• Planetary Times Newsletter
  • Opinion Corner
  • Message Board
  • Space Calendar
  • Featured Classes
  • Testimonials
  • Press Kit
  • Classroom Publicity Kit
  • Release Forms
  • Archived Online Chats
  • Contests
  • Space Fun
  • Trivia Corner
  • Orbital Laboratory® Payload III
  • Marslink®
  • Moonlink®
  • Space Explorers
  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (herrington2005 Chat Log)During this online chat, 75 questions were asked by 27 schools. There were 60 adults and 95 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by John B. Herrington of Rocketplane Limited, Inc.

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Darby Junior Senior High Schoo from Fort Smith, Arkansas asks:
    from Michael Eakins, Darby Junior High, Fort Smith, AR: Do you think there is sophisticated life outside our atmosphere?

    I personally believe that life exists somewhere in the universe. Given the number of stars visible in the universe, the chances lend itself to the possibility. How sophisticated? I think any form of life displays some level of sophistication.

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Darby Junior Senior High Schoo from Fort Smith, Arkansas asks:
    from Mrs. Stone's Flex Class, Darby Junior HIgh, Fort Smith, AR: As many of us are also Native Americans and live on the Arkansas/ Oklahoma border, we are proud to be able to call you our neighbor. What was your specific job in building and repairing the International Space Station?

    I was one of two spacewalkers that helped install a large truss called the P1. The "P" stands for Port, the nautical term for left. So it was the first truss on the left side of the ISS. It's purpose is to help radiate the heat generated in the ISS to space.

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Darby Junior Senior High Schoo from Fort Smith, Arkansas asks:
    from Breanna Flyn, Darby Junior High, Fort Smith, AR: How are you able to breath in space, both in the shuttle and out of the shuttle?

    The composition of the shuttle and ISS air is what you would find here on earth. Roughly 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. The pressure in both vehicles is maintained around 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi), just like sea level pressure. When you are out of the shuttle performing an EVA, the suit pressure is about 4.3 psi. That requires the air you breathe to be 100% oxygen.

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Darby Junior Senior High Schoo from Fort Smith, Arkansas asks:
    from Lauren Whitehurst, Darby Junior High, Fort Smith, AR: When you are outside the space shuttle, is it peaceful?

    Not really. The suit has a fan that you can hear as well as all of the chatter that comes across the radios that you are communicating back and forth between the shuttle and the ground. There were times when it was quiet and I had a chance to reflect on being in space. The view is absolutely remarkable! No amount of chatter on the radio can take away the breathtaking view!

    Kathy Lineberger - Chat Guest at Marvin Ward Elementary from Winston-Salem, NC asks:
    My class read that Lego toys were taken up into space for an experiment. Have other toys been to space? If so, which ones? why? thank you.

    NASA has a very good video that has numerous toys in space experiments. You may want to log onto the NASA website to see if you can get a copy from the NASA education department.

    Hollie Miller - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from Depere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 11/15/05 at 10:59.

    Hollie Miller - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from Depere, Wisconsin comments:
    o Space Explorers would like to welcome Capt. John B. Herrington of Rocketplane Limited, Inc. 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!

    Marissa - Chat Guest at HIGHLAND PARK from , asks:
    What is it like to be in a space ship?

    It is like riding in a big airplane. Except you can float over and around the seats and your friends.

    Carrie Bornes - Chat Guest at Holly Ridge Middle from Holly Springs, NC asks:
    How do you sleep in space?

    It all depends on how tired you are. Some days I was exhausted and slept very well. Other days I was excited from being in a new environment and it was hard to sleep. I slept in a sleeping bag either tied to the wall or the ceiling! Try doing a backflip into your sleeping bag. In space, you can!

    ann - Chat Guest at Columbus Park from Worcester, Ma. asks:
    How did it feel when N.A.S.A elected you to be part of there space business?

    It was a fantastic moment. One I will treasure for the rest of my life!

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Darby Junior Senior High Schoo from Fort Smith, Arkansas asks:
    from Cortney Knotts, Darby Junior High, Fort Smith, AR: What is the one thing you will never ever forget during your missions to, in and from space?

    One view I will never forget was hanging out at the end of the truss and looking over the edge. The ultimate cliff! Nearly 220 miles straight down! And the earth's horizon spread out from ear to ear! Pretty neat!

    Dawn McCullough - Chat Guest at Mamie Lou Gross Elementary from Woodbine, Georgia asks:
    How long does it take when you leave the ground and when you enter space?

    About 8 minutes and 30 seconds to get to orbit.

    Dawn McCullough - Chat Guest at Mamie Lou Gross Elementary from Woodbine, Georgia asks:
    What is your job now?

    Vice President and Director of Flight Operations for a commercial space company named Rocketplane. I will also be the test pilot to fly the vehicle to space.

    Islawita - Chat Guest at SSDC from Kuching, Sarawak asks:
    We are studying in higher national diploma in electrical & electronic engineering. We are required to design and build a proyotype of a vehicle that will carry an astronout on a moon's surface. The question is, there's was no realible information about the moon surface until the Soviet Luna landed on the moon. Can you tell me how is the moon surface and will it realy need a fast moon rover to walk on the moon?

    Six missions went to the moon back in the late 60's and early 70's. I was about 12 years old at the time so I sat back and watched. No experience on the surface.

    Beth Hatla - Guest Teacher at Sanford-fritch Elementary from Fritch, Texas asks:
    My students would like to get more information about your current project, the rocketplane. Where can we get that information?

    www.rocketplane.com

    Kristy Schneider - Chat Guest at La Center Middle School from La Center, Wa asks:
    Our students are very excited about being apart of a real time chat for the first time. One of my students, Scott, would like to know what it feels like to defy gravity. What does if feel like to take off in the shuttle.

    You don't really defy gravity. You are just going so fast around the earth that as gravity pulls the shuttle back, the earth curves away and the shuttle just continues to fall. Kind of like being on a trampoline and someone yanks it out from underneath you. You just keep falling. The sensation of floating is fantastic. Every kid's dream!

    Suzanne Burman - Chat Guest at Maple River West Middle School from Amboy, MN asks:
    How is the space shuttle pressurized so that you have oxygen in space? Dylan

    The shuttle is sealed and has it's own source of oxygen and nitrogen. If there was a leak, the oxygen and nitrogen have to be plentiful enough to maintain an atmosphere long enough to return home.

    Paul Ziebell - Teacher at Olson Middle School from Mauston, Wisconsin asks:
    My students would like to know what was your favorite food to eat in space?

    chicken fajitas!

    Kristy Schneider - Chat Guest at La Center Middle School from La Center, Wa asks:
    Devon asked, Do you think your kids will become astronauts too?

    I don't think so. They have their own interests. One wants to be an artist and the other a singer. Both are very talented and I just ask them to pursue something they are passionate about.

    jorsdan - Chat Guest at MRW Middle school from Mapleton, asks:
    Have you ever flown a jetpack?

    Nope!

    Mrs. - Chat Guest at Ella Canavan Elementary from Medina, Ohio asks:
    Were you scared on your first trip to space?

    No, but I was certainly aware that a lot of bad stuff can happen. You just need to control your fear such that you can do your job.

    Kristy Schneider - Chat Guest at La Center Middle School from La Center, Wa asks:
    Sierra asked, What was your favorite part of your astronaut career?

    Walking in space

    Carrie Bornes - Chat Guest at Holly Ridge Middle from Holly Springs, NC asks:
    Is it scary during lift off?

    It's exciting, not scary.

    JASMIN - Chat Guest at HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY from AMARILLO, TEXAS asks:
    What does it feel like living in space for a long period of time?

    Difficult and wonderful all at once. You have to control your movements or you go bouncing into things if you are not careful. Imagine trying to eat your dinner if your plate and food kept floating off of your table. It takes about twice as long to do something in space as it does on earth because you always have to control yourself, or to stay in position. That takes concentration that we take for granted on earth.

    Catherine Mentzer - Chat Guest at Fairfield from Fairfield, Pa asks:
    Our time is up for my class, and I would like to thank you for taking this oppertunity to allow students the oppertunity to find out more about the occupations dealing with science!

    You are welcome. Thanks!

    Kathy - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How many times have you been to space?

    Once

    Marcia Egeland - Teacher at Saints Peter And Paul School from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    I'm sorry that I have come in late and don't know what has been asked. When and how did your interest in becoming an astronaut develop? What was your career path that led you to NASA?

    I was a Naval Aviator and test pilot. I have degrees in Applied Math and Aeronautical Engineering. My background is technical and operational.

    Kristy Schneider - Chat Guest at La Center Middle School from La Center, Wa asks:
    Hanna asks if you tip a water glass over what happens to the water?

    You can't tip over a glass. Tipping it over implies that gravity is going to pull it down. In fact, we don't use glasses to drink from, our drinks are in bags with straws.

    Jane Hale - Guest Teacher at Hallsville Intermediate from Hallsville, Texas asks:
    how many years did you go to college

    I spent about five years in undergraduate, extended plan ;o) Two additional years in grad school, a year in test pilot school, about two years initial training as an astronaut, another year training for my mission. Let's just say I have pretty much been in school since I left high school.

    Cameron - Chat Guest at Highland Park from Amarillo, Tx asks:
    What does your stomach feel like in space?

    You feel like the food in your stomach is floating, because it is. That feeling can be very provocative for some people.

    Dawn McCullough - Chat Guest at Mamie Lou Gross Elementary from Woodbine, Georgia asks:
    Isaiah, Jeffrey, Gennifer, Milan, Kyra, Jaequad, Frank, Grace, Nicholas, Halston, and Shelby in Mrs. McCullough's class think you are awesome and wonderful for taking time out to chat with our first grade class!

    My pleasure!

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Darby Junior Senior High Schoo from Fort Smith, Arkansas asks:
    from Ruby Flores, Darby Junior High, Fort Smith, AR: How did the Earth look like from outside the space shuttle?

    Like all of the pictures I have every seen taken from space, except now it is a moving picture and floating by the window. I woke up one night looking out the window and I could make out the coast of England, London, the English Channel, the coast of France, Paris, all the way across Europe. Pretty remarkable to see the lights of Paris at night from space!

    Jamie Rydberg - Chat Guest at Highland Park from Amarillo, TX asks:
    from a student: Do you miss your family when in space? Do you take special things with you?

    I was able to talk to my daughters via computer. I had the opportunity to fly an Eagle feather and flute that I presented to the Museum of the American Indian this past year.

    Hollie Miller - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from Depere, Wisconsin comments:
    Thanks for joining us today! We have a lot of questions coming through for Capt. Herrington, so we will try to answer as many as possible in the time we have today.

    Joshua Steenhoek - Teacher at Jefferson from Pella, Iowa asks:
    How does the human body feel without the pressures from Earth (gravity, ect.)?

    Being in a weightless environment is exciting. You feel full because the water in your body redistributes do to the weightlessness. You actually look chubby in the face due to the fluid shift.

    Kathy - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Thank you for taking your time to give us information about space. You're incredible.

    My pleasure!

    Dawn McCullough - Chat Guest at Mamie Lou Gross Elementary from Woodbine, Georgia asks:
    Also, add James Harrill to our class. He is so sad that he was left out! I am printing this for parents to see their children's school experience.

    I'm glad he could join.

    D'Laine - Chat Guest at Highland Park Elementary from Amarillo, Texas asks:
    is there rocks flying around in space and could they hit the Earth?

    Lots of asteroids zipping around. Hopefully they will keep their distance.

    Paul Ziebell - Teacher at Olson Middle School from Mauston, Wisconsin asks:
    What is a typical breakfast during a space mission?

    Freeze dried eggs. With lots of picante sauce. At least for me.

    Cindy Hamilton - Guest Teacher at Hamilton School from Asheville, North Carolina asks:
    have you seen the hubble space telascope or can you

    I have not, but I have friends that have done the servicing missions. I would have liked to have gone to Hubble, but that is left for my friends that still work at NASA.

    Jamie Rydberg - Chat Guest at Highland Park from Amarillo, TX asks:
    from Cameron: Does your body feel different when you get back to earth?

    I felt extremely heavy. I was surprised at how bad I felt after we came to a stop on the runway. For about a week after I came home, I could lay in bed and swear I was looking at the floor when I looked up at the ceiling! Really strange, but incredibly neat!

    Noah - Chat Guest at Highland Park from Amarillo, TX asks:
    How do you get out into space to do a space walk without the air from the shuttle leaving?

    We use an airlock that has a hatch that separates it from the rest of the ISS (or shuttle, depending on which vehicle you do your spacewalk from). The volume is just large enough to fit two people and their equipment. That means only a limited amount of air is released when you depressurize. And you only have to replace that limited volume when you return. The rest of the vehicle is isolated.

    Jennifer Bitely - Chat Guest at Penny Road Elementary from Cary, NC asks:
    Why did you want to be an astronaut? (Gregory-Grade 3)

    My heroes growing up were astronauts and I thought that maybe one day I could be one too! It just took a long time and a lot of people helping me along the way. Everyone can live their dream given the right level of effort and mentorship.

    Carrie Bornes - Chat Guest at Holly Ridge Middle from Holly Springs, NC asks:
    My students would like to know if you were cold or hot while being in space?

    I stayed relatively comfortable during my EVAs. The temp in the direct sun was about 200 degrees F and about -200 degrees after the sun went down. The suit we wore is a remarkable peice of gear and maintained a comfortable atmosphere. My fingers were cold only once and that was from holding onto a piece of metal for about 30 minutes during a night pass.

    Kristy Schneider - Chat Guest at La Center Middle School from La Center, Wa asks:
    JT wants to know how you keep things from floating around?

    During a spacewalk, all of your equipment is tether to you or the structure so that is doesn't float out of your reach. Inside the vehicle, it is always a challenge to keep stuff within reach. You don't worry about it floating off into space, you just worry about it floating out of your reach or you have to go get it. If I lost a pen or a fork I could find it up near the filter where air was cycled through.

    Chelsea - Chat Guest at Niagara Middle School from Niagara, Wisconsin asks:
    How long did you work as astronote

    About nine years

    Suzanne Burman - Chat Guest at Maple River West Middle School from Amboy, MN asks:
    My students were wondering if you could explain the rocketplane project to us.

    Here is a website that explains it better than I can in this type of forum. www.rocketplane.com

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Darby Junior Senior High Schoo from Fort Smith, Arkansas asks:
    from Breanna Flyn, Darby Junior High, Fort Smith, AR: What word of wisdom would you say to all the men, women, boys and girls who wish to become an astronaut?

    Do your very best and study math and science. You need to have a technical education and strong work experience. No matter what you study, be a good team player and work well with others. That goes a very long way in this business.

    Catherine Mentzer - Chat Guest at Fairfield from Fairfield, Pa asks:
    Why did you retire from NASA?

    To pursue spaceflight in a different way.

    Jonthan - Chat Guest at Niagara Middle School from Niagara, Wisconsin asks:
    do you ever get bored in space

    No, not at all.

    Dawn McCullough - Chat Guest at Mamie Lou Gross Elementary from Woodbine, Georgia asks:
    Caleigh McCullough is six years old and wants to be the first girl astronaut to walk on the moon and travel to Jupiter. What would your advice be for her?

    Study math and science. Work hard and work well with others.

    Darla Ritch - Teacher at Sanford-fritch Elementary from Fritch, Texas asks:
    When you're in your shuttle after you've finished your work for the day, what do you do for fun? How do you relax?

    We had very little time to relax under the very end of our flight. Looking out the window and studying the earth was a great pleasure

    Brit-Tyler - Chat Guest at Niagara Middle School from Niagara, Wisconsin asks:
    Would you rather be in space or on the earth?

    Both places have their special qualities. Begin able to experience both is what we should cherish.

    Jamie Rydberg - Chat Guest at Highland Park from Amarillo, TX asks:
    from Matthew: What is the difference between day and night like in space?

    You don't set your work day based on the sun's position. During a spacewalk, you have to make sure your visor is down when the sun starts to come up because it will get very bright and reflect off of the material on the ISS. At night you have to make sure your headlamps are on or it will get very dark!

    Jamie Rydberg - Chat Guest at Highland Park from Amarillo, TX asks:
    from Valerie: What do you do with your dirty clothes in space?

    Pack them away until the end of the mission. There is no way to do laundry!

    Sarah - Chat Guest at Niagara Middle School from Niagara, Wisconsin asks:
    what was your best memory of space

    Performing the EVAs and hanging out at the edge of the truss.

    Jennifer Bitely - Chat Guest at Penny Road Elementary from Cary, NC asks:
    David-Grade 3, What is your favorite part of being an astronaut?

    The people I worked with your fantastic. Working as part of a team and getting to experience spaceflight and bring the experience back with me to share.

    Jamie Rydberg - Chat Guest at Highland Park from Amarillo, TX asks:
    from Billy: Is sound distorted in space?

    Sound requires a medium (like air or water) to travel through. In space, where there is no air, sound cannot travel. Outside of the shuttle, the only way you could talk to someone else if your radios did not work, would be to put your helmet up against the other person's helmet and yell. The sound would vibrate through the helmet .

    Hollie Miller - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from Depere, 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 Capt. Herrington for hosting our chat today.

    Jamie Rydberg - Chat Guest at Highland Park from Amarillo, TX asks:
    from Hayley: When you have flown were there men and women on the team or just men?

    On my flight, men and women

    Ben - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Did anything serious ever happen to you when you were on a mission?

    We had to overcome some difficulties during our spacewalks, but nothing too serious.

    Jennifer Bitely - Chat Guest at Penny Road Elementary from Cary, NC asks:
    Elizabeth, grade three, what is the weather like in space?

    Since there is no air, there is no weather as we know it here on earth.

    Jennifer Bitely - Chat Guest at Penny Road Elementary from Cary, NC asks:
    Hannah, grade 3, How do you use the bathroom in space?

    Very carefully! Gravity is your friend in the bathroom here on earth. In space we use vacuum.

    Hollie Miller - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from Depere, Wisconsin comments:
    Please join us again on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005 for a chat with astronaut Dr. C. Michael Foale, of the NASA Johnson Space Center. During this chat, you will have an opportunity to discuss his experiences in space.

    Catherine Mentzer - Chat Guest at Fairfield from Fairfield, Pa asks:
    How do you handle your fame for being an astronaut

    I enjoy what I do and I like to share it with others.

    Corrina - Chat Guest at Niagara School from Niagara, Wisconsin asks:
    What was the longest time you were in space?

    Almost 14 days.

    Hollie Miller - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from Depere, Wisconsin comments:
    11/15/2005 12:06:19 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
    Site MapPrivacy Policy