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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (covey07 Chat Log)During this online chat, 508 questions were asked by 29 schools. There were 39 adults and 45 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by Richard Covey of the United Space Alliance

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Space Explorers would like to welcome Mr. Covey as our host today. All of your questions will be viewed by a moderator. We will try to get through as many questions as possible during the chat period. Ask away!

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 10/18/07 at 12:34.

    josh - Chat Guest at Fort.Greely from Delta Junction, Alaska asks:
    Do you think Man will walk on mars

    Yes, a man or a woman (or both) will walk on Mars within the next 50 years

    Emmet - Chat Guest at BBHS from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    What was it like during takeoff?

    Lots of vibration and noise! The acceleration lets you know that you are going somewhere very fast!

    Jessica - Chat Guest at Bristol Bay from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    What kind of difficult situations were there in space?

    The most difficult situations arise from unexpected events or systems failures. Astronauts train to be able to respond and complete the mission.

    Brian - Chat Guest at Delta Cyber School from Delta Jct., Alaska asks:
    Is it scary taking off in the shuttle?

    Liftoff and ascent is very tense. I was always "fearful" but my training let me perform my role confidently.

    aaron - Chat Guest at fort greely from delta junction, alaska asks:
    Did you take a space walk?

    I did not. I was a shuttle pilot, and space walks are almost always done by shuttle mission specialists.

    Tressy Crutchfield - Teacher at Ripley Elementary School from Ripley, Tennessee asks:
    What are your plans for the future?

    I am fortunate to still be a part of the space shuttle program - now as an executive rather than a crew member. I hope to be a part of the last space shuttle mission flown in 2010.

    Jaxon - Chat Guest at Bristol Bay High School from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    What was it like to be the shuttle pilot?

    I was an Air Force fighter pilot and test pilot before becoming a shuttle pilot. Being a shuttle pilot was a natural extension of my life time passion of flying anything that is fast and powerful!

    Stephanie - Chat Guest at bristol bay from naknek, alaska asks:
    what was it like in space?

    Space is cool because you are weightless - and because of what you can see from the shuttle - either looking at the earth (which is magnificent) or watching my crewmates work in the shuttle payload bay in their spacesuits.

    Susan Phillips - Teacher at Lee Elementary School from Lee, Florida asks:
    At what age did you decide that you wanted to be an astronaut?

    I decided to become an astronaut when I was 14, the year that Alan Shepard became the first American to ride a rocket into space.

    Tressy Crutchfield - Teacher at Ripley Elementary School from Ripley, Tennessee asks:
    How large is the space station?

    It keeps growing! Outside dimensions are as big as a football field. Inside, it is like a small house.

    Tressy Crutchfield - Teacher at Ripley Elementary School from Ripley, Tennessee asks:
    What is your favorite place in space?

    I have only been to low earth orbit - 150 to 300 miles above the earth. My favorite place was being at the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993.

    Susan Krantz - Teacher at Charlotte from Charlotte, Tennessee asks:
    How much weight can the space shuttle safely carry?

    Depending on the orbital inclination and altitude it is launching into, between 40 and 50 thousand pounds. Once in orbit, of course, it all becomes weightless!

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I am student, Justin, and here is my question: What do you do on the way to space?

    Hang on for dear life and hope nothing goes wrong! It only takes 8 and 1/2 minutes!

    josh - Chat Guest at Fort.Greely from Delta Junction, Alaska asks:
    Is it hard to join the space academy

    It is very difficult to become an astronaut. You have to start early in academic preparation - lots of math and science.

    Brian - Chat Guest at Delta Cyber School from Delta Jct., Alaska asks:
    when you’re in space, do you see a lot of satellites ?

    Not very many.

    Susan Krantz - Teacher at Charlotte from Charlotte, Tennessee asks:
    Do you have to be in the military to be a part of NASA?

    No, although military service has been a proven route into the corps - especially for aviators.

    aaron - Chat Guest at foort greely from delta jnetion, alaska asks:
    Did you have a nickname?

    Most people that know me well call me "Covey".

    Bjorn - Chat Guest at Bristol Bay High School from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    What did it feel like when you got back to earth?

    After my longest mission (11 days), I felt very heavy and had to be careful not to make quick turns because my inner ear was slow to readapt to gravity.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Im Angelica Is it hard leaveing your famaily?

    Yes - because it was always very scary for them to watch me launch on a rocket. I never was away very long, but the folks on the space station are away for 6 months. That would be really hard!

    Stephanie - Chat Guest at bristol bay from naknek, alaska asks:
    do u like the journey to space?

    I am a "smoke and fire" guy - so one of the best parts of spaceflight for me was launching into orbit!

    Joanie - Chat Guest at Bristol Bay School from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    how old were you when you first got to go to space?

    39

    josh - Chat Guest at Fort.Greely from Delta Junction, Alaska asks:
    How old do you have to be to start traning

    The youngest astronauts to begin training were in their mid-20s.

    Jaxon - Chat Guest at Bristol Bay High School from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    How many missons have you been on?

    4 space shuttle missions - 2 on Discovery, 1 on Atlantis, and 1 on Endeavour

    Tressy Crutchfield - Teacher at Ripley Elementary School from Ripley, Tennessee asks:
    What is the speed of the take off?

    In 8 1/2 minutes, the space shuttle goes from 0 to 17,500MPH.

    aaron - Chat Guest at fort greely from delta junction, alaska asks:
    Have you been in saturn V on the ground?

    I have stood next to a Saturn V - what an awesome launch vehicle!

    josh - Chat Guest at Fort.Greely from Delta Junction, Alaska asks:
    What was your favoret astronot food is.

    Shrimp cocktail in spicy horseradish sauce!

    Susan Krantz - Teacher at Charlotte from Charlotte, Tennessee asks:
    Is there an age limit on space travel?

    A few astronauts have been over 60 when they flew into space.

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Did it feel comfortable when launching out of the Earth's orbit?

    Not really. The acceleration forces press you into your seat. Relief comes when the engines cutoff and you become weightless!

    Rebekah - Chat Guest at Badger Road Elementary from North Pole, AK asks:
    I'm Rebekah. Is going to space cool?

    Way cool! Being weightless, the views, the POWER, the work - all make the trip fantastic!

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Would you go in a new and better spacecraft?

    Maybe - but only if I didn't have to train for years before I made the trip!

    Susan Krantz - Teacher at Charlotte from Charlotte, Tennessee asks:
    What is the future status of the space station?

    We should finish the major elements of contruction by 2010 - then there will be 6 international crewmembers doing operations and science for at least 6-10 years.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I am student Rebekah, and here is my question: Do your daughters want to be an astronaut like you?

    no

    aaron - Chat Guest at foort greely from delta jnetion, alaska asks:
    Josh likes math and science can you give him some pointers?

    Study hard - take the most advanced math courses you can in high school. Study engineering or science in college - we need great minds in those career fields.

    Joanie - Chat Guest at Bristol Bay School from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    what does the earth look like, from your point of view?

    From low earth orbit (150-300 miles up), you can see thousands of miles in each direction - and very definitely see the curvature of our planet. 16 sunrises and sunsets each day as the shuttle zooms around the earth every 90 minutes or so.

    Stephanie - Chat Guest at bristol bay from naknek, alaska asks:
    is it hard to do stuff in space?

    Work is easier. Eating, cleaning, and going to the bathroom are all harder.

    Ashley - Chat Guest at Bristol Bay High School from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    Do you do anything specail before coming back into the Earth's atmosphere?

    We check out the orbiter's systems to make sure they will work properly once we are in the atmosphere. We drink lots of water to help us get ready for being back in gravity on the ground.

    Jodi Doster - Teacher at Bristol Bay Borough from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    How many G forces at takeoff?

    3 max

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Would you help NASA build a better spacecraft?

    Our company, the United Space Alliance, is helping Lockheed Martin design and build the next spacecraft for the US - Orion.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I am a student, Lacey here is my question: Is it hard to eat and drink in space?

    You have to drink through a straw - not too hard. Eating is harder because you have to make sure your food doesn't float away.

    Susan Phillips - Teacher at Lee Elementary School from Lee, Florida asks:
    How does it feel to be in little or zero gravity?

    Being weightless (or near weightless) is very empowering. Work is easier, as is moving around in tight spaces. You get to use the entire volume of the cabin instead of just the floor space.

    josh - Chat Guest at Fort.Greely from Delta Junction, Alaska asks:
    do you think a 12 Year old boy can start training

    A 12 year old can certainly start developing his mind and body to be ready for training!

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I am a student,and here is my question;What wasyour longest flit youve ben on?

    11 days to service and repair the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993.

    Susan Krantz - Teacher at Charlotte from Charlotte, Tennessee asks:
    What is NASA doing to make space travel safer?

    Our new spacecraft, Orion, will provide greater capability for crew survival than the space shuttle.

    lindsey - Chat Guest at badger road school from north pole, alaska asks:
    I am Lindsey and I want to know if you were nervise thne first time you went to space?

    I was nervous every time - maybe even more on my last flight!

    Rebekah - Chat Guest at Badger Road Elementary from North Pole, AK asks:
    I'm Rebekah. would you give me some advise on being a astronaut?

    Study hard - particularly in math and science. Take care of your body - astronauts have to be in great shape and drug free. Never give up on your dreams - you can make them come true.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I am a student,Lacey and here is my question:is pluto really a planet?

    Ha! Depends on who you ask. Most say it probably is not.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I am a student, Courtney and heres my question:What inspirerd you to be a astronot?

    Watching Alan Shepard go into space when I was 14. I wanted to be a flyer, then realized flyers could ride rockets, too!

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    have you seen Jupeder.

    Only in pictures

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Is NASA going to make a hybird of the Saturn V and the Space Shuttle

    Sort of. The Ares V will take advantage of the good parts of both systems.

    David - Chat Guest at Hartland South from , Wisconsin asks:
    Is it the scariest thing you've ever done?

    No. Driving too fast can be scarier.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How cold is it in space? Tristan

    If you are in the sunlight, it is quite warm. In the shade of the Earth, hundreds of degrees below freezing.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I'm Claire here is my ? What is your favorit planet?

    Earth, because it is the prettiest and closest.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How many astronauts were on your team? Russ

    I flew with 6 other astronauts on my last mission. On my earlier flights, we had a crew of 5 total.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    When was the first space shuttle to crash? Kevin

    We lost the Challenger and 7 crewmembers in 1986

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    Do you grow in space? Mike

    Because our spines are not compressed by our bodyweight on orbit, astronauts can "grow" and inch or so in space. It goes away when you are back on Earth.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How many years did it take to be an astronaut? Mason P

    I was 32 when I was selected to become an Astronaut.

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Can you take other items like gum in space unofficially

    EVERTHING that goes into space is "official", including gum and other snacks.

    Susan Phillips - Teacher at Lee Elementary School from Lee, Florida asks:
    Do stars look brighter when you are in space?

    Yes, because you do not have to look through the atmosphere of the Earth.

    Susan Phillips - Teacher at Lee Elementary School from Lee, Florida asks:
    Is it hot or cold in space?

    Both, depending on whether you are in the sunlight or not.

    kevin - Chat Guest at Hartland south from Wakeeshau, asks:
    How do you exersize in space

    Treadmills, bicycle like devices, some resistance devices.

    David - Chat Guest at Hartland South from , Wisconsin asks:
    when will we make it to Pluto??

    I have no idea!

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    i am Gary what is your least favorite planet

    Maybe Mercury - small, and incredibly HOT!

    aaron - Chat Guest at foort greely from delta jnetion, alaska asks:
    Are the space shuttles confusing?

    They are complex, but are not confusing because of Astronaut training.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. 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 Mr. Covey for hosting our chat today.

    Bjorn - Chat Guest at Bristol Bay High School from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    Do you have a ipod to listen to music in space?

    They do now! Ipods didn't exist when I made my last flight, so we used CD players for music.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I have many students asking questions! We are so excited to be able to participate in this chat! Do you see more women going into the space program. If so, what has made it easier for them?

    Women have been a hugh part of our shuttle and station programs. Their own preparation made that possible. Next week we will have both the first woman commander of the space station and second shuttle commander in space together. Remarkable!

    Chase - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    if you have a glass jar in space would it break

    It might in the vacuum of space, not inside the space shuttle.

    kevin - Chat Guest at Hartland south from Wakeeshau, asks:
    Do you think people will ever live on Mars

    Yes

    lindsey - Chat Guest at badger road school from north pole, alaska asks:
    can you have ice-cream in space?

    Only if there is room in the freezer!

    Luke - Chat Guest at bristol bay high school from Naknek, Alaska asks:
    what would happen if you didnt exercise in space?

    You could have problems readapting to the gravity environment when you return to Earth.

    Jason Daniels - Teacher at K Beach Elementary School from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    How much room do you have in your space suit? Lexi

    Not much inside.

    stephannie - Chat Guest at bristol bay bourgh school from naknek, alaska asks:
    do you like being a ceo or did u like being an active astronaut more?

    Both are challenging and demanding jobs with their own rewards. I like having had the opportunity to do both.

    Susan Krantz - Teacher at Charlotte from Charlotte, Tennessee asks:
    How many people are allowed at the observation deck during liftoff of the shuttle?

    4 folks can be seated on the flight deck. All others are down below on the mid-deck.

    kevin - Chat Guest at Hartland south from Wakeeshau, asks:
    would you like to go into space agian

    Only if I don't have to train for years!

    ash - Chat Guest at hartland south elementry from Hartland, asks:
    how many years of training do you need to go to space?

    anywhere between 3 and 7

    Zach - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Do you think there's life on other planets?

    somewhere in the universe, yes

    robert - Chat Guest at badger road school from north pole, alaska asks:
    I am robert and this is my question:Is flying in space scary?

    Thrilling and tense, but not necessarily scary.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I am a student,Kelly and here is my question: What was the first planet you saw?

    Earth!

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    I am student Lindsey, and here is my question: What is the funniest thing that happened to you in space?

    Trying to go to the bathroom for the first time!

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Thanks again to everyone for joining us.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Please join us again on Thursday, November 15, 2007, for a chat with Dean Anthony England of the University of Michigan, a former NASA astronaut.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    10/18/2007 1:36:57 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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