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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (england07 Chat Log)During this online chat, 323 questions were asked by 21 schools. There were 30 adults and 80 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by Dr. Anthony England of the University of Michigan

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 11/15/07 at 12:31.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Space Explorers would like to welcome Dr. England 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!

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Wesley asks: What was the first time in space like?

    Hi Wesley. I was in space only once, but it was a great experience. I found it very comfortable to be there and particularly enjoyed the view.

    Jaguar - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What was your best experience being a astronaut?(Precsilla Acuria)

    Hi Precsilla. The space flight on Shuttle Challenger was the best experience, but I also enjoyed flying the training aircraft for 2,000 hours and enjoyed being capcom and Mission Scientist for Apollos 13 and 16.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Levi asks: What is your favorite planet?

    Hi Levi. Among the rocky planets, beyond Earth, I like Mars.

    Brian - Chat Guest at Delta Cyber School from Delta Jct., Alaska asks:
    How did you contribute to the safety of Apollo 13?

    Hi Brian. My specialty was working in the space suit and the mission science. After the problem on Apollo 13, I worked with the Crew Systems engineers to develop the CO2 scrubber. That is, using the Lithium Hydroxide canister from the space suit to clean the air in the Landing Module that was being used as a lifeboat. If you saw the movie, the box with the hose, sock, and tape. I wrote the procedures and read them up to the crew.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Shane asks: What got you interested in being an astronaut?

    Hi Shane. My research in graduate school had to do with planetary interiors and, particularly, the lunar interior. It seemed like a great idea to actually be able to go to the Moon to do my research. I also like flying.

    Meggan Starr - Teacher at Curtis Inge Middle School from Noble, Oklahoma asks:
    Did you see anything floating by when you are traveling in space?

    No. The outer pain of one of our windows was actually cracked by a paint chip floating by at ~24,000 ft/sec, but I didn't see anything that wasn't from the Challenger.

    Evan - Guest Student at Gifted Center from Moultrie, Georgia asks:
    why do you train for space in a giant pool?

    Hi Evan. Yes, we primarily used the pool at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, but now the Johnson Space Center also has a large pool.

    Jaguar - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What did you do on the Skylab project? (Timothy)

    I really didn't work on Skylab. I was working on Apollo while Skylab was being developed.

    Kim Trott - Teacher at Hardee Junior High School from Wauchula, Florida asks:
    Did you lose muscle while in space?

    Hi Kim. Our mission was only 8 days. We don't lose any muscle in that short a time. You are right about long missions. We do have to find ways not to lose muscle on a Mars mission.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Lacey asks: Is the astronaut food good?

    Hi Lacey. The astronaut food is about like good camping food. Not bad.

    Brian - Chat Guest at Delta Cyber School from Delta Jct., Alaska asks:
    How long did it take you to get 4,000 hours as a pilot?

    Hi Brian. In those days, NASA sent the scientest astronauts to Air Force Flight School. I began in 1968 and flew up until I left NASA in 1988. I have only flown a few hours since 1988 but plan to fly a lot more after I retire.

    Brian - Chat Guest at Delta Cyber School from Delta Jct., Alaska asks:
    If you had the chance to go to space again would you?

    Hi Brian. I would love to go again.

    Zachary S - Guest Student at Gifted Center from Moultrie, Georgia asks:
    What are astronauts going to fly to Mars?

    Hi Zachary. I hope we begin going to Mars soon. I would prefer that we aim for Mars rather than going back to the Moon.

    Meggan Starr - Teacher at Curtis Inge Middle School from Noble, Oklahoma asks:
    Can you dance in space?

    Hi Meggan. Sure. You can fly too.

    Diana Algarin - Teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle Schoo from Orlando, Florida asks:
    Were you able to see the American flag when you went to the moon? Raymond, 6th gr

    Hi Raymond. I didn't get to fly to the Moon, but I helped the Apollo 13 and 16 crews with their missions and did see the flags they flew.

    Meggan Starr - Teacher at Curtis Inge Middle School from Noble, Oklahoma asks:
    How fast does the rocket travel that propels you into space?

    The Space Shutlle is traveling about 17,000 mi/hour when it reaches orbit.

    Caleb - Chat Guest at Insight Schools Of Wisconsin from Racine, WI asks:
    How did you get aqainted with NASA?

    Hi Caleb. NASA invited scientists to apply and I did.

    Jeanine Wetherington - Guest Teacher at Gifted Center from Moultrie, Georgia asks:
    What kind of technology is used to gather evidence about outer space?

    Hi Jeanine. All kinds of technologies are used in the space missions. Every discipline of engineering has been involved in some way.

    Jamie - Student at Gifted Center from Moultrie, Georgia asks:
    HAVE U EVER TOOK A PET TO SPACE

    Hi Jamie. I haven't taken a pet but rats, dogs, and monkeys have flown as part of experiments.

    Diana Algarin - Teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle Schoo from Orlando, Florida asks:
    How do you sleep in space? Raymond, 6th gr

    Hi Raymond. It is very easy. We had these small closets to sleep in. I just floated around in my closet and had no trouble sleeping.

    Jaguar - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    How where the first rockets different than today? (Emily)

    Hi Jaguar. Todays rockets are more reliable because the engineers who design and build them have the experience of 50 years to build on. The basic principles of rockets have not changed very much.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student John asks: Have you ever had a near-death experience?

    Hi John. I have had some close calls. We lost an engine on the way to orbit. There have been problems in aircraft. I even lost the brakes of a dynamite truck I was driving one summer when I was working for Texaco in oil exploration. If you watch what you are doing, you can handle many of the problems thrown at you.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Justin asks: What do you do on the way to space?

    Hi Justin. Most of the ride to space is controlled by the computers. The crew monitors the progress and are ready to make changes if the system begins to perform differently than planned.

    Kim Trott - Teacher at Hardee Junior High School from Wauchula, Florida asks:
    How long does it take to get outside of Earth's atmosphere and into orbit?

    Powered flight is 8 and a half minutes from liftoff to orbit.

    Diana Algarin - Teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle Schoo from Orlando, Florida asks:
    If you could choose, would you prefer to live on the moon or on Earth? Xavier, 6th, sp ed, Orlando, Stonewall Jackson

    Hi Xavier. The Moon might be an interesting place to visit, but the Earth is a beautiful place to live.

    Diana Algarin - Teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle Schoo from Orlando, Florida asks:
    What subject do you teach in University of Michigan? Kaylyn, 6th gr

    Hi Kaylyn. I teach electrical engineering and my research has to do with building instruments that fly on satellites that contribute to understanding climate change.

    Jamie - Student at Gifted Center from Moultrie, Georgia asks:
    IF U TOOK A POOL TO SPACE WOULD THE WATER FLOAT

    The water would float out of the pool. If done carefully, it would stick together as a big blob.

    Kevin Koski - Teacher at Solar Ambassador from Cascade, Wisconsin asks:
    When the shuttles are retired,will the Orion spacecraft be able to at the ISS and then go on to the moon

    My apologies. I do not know the details of the current plan for returning to the Moon.

    Kim Trott - Teacher at Hardee Junior High School from Wauchula, Florida asks:
    Do you have to wear a space suit while on the shuttle?

    Crews now wear what is called a get-me-down suit during ascent and entry. These are only needed if there is an emergency. On orbit, except for EVA, they dress in shorts and a tee shirt.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Thank you, Dr. England for taking the time to answer questions of curious fourth graders! Here is my question: What was your favorite subject in school? Least favorite?

    Prior to the 7th grade, I like reading best. After the 7th grade, I liked science best.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student John asks: What was your favorite mission?

    Hi John. Since I was only on one mission, it has to be my favorite. I would have liked to have flown on Apollo to the Moon, but we don't always get what we like.

    Kim Mcguckin - Teacher at Hardee Junior High School from Wauchula, Florida asks:
    Describe the physical conditions your body endures when re-entering the atmosphere.

    The Shuttle's entry is very mild. You slowly build up g forces to a maximum of 2.5 g during turns, but this is much less than we are used to experiencing in aircraft. The older capsules could experience very high g loads.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Courtney L. asks: What's the best part of being an astronaut?

    Hi Courtney. The best parts of being an astronaut are flying in space and, for me, flying the training aircraft. Unfortunately, the non-pilot astonauts no longer fly the aircraft.

    Clinton - Student at Angoon Elementary School from Angoon, Alaska asks:
    how long stay did you stay up there

    I was up there 8 days.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Levi asks: What does it feel like to be in space? It is hard?

    Hi Levi. Being in zero g is very easy - even easier that lying in bed.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Ashlee asks: Have you ever been to Pluto?

    Hi Ashlee. Pluto is a very long way out there. It will likely be a generation before anyone goes that far.

    Diana Algarin - Teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle Schoo from Orlando, Florida asks:
    Why did you become an astronaut? From Marcus, 6th gr sp ed

    Hi Marcus. I became an astronaut because I thought it would be a fun place to practice my science. It also promised to be an interesting adventure. And it was.

    Meggan Starr - Teacher at Curtis Inge Middle School from Noble, Oklahoma asks:
    How do you drink in space?

    We drink mostly out of a straw.

    Meggan Starr - Teacher at Curtis Inge Middle School from Noble, Oklahoma asks:
    Does time seem to move slower or faster while you are in space?

    Time always seems to move at the normal rate to an astronaut on board. It is only time relative to another place that might be different. The speed we go so far are so slow relative to the speed of light that we do not experience any significant time difference.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Gary asks: What is your least favorite planet?

    Hi Gary. I suppose my least favorite planet might be Venus. Its surface is very hot, about 700 degrees and the atmosphere is full of sulphur.

    Kim Trott - Teacher at Hardee Junior High School from Wauchula, Florida asks:
    What would happen if someone became sick while in space or on the ISS?

    ISS crews are trained to take care of simple medical problems. If there were a true emergency, the crew would return to Earth.

    David - Chat Guest at Hartland South from Pewaukee, WIsconsin asks:
    What is the scariest part of the flight?

    As a crewmember, we really didn't picture any part of the flight as being scary. If you ask what part of the flight is riskiest, it would be powered flight - ascent.

    Chase - Chat Guest at Hartland south from , asks:
    Can a chip of paint will do a lot of damage to a space craft

    If a chip paint is traveling at 24,000 ft/sec or about 17,000 miles an hour, it can break a window. That is one reason the Shuttle windows are 3 pains thick.

    Kevin - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Was it hard to walk when you came back

    Crews that are on ISS for months take many days to build up the strength they had before their flight. Walking comes quickly, but it is not as steady for awhile. Readjustment to 1 g comes quickly, after only 8 days in orbit.

    Taylor T - Guest Student at Gifted Center from Moultrie, Georgia asks:
    How long did you have to go to space school?

    We don't really have a space school. There is training mixed with our primary assignments of engineering development. If you did nothing but training, it would take about 3 years to prepare to be a crewman on a Shuttle flight. It would only take a few weeks of training to be a passenger on a Shuttle flight.

    Zach - Chat Guest at Hartland south elementary from Pewaukee, wisconsin asks:
    how many years of training does it take to become an austronaut

    Please see the last answer.

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Does the ISS have to be pushed back up continusly? If so, why does it go down?

    As you increase distance from the surface of the Earth, the atmosphere gets thinner and thinner. At only 18,000 ft above the surface, it is already only half as dense as at the surface. As you continue to orbit it gets increasingly thin, but it never completely goes away. That is, there is a very little bit of atmosphere still left at orbital altitudes. The collisions of ISS with the atmospheric gases slow the ISS down.

    Joey - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    do you have free time in space and what do you do with it

    I most enjoyed looking at the Earth.

    Chase - Chat Guest at Hartland south from , asks:
    do you think children will be able to go in space

    I do believe there will be a time when children will be able to go to space.

    josh - Chat Guest at Fort Greely School from Delta, AK asks:
    Whaw long did you have to go to coledge

    I was in College for 8 years, but that was pretty fast. Many people will take another year or so to earn a PhD.

    Zach - Chat Guest at Hartland south elementary from Pewaukee, wisconsin asks:
    how many people usually fit in a medium spacecraft?

    This is a hard question to answer because there is really no definition of medium. Mercury carried 1 and the Shuttle carries 8 comfortably.

    Meggan Starr - Teacher at Curtis Inge Middle School from Noble, Oklahoma asks:
    How much extra stuff are you allowed to take on space missions?

    We were allowed a Personal Preference Kit (PPK). It was about the size of a woman's purse.

    Meggan Starr - Teacher at Curtis Inge Middle School from Noble, Oklahoma asks:
    Would it be healthy to be born in space?

    It depends where in space. You might not want to be in a high radiation environment, but being in Earth orbit would likely be fine.

    Kim Trott - Teacher at Hardee Junior High School from Wauchula, Florida asks:
    Are you able to bathe while in space?

    We simply spunge bathed on the Shuttle. Skylab actually had a shower. I don't know what ISS has.

    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 Dr. England for hosting our chat today.

    Chase - Chat Guest at Hartland south from , asks:
    Would you go to a moon base if there was one

    I would go, but I would rather go to Mars. We already know most of the significant things about the Moon.

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Is being in space as fun like discribed in books?

    I believe many adventures can be fun. Going to space was fun, but I enjoyed working in Antarctica and taking my students to study climate in the Arctic every bit as much as I enjoyed the space flight.

    Stavros - Chat Guest at Hartland south elementry from , asks:
    if i wanted to go in space what tip could you give me

    Astronauts were always something else first. They were pilots, scientists, doctors, etc. I encourage you to find a technical field you really like, become very good at it. and then, if the opportunity arises and you still want to be an astronaut, become one.

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How do you erase in space? Because the little pieces will fly off in all directions.

    That is a very good point. You would not use chalk in a spacecraft for that very reason. Dust is hard to get rid of and it gets inside everything.

    Zach - Chat Guest at Hartland south elementary from Pewaukee, wisconsin asks:
    what are some things you do to be entertained in space?

    We took our favorite music on small cassettes. One of my daughters is a violinist. I had a recording of one of her concerts that I really enjoyed.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Please join us again on Tuesday, December 11, 2007, to chat with current NASA astronaut Dr. Ellen S. Baker.

    josh - Chat Guest at FortGreely School from Delta, Alaska asks:
    Did you rtire out of the accademy

    I left NASA to follow other interests - teaching and research in a university. This is my 20th year at the University of Michigan and I have found it a great place to be. I will likely retire in a few years, but, for now, I still enjoy what I do here.

    aaron - Chat Guest at Fort Greely School from Delta, Alaska asks:
    Did you like flying?

    I love flying.

    Stavros - Chat Guest at Hartland south elementry from , asks:
    thanks

    You are very welcome.

    Joey - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Does the world seem smaller when your in space

    The world does seem smaller after seeing it from orbit. You also have a much stronger sense that we must take care of it or we could damage it badly.

    josh - Chat Guest at Fort Greely School from Delta, AK asks:
    Is it hard to get into the space accadimy for a 12 year old.

    There really isn't a space academy yet. There probably will be someday.

    Laura Fantazzi - Teacher at Badger Road Elementary School from Fairbanks, Alaska asks:
    Student Gary asks: What is the longest time you have been in space?

    Hi Gary. My mission was 8 days.

    Chase - Chat Guest at Hartland south from , asks:
    How many G forces apply on you when you re-enter

    The Space Shuttle is only designed to take 2 and a half g's during entry.

    Jamie - Student at Gifted Center from Moultrie, Georgia asks:
    WHATS YOUR GOAL IN SPACE

    My goal was to understand what is out there. Others would have other goals.

    Ryan - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What was the ship you were on called? Your first mission.

    I flew on Space Shuttle Challenger the summer before its accident.

    Phong - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Would we explore system Cancrii 55 soon

    Not anytime soon.

    Sheila Phillips - Teacher at White from Savannah, Tennessee asks:
    John David wants to knowhow big of an oxygentank do you have to take into spacce with you? (second grade)

    Hi John David. The big tank you see on the bottom of the Shuttle during ascent is really two tanks. One of the tanks carries liquid oxygen to burn in the main engines during powered flight. We also carry some small tanks, about the size of a small car of oxygen to breath while in orbit.

    Chase - Chat Guest at Hartland south from , asks:
    is it hard to sleep in space since there is no gravity?

    Some people have trouble sleeping in 0 g, Others find it easier than sleeping at home in bed. I found it easier.

    Ryan - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Would metal bend in space because of the presure?

    Metal is no weaker in space. It depends how it is used whether it would bend.

    Hannah - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    liked chating with you

    Thank you.

    Zach - Chat Guest at Hartland south elementary from Pewaukee, wisconsin asks:
    thank you

    You are welcome.

    josh - Chat Guest at Fort Greely School from Delta, AK asks:
    What was your favret thang in space

    Sorry folks. I must get back to work. My best wishes for your studies. See you in space someday.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    11/15/2007 1:46:34 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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