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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (low2006 Chat Log)During this online chat, 164 questions were asked by 25 schools. There were 33 adults and 65 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by David Low of Orbital Sciences Corporation

    Isaac - Chat Guest at Baxter Community from Baxter, Iowa asks:
    Have you ever found any life forms in space?

    None other than the other astronauts that I flew with!

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    Should we continue our exploration of space?

    Absolutely! I believe it is human nature to want to explore and understand the unknown. That is what got me interested in space.

    Elizabeth Russo - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 09/26/06 at 12:00.

    Elizabeth Russo - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Space Explorers would like to welcome David Low 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!

    Andrea - Chat Guest at Bethune Academy from Haines City, FL asks:
    Is your spacesuit hot?

    We have a temperature control on the suit, but I found that I was cold more often than I was hot. When you are doing a spacewalk, as you go around the earth the temperature swings from aound minus 250 degrees F to plus 250 degrees F, so you are constantly adjusting your temperature setting.

    Debbie - Chat Guest at Claysburg-Kimmel Elementary from Claysburg, PA asks:
    Choices of food and beverages in space are limited. What food or beverage did you miss the most? Why is that food not available in space?

    I think I missed pizza the most. It just wasn't available when I was flying, but I bet it is now.

    Pat trotter - Chat Guest at Baxter Community from Baxter, Iowa asks:
    You have gone to many universities. What university do you feel prepared you the best to become an astronaut and why?

    Very good question. I think they all prepared me in some way. The most important thing, no matter where you go to school is to study hard and do well. I had to study hard at each of my schools.

    erick - Chat Guest at bushkill El School from Nazareth, PA asks:
    What is the most unusual object you ever used as a tool to get a job done in space?

    I didn't have to actually use it, but the most unusual tool that I almost had to use was a very large (several feet long) cutting device that could have cut through a boom antenna that we were trying to fix on my spacewalk. Fortunately, some of our other methods of securing the antenna worked, and we didn't have to cut it off!

    Beth Gaywont - Teacher at St. John The Baptist from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    Many of my students are 6th graders. Were you already dreaming of being an astronaut when you were in 6th grade? What things interested you then?

    I decided that I wanted to become an astronaut when I was 9 years old and in fourth grade. Since that time, most of the important decisions that I made (such as what to study, where to go to school, where to work, etc.) were all made with the goal of becoming an astronaut in mind. Science and engineering (how things worked) interested me then (and still do!).

    Lexi - Chat Guest at Baxter Community from Baxter, Iowa asks:
    What kind of things do you do on your job? Do you have homework like we do?

    In my current job I help to manage rocket programs and the people who work on the programs. And yes, I still have homework. We usually don't call it that, but I often have to work at home at night or on the weekends. Get used to it!

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    Which shuttles have you traveled on?

    I flew on Columbia (STS-32), Atlantis (STS-43), and Endeavour (STS-57).

    Kuli - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunaniq from Manokotak, Alaska asks:
    I wonder. . . .what made you decide to become an astronaut?

    I remember it very clearly. Just after Gemini 3 flew in 1965, I saw some pictures of the Earth that had been taken by the astronauts in space. It looked beautiful! From that moment on, I wanted to become an astronaut and see that first-hand.

    Cindy Worley - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunaniq School from Manokotak, AK asks:
    Students were wondering how a spacewalk is conducted.

    You first have to put on a spacesuit that protects you from the extreme temperatures of space, and provides you with air to breathe and a little electricity and protects you from small debris that may be out there. The suit is kind of bulky and somewhat difficult to move in, so it makes it hard to do simple tasks like fine movements with your hands or fingers. Because of that we use special tools that makes the tasks that we have to do a little easier.

    Cindy Worley - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunanaq School from Manokotak, AK asks:
    What was the most thrilling experience you had in space?

    No question, it was on my spacewalk, looking down on the Earth. It was beautifu!

    Marti Mauntel - Teacher at Dubois Middle School from Dubois, Indiana asks:
    How fast can a Space Shuttle go?

    When it is orbiting the Earth, it is going 17,500 miles per hour, or about 5 miles per second.

    Gater - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What does the space shuttle look like on the inside? (TJ Sciaretta)

    It has two rather small room, the flight deck and the middeck. There are lots of switches (about 2000) and storage compartments.

    LANA - Chat Guest at Dayton Islamic from Beavercreeki, OH asks:
    How many years have you been an astronaut?

    I was an astronaut for 12 years, from 1984 until 1996.

    Barbara - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunaniq School from Manokotak, Alaska asks:
    In order to become a astronaut, what do you have to do to become one?

    On the shuttle, we have two kinds of astronauts: pilot astronauts, and mission specialist astronauts. Pilot astronauts have to have had high performance jet aircraft experience in their past, and mission specialists generally are scientists, engineers, or doctors.

    Barbara Lindquist - Teacher at Washington Woods School from Holt, Michigan asks:
    What do you do for entertainment in space?

    Some people listen to music, some watch movies. I liked to watch the Earth go by when I had a few extra minutes.

    Alicia Hughes - Teacher at Bethune Academy from Haines City, Florida asks:
    How much sleep do you actually get on a mission?

    We are supposed to get about 8 hours sleep each night, but I never got more than about 5.

    Alicia Hughes - Teacher at Bethune Academy from Haines City, Florida asks:
    Have you ever worked on a highly classified mission?

    No.

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    What was the longest you were in space?

    My longest stay was my first mission, which lasted 11 days.

    R Smith - Teacher at Nome Elementary School from Nome, Alaska asks:
    What did you do as a payload commander?

    I was responsible for ensuring that what we were doing with our payloads and experiements was successful and safe.

    R Smith - Teacher at Nome Elementary School from Nome, Alaska asks:
    Have you ever been to the moon?

    No, but I wish I had! I was too young to go to the moon when we did it in the 60s and 70s, and I'll probably be too old to do it when we do it again in 10 or 15 years. But today's students are just the right age!

    LANA - Chat Guest at Dayton Islamic from Beavercreeki, OH asks:
    Do you have any kids interested in becoming astronauts?

    I've got three young children, ages 3, 8, and 10. Right now they say they would like to go in space, but they want me to go with them! I'd love to.

    Jon - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunaniq School from Manokotak, Alaska asks:
    whats the most amazing thing you seen in space?

    The Earth....all parts of it. It's beautiful and breathtaking.

    Beth Gaywont - Teacher at St. John The Baptist from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    Why did you only get five hours of sleep?

    I always had a hard time sleeping in space. I think it is because after a long day on Earth I enjoyed the change of state when I hit the bed, but in space there is no change of state....you are still floating, so you don't feel any different.

    Beth Gaywont - Teacher at St. John The Baptist from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    On Earth, I see stars in th sky. What do they look like on the Space Shuttle?

    The stars so't look much different in space. After all, in the Shuttle, we are only 300 or so miles closer to the stars, which are billions of miles away! But because we are above the atmosphere, they don't shimmer or "twinkle." That's the biggest difference.

    Kristy - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunaniq School from Manokotak, Alaska asks:
    How did it feel being weightless?

    Weightlessness is a lot of fun, but it sometimes can make it harder to get seven small things done. Objects don't just stay where you put them like they do on Earth!

    Alicia Hughes - Teacher at Bethune Academy from Haines City, Florida asks:
    When do you think there will be families living and working in space?

    Unfortunately, I think we are still a ways off from that. Maybe when we go to Mars, but not anytime soon.

    LANA - Chat Guest at Dayton Islamic from Beavercreeki, OH asks:
    What is your favorite sport?

    Running and lacrosse.

    Beth Gaywont - Teacher at St. John The Baptist from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    How do you take a shower in space?

    We took what we called a sponge bath. Take a wet,soapy, washcloth and wash yourself, and then another one to get the soap off. Not quite as good as a hot shower! In fact, a hot shower is one of the things most missed about living on Earth.

    Kuli - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunaniq from Manokotak, Alaska asks:
    If you were to choose between the moon and mars, which would you choose? and why?

    Personally, I would take Mars, because no humans have yet been there. But I believe that the US is doing things in the right order by going back to the Moon before going on to Mars.

    R Smith - Teacher at Nome Elementary School from Nome, Alaska asks:
    How long did it take to get to space from the earth?

    8.5 minutes!

    R Smith - Teacher at Nome Elementary School from Nome, Alaska asks:
    What kind of fuel does the Space Shuttle use?

    It uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen for its main engines, and solid propellant for its other boosters.

    LANA - Chat Guest at Dayton Islamic from Beavercreeki, OH asks:
    Have you ever been hurt during a mission?

    Fortunately, no.

    R Smith - Teacher at Nome Elementary School from Nome, Alaska asks:
    How did you feel on your first space flight?

    I felt a little queasy for the first couple of days, and fine after that.

    Beth Gaywont - Teacher at St. John The Baptist from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    Of all of the missions that you have been on, which was your favorate?

    My last one, because I got to do a space walk, and also grab a satellite out of the sky with the robotic arm. That was a lot of fun, and we were successful.

    Beth Gaywont - Teacher at St. John The Baptist from Green Bay, Wisconsin asks:
    What is the most interesting thing you have brought back from space?

    I came back with the same things I went there with!

    Tommy - Guest Student at Great Meadows Regional from Great Meadows, New Jersey asks:
    What do space and the moon look like when you are in the space shuttle?

    Space itself is very, very, black, and the Moon looks pretty uch like it does from Earth, only a little sharper in focus.

    Alicia Hughes - Teacher at Bethune Academy from Haines City, Florida asks:
    My students want to know what was your favorite astronaut food in space?

    Butterscotch pudding.

    R Smith - Teacher at Nome Elementary School from Nome, Alaska asks:
    How is space food made?

    Much of it is the same as here on Earth, only some of it is dehydrated (they take the water out of it) in order to save the weight of the water (which we make in space as a by-product of the way we make electricity with our fuel cells).

    Jack - Chat Guest at Hamilton School from Asheville, NC asks:
    When is the point that you feel most stressed, the night before a flight, the morning of the flight, or RIGHT before lift-off?

    Very good question. Probably the night before a flight. I never found it easy going to sleep the night before a mission!

    Elizabeth Russo - 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 David Low for hosting our chat today.

    Jon - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunaniq School from Manokotak, Alaska asks:
    Was there anything really challenging in space that you did?

    The most challenging things that I did were grabbing the Eureca satellite with the robotic arm and fixing the satellite on my spacewalk.

    LANA - Chat Guest at Dayton Islamic from Beavercreeki, OH asks:
    How does it feel during liftoff?

    Like you are on a runaway train for the first two minutes, and then it smoothes out once the SRBs have gone away.

    Alicia Hughes - Teacher at Bethune Academy from Haines City, Florida asks:
    You are awesome!!!! Thank you for your time!!!!!

    You are very welcome. Please encourage your students to work hard, and their dreams really can come true. I had big dreams as a kid, and I am proof that dreams can come true if you work hard.

    Cindy Worley - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunanaq School from Manokotak, AK asks:
    What type of experiments were conducted on your flights?

    Many medical and materials and physical science experiments.

    Kristy - Chat Guest at Manokotak Nunaniq School from Manokotak, Alaska asks:
    What do you miss about being in space?

    The views of Earth.

    Alicia Hughes - Teacher at Bethune Academy from Haines City, Florida asks:
    Please excuse us for this question, but my 4th graders really want to know how astronauts go to the bathroom in those suits?

    This might ruin our image, but we wear diapers under our spacesuits in case we have to go to the bathroom. Very practical, and it works!

    Elizabeth Russo - 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/weekly/onlinechats.html . We look forward to chatting with you again!

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    What is your opinion on Pluto not being a planet now?

    I'm disappointed, but nobody asked for my vote!

    Elizabeth Russo - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    9/26/2006 1:13:48 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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