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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (coleman2004 Chat Log)During this online chat, 440 questions were asked by 27 schools. There were 50 adults and 81 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by Astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman, PhD (Col. USAF) of NASA

    Ryan - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan from Medina, Ohio asks:
    What do black hole do and look like?

    We did not know until we launched the Chandra X Ray Observatory.... look at www.chandra.harvard.edu to see x ray images from Chandra!

    Chrissy Paape - Moderator at Space Explorers from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 12/06/04 at 13:30.

    cole - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan elamentary from medina, ohio asks:
    why did you choose to be in the air force?

    My Dad was in the Navy - and I liked the idea of service to our country. Plus - we had no money for college - and I liked the idea of trading service for education.

    Oscar - Chat Guest at Edward Cannan Elementary from Willis, Texas asks:
    Will there be money in the NASA budget to plan manned missions back to the moon and new manned missions to Mars?

    The bill with NASA budget included was just passed, so we are all pretty hopeful here at NASA. In the mean time, we continue to plan how we will get to these places safely. We need all of our young people to be prepared to help us on this exciting path - please study hard and be ready!

    Frances Bosi - Teacher at Ps 205 Q from Bayside, New York asks:
    Would a helium filled balloon rise inside of a space craft?

    I don't think so!

    Greg Norman - Teacher at School District Of Webster from Webster, Wisconsin asks:
    We know you are very educated but what extra training do you have to do to prepare for space travel?

    We practice every aspect of the mission - thinking - what if THIS happens - what if THAT happens. We are trying to be prepared for situations that might come up. That means a lot of studying and practicing - just like we ask your students to do - so that they are prepared for an exciting future filled with exploration!

    Gary Mercier - Teacher at St. Paul Lutheran from Grafton, Wisconsin asks:
    A student in 4th grade wishes to know what is a Black Hole?

    The best place to find out is the website for the Chandra Telescope. We know that black holes suck everything around them in - but they also spew out X rays - and that's how Chandra spots them. Check out http://www.chandra.harvard.edu

    Susan Hackett - Teacher at Rock L. Butler Middle School from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania asks:
    Derek - Have you seen any meteors or comets while in space?

    I have seen a few while up in space - but guess who saw a meteor coming in and hitting the planet Mars??? One of the rovers took a picture of a meteor flying thru the atmosphere in Mars. How amazing is that? The rovers are our eyes on Mars - and every day brings new discoveries!

    Mr. - Chat Guest at K-Beach Elementary from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    Cady, where there special challenges for you, as a female, in becoming an astronaut?

    I would say - take classes that inspire you - classes that you like. If you plan a career in science or engineering - remember that Mathematics is the language of those fields - and like it or not - you need to speak it!

    Anthony Marinelli - Guest Teacher at Willoughby Middle School from Willoughby, Ohio asks:
    What types of classes should high school students take in order to become an astronaut?

    What types of classes should high school students take in order to become an astronaut? I answered this below under the question about female astronauts... oops! Now for the female answer.... I would say that the biggest challenge to being on a small team with a big mission is to keep loking for what your team members BRING to the team - instead of harping on what they don't bring. You also need to look inside yourself and think about what YOU bring - and advertise them to the team!

    Gary Mercier - Teacher at St. Paul Lutheran from Grafton, Wisconsin asks:
    Sal - Have you used the Hubble Telescope while in space?

    No - but we have all been using it down here on the ground. Hubble - and the other members of our telescope family - have been showing us the universe - and I am constantly amazed at the wild places out there!

    Ryan - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan from Medina, Ohio asks:
    How long did you go to school?

    I'm still in school! Every single day - there are more things to learn... more things to know. I went to high school and colllege and graduate school in order to become an astronaut - but the learning never stops!

    Steve Steveson - Chat Guest at St. johns from madison, AL asks:
    how many space missions have you been on?

    I've been on 2 missions to space - one for 16 days and one for 5 days. I would like to go back!

    Susan Abell - Chat Guest at St. John's from Madison, Alabama asks:
    Abigail would like to ask where do you work when you are designing a space habitat. Indoors or outside. How do you get oxygen inside the space habitat?

    We either have to bring our oxygen - or make it within our habitat! I work in Texas - but people from all over the world are helping to design the places that we need in order to live on the Moon and Mars. I'm hoping that Abigail will be helping to design future habitats!

    Susan Hackett - Teacher at Rock L. Butler Middle School from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania asks:
    Jillian - Who are your role models?

    My Mom taught me that I could be anything I wanted... it is a pretty special thing to do for someone - and I'd like to make sure that I help other kids realize that their dreams are possilbe.

    Ryan - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan from Medina, Ohio asks:
    Is it fun to explore space?

    It is amazingly fun to be in 'zero' gravity.... everything floats and flies - including us! You'll never want to walk again!

    Billy - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How big does the earth look from space.

    The earth looks beautiful - but none of the countries have names on them with capital letters... so you might want to study your geography before you go!

    Rasul - Chat Guest at Clara Muhammad School from Washington, DC asks:
    How did you feel when you were in outer space?

    I felt lucky to be there - and except for missing my family - I did not want to come home.

    Carol Zeno - Teacher at Maria L. Mcdougall Elementary from Guanica, PR asks:
    Hello, I work with third, fourth and fith graders a total of 165 students. Students would like a message of how you became an Astronaut. And advice of the important in been an astronaut. And a picture of you.Our school is from Puerto Rico, Maria L. McDougall. Thank yuo very much. Carol Zeno

    I became an astronaut because I believed in myself enough to fill out the application - and enough to make sure that I had aquired the skills that I thought were important. Make sure your kids practice writing.... they need to fill out an application for any job that they apply for - and they need to be able to say why THEY should get the job!

    Jacob - Chat Guest at Niagara Public School from Niagara, Wisconsin asks:
    Whats your favorite Food in space

    First mission - chicken and rice soup. Second mission - beef stroganoff.

    Billy - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What type of metal are space ships made of since they can last in space.

    Mostly aluminum - but it is not just a question of 'lasting' - we need to make sure that they are light enough - and strong enough - and flexible enough.... that's why we need more scientists and engineers to look at the metals we have - and make new ones that will take us even farther into the universe!

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at St. Johns School from Madison, Alabama asks:
    Was the training hard to become an astronaut?

    The training is not so HARD - but there is a lot of it - and you need to try to do your best every day.... not so different than what I expect from your students.... If math is hard for them - it doesn't mean that math is 'not for them' - it means they have to work harder at it than some of their friends. Math is like that for me - I have to work hard - but if I want this job - I just have to spend the time to learn the things that I need to know - including math!

    Kristen - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan from Medina, Ohio asks:
    How old were you you when you started getting interested in space?

    I was in college - wow - that is pretty old - isn't it? It wasn't the kind of job that girls usually had.... so that's why we need our girls to be interested earlier - so that they are ready. OK - we need boys too - but you also have to be ready - so study hard - all of you!!!!

    Steve Steveson - Chat Guest at St. johns from madison, AL asks:
    What would happen if you wentoutside in space without a suit?

    Bad idea - at least in our outer space neighborhood. On the other hand - our suits are so good - that even if you got a hole in your suit - you'd still have time to go back inside and get it fixed.

    Lucas - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    what is the Longest time you have been in space

    I was in space for 16 days on STS-73.

    Matthew - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Did you ever see a supernova before?

    Only from images that our telescope from STS-93 has been taking. Go to http://www.chandra.harvard.edu - and you will see a gazillion supernovas!

    Anthony Marinelli - Guest Teacher at Willoughby Middle School from Willoughby, Ohio asks:
    Do you believe that the HST should be replaced?

    The more we learn about our universe - the more we need to know. We will always need new telescopes - and more people to look thru them.

    Brock - Chat Guest at niagara public school from niagara, wisconsin asks:
    how long do you have to train to be able to go to space

    As long as it takes to be ready. I trained for 2 years to be an astronaut - and then 2 years for my first mission - and 16 months for my second mission.

    Susan Hackett - Teacher at Rock L. Butler Middle School from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania asks:
    Charlie - Have you been outside of the spacecraft?

    No - but I would like to go!

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at St. Johns School from Madison, Alabama asks:
    Is it cold in space?

    It is cold when the sun is behind the earth - and hot when you are on the same side of the earth as the sun. In our shuttle - or our space station - we havea thermostat - almost like the one in your house - so it is always comfortable.

    jason st. martin - Chat Guest at west milwaukee middle school from west milwaukee, wisconsin asks:
    We had the fortunate joy of meeting Sally Ride this past summer, in you opinion, since the time she entered space to the time you did, what has changed with respect to women in space?

    Still not enough of them have been. My Mom still wants to be on the list.

    Chief - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan Elementary from Medina, Ohio asks:
    Were (or are) any of your family members involved with space research?

    My Dad was in the Navy - and he helped build the first habitats for when men first lived under the sea - called "SEA LAB". I just finished an 11day stay in an underwater habitat called Aquarius - off the coast of Florida - practicing some of the things that the underwater environment helps us practice for space.

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at St. Johns School from Madison, Alabama asks:
    What do you do in your spare time in space?

    Well - on a shuttle mission - there is no spare time. Every minute is busy - or sleeping - and there is never enough time. Given a moment free - I look out the window.

    juliana - Chat Guest at St. johns from Madison, AL asks:
    How big does the earth look when you are in space?

    If you look down - it is like a very interesting geography lesson. If you look out to the horizon - you see the curve of the earth - and you realize that you are in orbit around the earth i a spaceship. Wow.

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at St. Johns School from Madison, Alabama asks:
    Why did you want to be an astronaut?

    I wanted to do something that combined science - with adventure. Plus - I wanted to explore the universe. Somebody has to.... I'm hoping your students will make sure they are ready to join us - or to get the job of THEIR dreams.

    Ryan - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan from Medina, Ohio asks:
    Are you going to go into space again?

    I hope so - but we have a lot of jobs here on the ground too - and - it's not my turn yet!

    juliana - Chat Guest at St. johns from Madison, AL asks:
    Are the colors pretty in space?

    The colors are more beautiful than any photograph that I have ever seen..... I wish everyone could see them

    Mr. - Chat Guest at K-Beach Elementary from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    Which mission would you like to be assigned?

    Any mission would be wonderful.

    Susan Hackett - Teacher at Rock L. Butler Middle School from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania asks:
    Derek - What is it like to take off in a space shuttle?

    It is amazingly exciting to realize that you are on your way to space!

    hogarth - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    is pluto a planet or a planetoid

    There has been a lot of debate about that lately - and I don't think we have the final answer. Why don't you do some research - and form your own opinion - I think you'll find that you have some good ideas about what to consider!

    Susan Abell - Chat Guest at St. John's from Madison, Alabama asks:
    Bridget would like to know how far you have traveled into space?

    Not far enough Bridget!

    miranda - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    is it cold or hot up in space

    It is both hot and cold - depending on the relative position of the sun

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at St. Johns School from Madison, Alabama asks:
    Dylan- have you ever had less than 2 g's in the space cemulator

    I've experienced anywhere from negative 2 G's - to 9 G's - and my favorite would be zero G!

    Steve Steveson - Chat Guest at St. johns from madison, AL asks:
    what are your opinions on the renewing of the space shuttle program that President Bush has been talking about?

    I think that people will explore the universe - humans just have to - we can't help it. I am glad that NASA is planning to leave our planet for the Moon and Mars - and I'm hoping that some of the kids on-line will be ready to be on the teams that go.

    robert - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    what is a quasars

    We both need to look at the cool Chandra website in order to find out - http://www.chandra.harvard.edu

    Susan Hackett - Teacher at Rock L. Butler Middle School from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania asks:
    Charlie - Did you float in space?

    Yes - and so did everything and everyone else around me!

    Chief - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan Elementary from Medina, Ohio asks:
    Was there any problems in either of the two space missions you've been on?

    We had an electrical short on my second mission - and my first thought was "We know how to do that" - because we had practiced these kinds of emergency procedures over and over again.

    liz - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Which planet your favorite

    Earth - since we live here. When I live somewhere else - I might like that one better.

    Susan Hackett - Teacher at Rock L. Butler Middle School from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania asks:
    Do you visit classrooms to talk about the space program?

    I try to - it is part of our job! Who knows which one of you kids will be on your way to Mars!

    Michaela - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What did you want to be when you were 12?

    I did not know - and I think it is OK not to know what you want to be. You still have a long time to learn about what you like - and what you don't - and what you need to work hard at - and what comes easy.

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at St. Johns School from Madison, Alabama asks:
    Can you send any pictures to are class of what you saw ? 6th grade Chloe Milliken

    Your class can look on the internet for www.spaceflight.nasa.gov - and find pictures that were taken on lots of shuttle missions - they are free to download - and that way - you can pick the ones that are interesting to you. It is a great place to go for report ideas!

    Rasul - Chat Guest at Clara Muhammad School from Washington, DC asks:
    How old are you?

    Almost 44.

    Chrissy Paape - Moderator at Space Explorers from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The chat room will be closing in approximately five minutes. At this time, we would like to thank everyone for joining us for this special event. We would especially like to thank Cady Coleman for being our chat host today.

    Anna - Chat Guest at St.Paul Lutheran from Grafton, Wisconsin asks:
    Did you like learning about astronomy when you were in schol?

    I loved looking up in the sky - and learning about the different stars. Now I like learning about how different they all are!

    Marissa - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Did you see any shooting stars up close while you were up there? Any black holes or anything else?

    We did see some great shooting stars - they are beautiful from space - and you usually see them when you are looking down - as opposed to up!

    Lucas - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Have you seen orion?

    Both from the earth -and from space. My favorite is Pleides.

    Melissa - Chat Guest at Niagara Middle school from Niagara, Wisconsin asks:
    do you like your job

    I LOVE my job - and I hope that school prepares you for one that you love as well.

    Mr. - Chat Guest at K-Beach Elementary from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    What advice would you give to young girls who would like to pursue a career in space flight?

    I'd say that they need to learn lots of math and science - but not to forget writing and reading and languages and art and music - everything that they love!

    Mr. - Chat Guest at K-Beach Elementary from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    Bill Oefelein visited our school last year. Do you know him?

    Billie O is one of my favorite guys. We both had the privelge of going to Antarctica and collecting meteorites. He gave me lots of good advice when he came back from his trip so that I would be ready.

    Susan Abell - Chat Guest at St. John's from Madison, Alabama asks:
    Richard would like to ask how long a person can stay in the space station and stay healthy? Has this time increased with improvements in the space habitat environment.

    Let's find out! We are working on that - using the Space Station to find out what kinds of exercies are neccessary to mitigate any physical effects from lack of gravity. We use exercise to help with these effects.

    Chrissy Paape - Moderator at Space Explorers from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Thanks again for joining us today. Please join us again from 1:00 2:15 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 1, 2005 for a chat with Scott Hubbard, Director of Ames Research Center. During this chat, you will have an opportunity to chat about the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy.

    Chrissy Paape - Moderator at Space Explorers from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    For the most up to date and complete listing of future chat events, please check out http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/events/chats.html We look forward to seeing you all again!!!

    Astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman, PhD (Col. USAF) - Chat Host from NASA comments:
    Hi Folks - thanks so much to all of you that wrote in.... I have to go back to work here at the Johnson Space Center - we are very busy gettting the Space Shuttle ready to fly again. Don't forget to look up in the night sky and wave to our two astronauts up on the International Space Station - their station will look like a fast moving star! Thanks again for taking the time to chat. Cady

    Chrissy Paape - Moderator at Space Explorers from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    12/6/2004 2:32:37 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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