. Handled properly, it actually makes human spaceflight SAFER, but that's a very long subject for a chat room!

    Ellen - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    have you ever been inspired by any of Jules Verne's books/

    All of them. Mostly, though, my inspirations are Marvin Minsky, Lord Kelvin, John Nash, and Carl Sagan. each of them has contributed one of the four basic pillars of my understanding of the world. The are: 1) Ideas are like life forms. They evolve, adn only the best ones survive. 2) The laws of thermodynamics force us to the simplest (and most efficient) solution. 3) We optimize our world in different ways, depending upon how big we think our world is-a gang, a family, a (more later)

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    Do the space tourists that have gone up get in the way?

    No. More power to them. I'm in this businewss because I want to open the space frontier for ALL people!

    Jeanie - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    We are doing a presention on the 100 years of powered flight on December 17 and we were wondering if there were any "not so known

    The wrights failed a lot, but learned a LOT form every failure. They built experiments to teach them what they did not know from books. Some experiments nearly killed them, but they had faith in themselves and their METHOD.

    Jeanie - Student at Rosholt Middle School from Rosholt, Wisconsin asks:
    We are doing a presention on the 100 years of powered flight on December 17 do you have any suggestions that might make our presention more realilstic?

    Hmmm... I wasn't there! Read a lot of books, because they all teach you a slightly different thing about that day!

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The chat room will be closing in a few minutes. Thank you for joining us. And we would especially like to thank Dr. Jack Bacon for being our guest today.

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Please join us again for our next two upcoming live online chats. Lt. Col. Mike Hodges will be chatting about his work on the International Space Station Mission Control Center on Monday, Dec. 15, 2003 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. CST. Later Dr. Alan Binder will discuss the Lunar Prospector Mission on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2004 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. CST.

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    What is the greatest distance a spacecraft has been?

    I'm not sure, but I think that Voyager II is no the farthest, well outside of Neptune's orbit. Some Scientists think that it's showing early signs of raching the heliopause, where it's environment is about to be dominated by interstellar space, and not by our sun

    Cindy Duckert - Teacher at Lawrence University from Neenah, Wisconsin asks:
    Thank you Dr. Bacon. It is a delight to be able to ask you questions that aren't in a book.

    What a pleasure it's been here. Send me an email...get it form the spaceexplorers

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The room will now be closing. Once again, thank you for joining us and thank you Dr. Bacon.

    Kevin Shirtz - Chat Guest at Shiocton from Shiocton, WI asks:
    Do you like monkeys?

    Don't know any personally. I hang around with Astronauts and Rocket Scientists!

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    12/10/2003 2:33:26 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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