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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (covey2006 Chat Log)During this online chat, 250 questions were asked by 23 schools. There were 11 adults and 73 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by Richard Covey of United Space Alliance

    Gater - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What was the hardest thing you ever had to repair? (William)

    Our crew repaired and redeployed a communications satellite in 1985. It was difficult because it was not designed to be repaired in space.

    Patricia Novy - Teacher at St. Francis Xavier School from Merrill, Wisconsin asks:
    What is your favorite space food?

    Shrimp cocktail in spicy horseradish sauce!

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    student-How long does it take to get to the Moom?

    Several days. In space terms, it is relatively close.

    Lindsey - Chat Guest at Waiakeawaena Elementary from Hilo, Hawaii asks:
    What was your favorite mission? Why?

    My last m;ission, to repair and service the Hubble Space Telescope, was my favorite. It was a great example of using humans in space to support some of the greatest science of the last 20 years!

    Karly - Student at Willard L. Bowman Elementary from Anchorage, Alaska asks:
    what is most challenging about your job?

    As an astronaut, it was learning to deal with the pressure of making critical decisions and actions to keep the shuttle safe in ascent. Fortunately, most of the pressure is in training for failures that rarely, if ever, occurred during a real flight.

    Lindsey - Chat Guest at Waiakeawaena Elementary from Hilo, Hawaii asks:
    When you were an astronaut what place in the solar system did you want to visit?

    The moon! NASA had shown that it was possible, and it was only a few days away!

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Space Explorers would like to welcome Richard 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 11/16/06 at 12:33.

    Lindsey - Chat Guest at Waiakeawaena Elementary from Hilo, Hawaii asks:
    What made you interested in space?

    The first attempts by the US and Russia to put a man-made satellite into orbit. I still remember standing in a neighbors yard in 1957 and watching Sputnik fly over at sunset.

    Mark - Chat Guest at Baxter Community School from Baxter, Iowa asks:
    What are you the most proud of that you have accomplished?

    As an astronaut, I am most proud of commanding the crew of Endeavour that repaired the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993. As a husband and father, I am most proud of the successes of my wife and daughters!

    mike - Chat Guest at st. lawrence from lindenwold, new jersey asks:
    I understand that you were on mission control during the Challenger disaster. What did you feel like being on mission control during this disaster?

    It was terrible. I felt helpless and wondered how I could have prevented what happenned. I watched my friends die.

    Ashley - Chat Guest at Saint Lawrence Regional School from Lindenwold, New Jersey asks:
    We understand that everything in space has a reddish tinge to it. Can you comment on this? Also, does everything appear normal when you come back to earth?

    I am unfamiliar with the reddish tinge concept. But my missions have been relatively short (11 days max). My vision was normal immediately upon my return to Earth.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    What exercises do you do in space?

    Other than playing stupid astronaut games in weightlessness, my exercise consisted of using a bicycle like ergometer. Station astronauts use a treadmill to run on.

    Gater - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    How did you feel when you first went into space? (Timothy)

    Scared, because it is dangerous riding rockets. Joyful, because I was doing something I had wanted to do for a long time. Excited, because it is a ride like no other!

    Tyler - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What is it like to be a flight commander?

    Demanding, because the commander is responsible for the safety of the crew and orbiter, as well as mission success. Fun, because everyone else has to do the hard work and the commander gets to do the flying!

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    What is your favorite thing to do in space?

    My favorite work thing to do was to rendezvous with and capture spacecraft like the Hubble Space Telescope. My favorite non-work activity was stupid astronaut tricks in weightlessness and looking out the window at our Earth.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    How old were you when you first went into space?

    I had just turned 39.

    Patricia Novy - Teacher at St. Francis Xavier School from Merrill, Wisconsin asks:
    How is the view in space looking down at the earth?

    More spectacular and magnificient than you can imagine. I was always disappointed the photos I took from space because, even though they were beautiful, they did not capture what I could see with my eyes!

    Ashley - Chat Guest at Saint Lawrence Regional School from Lindenwold, New Jersey asks:
    We know that there are physical affects to the human body when one goes into space, such as headaches, nausea, etc. Did you experience any of these affects and did they diminish on successive flights?

    My "space adaptation syndrome" symptons were very repeatable and predictable from one flight to the next. I learned how to anticipate them and medicate to reduce the effects. Generally, it was nausea on the second day, headaches on the 3rd day, backaches on the 4th day. By day 5, I was feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, two of my missions were shorter than 5 days!

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    Was it hard to learn how to command the Space Shuttle?

    Some types of learning are easy for me. Gaining confidence and experience to be a commnder takes great discipline and perserverance. It was worth it!

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    Is it cramped in the shuttle?

    With 5 crewmembers, not too bad. With 7, its a zoo!

    Patricia Novy - Teacher at St. Francis Xavier School from Merrill, Wisconsin asks:
    Can you discuss your classified missions for the Department of Defense yet?

    No

    mike - Chat Guest at st. lawrence from lindenwold, new jersey asks:
    Why did you pursue a career in aeronautics

    I wanted to be a test pilot and astronaut. And I loved the math involved in aeronautics and astronautics.

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    What was your favorite part of repairing the Hubble?

    I will never forget unfurling the new solar arrays we installed, and then releasing the telescope knowing we had fixed its "blurry" vision.

    Patricia Novy - Teacher at St. Francis Xavier School from Merrill, Wisconsin asks:
    Have you ever been in a life threatening situation?

    I flew over 300 combat missions in Southeast Asia where the enemy on the ground wanted to kill me, and I have flown to and from space four times. Nothing more than that.

    Daniel - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    Why did you go up after the Challenger accident?

    Someone had to do it, and I was honored to be selected. We convinced ourselves it would be the safest mission yet flown, and it was.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    What was your longest mission in space?

    STS-61, Endeavour mission to repair and service the Hubble Space Telescope, was 11 days.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    Why did you decide to become an astronaut?

    It was a natural extension of my education and advocation as a military test pilot. Who doesn't want to ride a rocket into space if they have the chance? I was lucky to get the opportunity.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    What are future space plans?

    Fly the space shuttle through 2010 to complete the construction of the International Space Station, then begin flying a new crew vehicle called Orion that will take astronauts to and from the station. Eventually, Orion will return astronauts to the moon and prepare us to go on to Mars.

    Torie - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, New Jersey asks:
    What is it like wearing the space suit?

    I have never worn a spacewalkers suit. The orange pressure suits we wore for launch and entry were very uncomfortable - hot, constricting and hard to work in.

    Kevin - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, New Jersey asks:
    Did you always want to be an astronaut?

    Ever since I was 14 and Alan Shepard made his first sub-orbital flight.

    Jim - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, New Jersey asks:
    Is being an astronaut fun

    It is the best job in - and out of - this world.

    Josh - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, New Jersey asks:
    What will be the main difference between the Orion modual and the shuttle?

    Orion will be much smaller, have no wings, and have very limited cargo capability when carrying crew members. It will land under parachutes instead of flying to a runway. Very different than the Space Shuttle, the greatest flying machine ever built!

    Shim - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, NJ asks:
    Does NASA ever plan to civilize other planets?

    A permanent base on the moon is in the plan, as well as lengthy stays on Mars, eventually. Nothing beyond that is currently envisioned.

    Mitchell Mcwhorter - Teacher at Jackson County High School from Mckee, Kentucky asks:
    my name is sam and i would like to know if the refraction of the atmospheric glares could possibly distort the earth to make it appear to be a sphere from space

    No, the Earth is definitely a sphere and looks that way from space.

    Gater - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What does Jupiter look like from space? (Gage)

    To the human eye in Earth orbit, much like it does on the ground. But if you consider the views of Jupiter from the Hubble Space Telescope, it is extraordinary!

    Gina - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, New Jersey asks:
    Do you like your job?

    I loved being an astronaut, test pilot, and combat pilot. I even like being a company executive!

    Katrice - Chat Guest at williamstown high from williamstown, new jersey asks:
    where you exited when you made it up there

    You bet! Relieved that we made it through the rocket ride, excited that we were going to be in orbit for awhile with great work to do.

    evad - Chat Guest at whs from williamstown high school, nj asks:
    Is it hard to walk with all of the equipment on in space?

    Not as hard as it is on the ground - weightlessness helps a bunch. That being said, its still a lot of gear and takes a lot of training to be able to work efficiently and safely while spacewalking.

    George - Chat Guest at Whitehouse High from Washington D.C., D.C. asks:
    Out of all the missions you were on, what was the most exhillerating thing you experienced?

    Ascent, riding the rocket, on all four missions!

    Josh - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, New Jersey asks:
    How will it be possible to colonize the moon if Orion will not have as much cargo room?

    We willl have to send the cargo ahead of the astronauts, using unmanned systems and robotics to get it prepositioned before the crew arrives, and then to resupply.

    travis - Chat Guest at williamstown high school from williamstown, new jersey asks:
    What is your favorite planet and why?

    Earth, because it is the prettiest and closest.

    Gina - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, New Jersey asks:
    Have you ever met neil armstrong

    Yes, what a wonderful man and great ambassador of the human race!

    Abraham - Chat Guest at Waiakeawaena Elementary from Hilo, Hawaii asks:
    Do any other planters have atmospheres besides Earth?

    Probably, but we haven't found one that has the same type of atmosphere as Earth (oxygen and nitrogen).

    Tevyn - Chat Guest at Waiakeawaena Elementary from Hilo, Hawaii asks:
    What did you eat and drink on the space shuttle?

    Lots of things you would eat here on Earth - meatballs, chicken, beef, all types of vegetables and fruits. I drank lemonade a lot in space. I tried coffee but it tastes terrible when you drink it through a straw.

    Mitchell Mcwhorter - Teacher at Jackson County High School from Mckee, Kentucky asks:
    my name is samantha and im from jackson county kentucky mr.mcwhroters class and i'd like to know what your most important discovery in space was?

    I would like to think that, by being part of the team that repaired it, I enabled the numerous discoveries made with the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Amanda - Chat Guest at St. Lawrence from Lindenwold, NJ asks:
    What types of payloads did you take into space on your various missions?

    Mostly communications satellites.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    Any plans to bring back the stuff we left on the moon?

    I'm sure if we return to any of our previous landing sites, the astronauts will bring back a few historic souveniers!

    Kyle - Chat Guest at Waiakeawaena Elementary from Hilo, Hawaii asks:
    If you were out of your ship and the cord broke, do you have a chance of getting back to your ship?

    Yes, the spacewalkers have a system called "SAFER" that they can use to fly back to the spacecraft if they become disconnected.

    Mitchell Mcwhorter - Teacher at Jackson County High School from Mckee, Kentucky asks:
    my name is gabby and im a student of mr.mcwhorters and i'd like to know if there was any unexplained phenomena that occurred in any of your flights?

    There were interesting phenomena, like the Northern Lights, but nothing that was unexplained.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    Do you float in the shuttle?

    In orbit, yes. After you get used to it, being weightless and "floating" is great fun and makes working oh so easy!

    Amanda - Chat Guest at St. Lawrence from Lindenwold, NJ asks:
    What does the term "SAFER" mean?

    I forgot. NASA has too many acronyms!

    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 Richard Covey for hosting our chat today.

    Gina - Chat Guest at Williamstown High School from Williamstown, New Jersey asks:
    What is the coolest thing you have ever seen in space?

    The city lights of the eastern United States on a very clear night. Flying from New Orleans to Miami at 300 NM, we could see every major city east of the Mississippi River all they way north to Chicago and Boston. Spectacular!

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    How long is astronaut training?

    Seems like forever until you get your first flight. In my case, if you start with USAF flight training, it was 17 years. After being assigned to NASA, the time to first flight can vary from 2 years to 10, depending on opportunities to be assigned.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    What do you do to relax in space?

    Look out the window at the Earth.

    Amanda - Chat Guest at St. Lawrence from Lindenwold, NJ asks:
    Have you ever been in the NASA underwater training pool? If so, what was it like?

    Yes, but only in SCUBA gear, not in a spacesuit. The spacewalkers say it is very much like being in space, except that the water resistance stablizes them - something that doesn't happen in the vacuum of space.

    Holy Saviour - Chat Guest at Holy Saviour from Westmont, NJ asks:
    When will regular people get to visit space?

    I like to think I'm regular. Ha Ha

    Jessica - Chat Guest at Waiakeawaena Elementary from Hilo, Hawaii asks:
    What information can you offer a person who would like to be an astronaut?

    Stay healthy. Be a good student - take lots of math and science. Choose a profession that you love and can be great at, and then if you get lucky, you may get to be an astronaut.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. 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 chatting with you again!

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    11/16/2006 1:49:20 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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