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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (marklee Chat Log)Hosted by Col. Mark Lee of ORBITEC, former NASA Astronaut

    at from asks:
    1/23/2003 12:49:01 PM - Room opened by Moderator.

    at from asks:
    Welcome to Col. Mark Lee and Orbital Laboratory participants. Col. Lee is a veteran of four space flights, traveling over 13 million miles going around the world 517 times and spending 33 days in orbit. He can answer your questions about living in space, performing spacewalks, and the Hubble Space Telescope. You can find out more about Col. Lee at http://www.orbitallaboratory.com/weekly/marklee.php

    at from asks:
    Col. Lee will be joining us at 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

    at from asks:
    This is Brian. There was a question about whether or not more than one person can be using the same username and password at a time. This is possible, so you can go ahead and share it for this event. Remember to change your password afterwards.

    01 - Student at Dunbar High School from Fort Myers, Florida asks:
    How exactly do you go to the restroom?

    We have a toilet that looks similar to a toilet on earth but we use airflow to carry waste products away instead of gravity and water. There are also two levers one on each side to rotate over your legs so you don't float off the seat and be sure and cover the opening when you leave so something doesn't follow you.

    Joy Tweedt - Teacher at Sawyer Elementary from Ames, Iowa asks:
    When you are taking off in the space shuttle and the g-force is pushing against you, how does that make you feel? Emily

    Heavy---the forces aren't that great. Max of three G's so you can still move your arms easily and body. You tend to tense your muscles to counteract the force so you tend to work up a good sweat during launch. It really doesn't feel like that much--maybe the same as a 75 pound weight on your chest.

    12 - Student at Sparks Elementary from Frisco, Texas asks:
    why did you want to be an astronaut

    I couldnt' think of a better job in the whole world. It is fun, exciting, make you think, you get to fly, do spacewalks, travel----I can't think of anything that isn't great about being an astronaut.

    01 - Student at Dunbar High School from Fort Myers, Florida asks:
    Have you ever broken a bone in space and if so how did you treat it?

    There haven't been any broken bones in space but you would attempt to stabilize it just like here on earth. It would repair itself in the same way bones do here---it may take a little longer because you do lose calcium from your bones in space.

    30 - Student at Sparks Elementary from Frisco, Texas asks:
    What is the fastest speed that a space shuttle can go?

    You need to get up to just over 17,000 miles per hour to get into earth orbit. That equates to 5 miles every second.

    Sarah Francetich - Teacher at Rickard Elementary from Williston, North Dakota asks:
    What dangers do you have to prepare for?

    There are many dangers in space. Radiation, temperature extremes, no atmosphere but most of our equipment is designed to take care of these problems. From a personal perspective you need to have confidence in the many people who prepare the shuttle and work the mission and if you have that you don't worry about launch or any of the other hazards.

    Brandon - Student at Wichita Collegiate School from Wichita, Kansas asks:
    How does it feel to be one out of billions of people to actually be in space?

    Very fortunate--it is such a wonderful experience I wish everyone could go there.

    Joy Tweedt - Teacher at Sawyer Elementary from Ames, Iowa asks:
    What is EVA like in microgravity? Tony

    We train in the water tank so from a task perspective it is very similar. The biggest difference is the lack of water drag--it is so easy to move around you have to be very careful to move slowly and conserve you strength for tasks and not holding yourself in position.

    Peter - Student at Wichita Collegiate School from Wichita, Kansas asks:
    do you think we can go to mars

    We can definitely go to Mars and should. Technically we are ready to start a program and we just need the commitment of the congress and other nations to be our partners. It would be a great adventure and give us valuable scientific information.

    Christie - Student at Wichita Collegiate School from Wichita, Kansas asks:
    Do you have any pets?

    I've owned several dogs over the years---but only have some angus cattle right now on my farm.

    Sarah Francetich - Teacher at Rickard Elementary from Williston, North Dakota asks:
    How heavy is your space gear?

    The space suit weighs 300 pounds --- thank goodness for zero gravity.

    01 - Student at Dunbar High School from Fort Myers, Florida asks:
    How does it feel to be so far from earth and see it from where you are?

    It feels like a dream at first because it is so different from anything you have ever done. Just 1 and 1/2 hours to go around the earth, seeing half the united states out the window. It is a special experience that I think about many times every day. I feel very proud and lucky at the same time.

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Panama Elementary from Panama, Oklahoma asks:
    If you were asked to go on future space missions like John Glenn, would you do it?

    I would go on any mission any time and any where.

    12 - Student at Sparks Elementary from Frisco, Texas asks:
    What do your sons, Erik and Matthew, want to be when they grow up. Alex

    Everytime Matthew (2) sees a pisture of an astronaut he thinks it is me. Wants to fly and be a pirate right now---who knows what he will do. Erik would like to be in the military but isn't sure what he wants to do.

    Stevi - Student at Wichita Collegiate School from Wichita, Kansas asks:
    What do you do on your free time in space?

    Looking out the window and answering e-mail.

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at Ed White Middle School from Huntsville, Alabama asks:
    D'Algernon- Ed White Middle School: Do you see the earth rotate in space?

    Not really-- you know it rotates because each time you come around a different part of the earth has daylight or darkness so you know it is rotating---you just can't see it.

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Panama Elementary from Panama, Oklahoma asks:
    Did you know Christa McAuliff personally?

    I met her several times because I was an astronaut during Challenger. All the astronauts work together in Houston-- even those like Christa who were only there for a short period of time and not career astronauts.

    Laura Solawetz - Teacher at St. Victor School from Monroe, Wisconsin asks:
    how do you cook in space?

    We have an oven but all food is prepackaged. It ranges from complete meals in a foil pouch to dehydrated items, snacks and a variety of drinks. We also have tortillas, hot dogs--- you can eat them cold or heat them up in the oven.

    Laura Solawetz - Teacher at St. Victor School from Monroe, Wisconsin asks:
    how do you cook in space?

    We have an oven but all food is prepackaged. It ranges from complete meals in a foil pouch to dehydrated items, snacks and a variety of drinks. We also have tortillas, hot dogs--- you can eat them cold or heat them up in the oven.

    David - Student at Mckinley Middle School from Kenosha, Wisconsin asks:
    do you have kids

    I have two children. Erik and Matthew--13 and almost 3.

    David - Student at Mckinley Middle School from Kenosha, Wisconsin asks:
    do you have kids

    I have two children. Erik and Matthew--13 and almost 3.

    Sarah Francetich - Teacher at Rickard Elementary from Williston, North Dakota asks:
    What time zone do you use in space?

    We either use mission elpsed time that starts at lift-off--sort of like your own special time zone or GMT - Greenwich Mean Time which is the world's universal time refence and the basis for all time zones around the world.

    28 - Student at Sparks Elementary from Frisco, Texas asks:
    do you think that there is other intellegant life out there?\

    I think there is life all over the universe at many different stages of development. I don't think they have ever been here and aren't very likely to ever come here because of the incredible distances between stars and solar systems. They are there but we will never find them.

    Alyssa 09 - Student at Tooker Avenue School from West Babylon, New York asks:
    what is it like to see constellations

    Not much different than here on earth. There is no atmosphere so stars don't twinkle but they look pretty much the same.

    Alyssa 09 - Student at Tooker Avenue School from West Babylon, New York asks:
    what is it like to see constellations

    Not much different than here on earth. There is no atmosphere so stars don't twinkle but they look pretty much the same.

    Pam Bowers - Teacher at Drake Planetarium from Norwood, Ohio asks:
    We are currently participating in an experiment that is dealing with growing plants in a micro-gravity environment. Is there currently an experiment taking place on the International Space Station growing plants in that environment.

    I'm not sure if there is a current experiment. The company I work for now--ORBITEC-- is building plant growth facilities for space station. You can check out our web site for info on the experiment we flew last year on the space station.

    Laura Solawetz - Teacher at St. Victor School from Monroe, Wisconsin asks:
    Have you worked with astronauts from other countries?

    I flew on a Japanese spacelab mission and have trained in Russia, Europe and know many of the astronauts from around the world.

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at Ed White Middle School from Huntsville, Alabama asks:
    In the news yesterday they announced that would be looking for more teachers to go into space. Do you thinnk that is a good idea and why?

    I think it is a great idea to send people from different backgrounds into space. Each person has a unique perspective and can contribute by educating the public and future generations about the benefits of being in space.

    Doreen Forsythe - Teacher at Ed White Middle School from Huntsville, Alabama asks:
    This is a question from a former Physics teacher. If there was glob of water floating in space and a goldfish was in it and swam out, could if turn around and go back in the glob of water?

    Once it came out of the bubble it would have a hard time pushing it's way back in against the surface tension of the liquid--- if it could ever find the bubble.

    Potsie - Student at Wichita Collegiate School from Wichita, Kansas asks:
    Can you drink soda in space?

    You just need to find a way to dispense it--a special can. Other than that it would be like drinking anything else. In fact they have had Coke and Pepsi in space many years ago.

    Elaheh - Student at Wichita Collegiate School from Wichita, Kansas asks:
    Is it hard to get into your sleeping bag in microgravity?

    Very easy--just float and pull it on--then velcro yourself to the wall

    Josh - Student at Mckinley Middle School from Kenosha, Wisconsin asks:
    how does your body know which is up or down? cause how does ur body know where to pump your blood?josh

    Your body doesn't care which way is up or down. If you stand on your head on earth everything still works so being in space actually is easier on your body because you don't have to work against the force of gravity

    Eric Brunsell - Teacher at Space from Green, Wisconsin asks:
    What were you responsible for while you were on the shuttle?

    Each mission is different-- I've deployed satellites, performed scientific experiments, done spacewalks, operated the mechanical arm, and operated atmospheric sensing equipment in the payload bay of the shuttle.

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Panama Elementary from Panama, Oklahoma asks:
    Have you been on a mission with an animal? If so, what animal and what happened to the animal after the mission?

    We have had frogs, goldfish,hornets on my missions and many other species over the years. Most are kept alive to study behavior and genetic changes over generations but some are killed for research purposes.

    Karen Schonauer - Teacher at West Elementary from East Rochester, Ohio asks:
    Have you seen a comet or meteorite while in space?

    Yes-- I saw hale-bop a few years ago

    at from asks:
    Thank you to all of you who submitted questions. We received hundreds and unfortunately weren’t able to answer them all. Check back tomorrow to see and archive of the chat. And special thanks to Col. Mark Lee for joining us. The chatroom will be closing at 3:15 PM Eastern Time.

    Joy Tweedt - Teacher at Sawyer Elementary from Ames, Iowa asks:
    What part of living in space is hardest to adjust to? Alec

    It is all pretty easy--maybe going to sleep the first few times but most things you adapt to quickly

    24 - Student at Sparks Elementary from Frisco, Texas asks:
    what was it like to have to stay for a 4 day mission on Magellan Venus-exploration?

    It was such a short mission --it was hard to spend all that time getting ready and then only be in space for a short time. Deploying the satellite was a lot of fun and thinking about sending something to another planet was also great.

    Vladimir Hurych - Teacher at Long Island City High School from Long Island City, New York asks:
    what is the difference between the growth of plants on earth and in space?

    There really isn't enough time to answer this. The lack of gravity affects structure, transport mechanisms, and many functions of the plant. There is agreat deal of literature that is available on the internet and I don't have enough time to go into it here. The space explorers website also has information

    27 - Student at Runkle Science School from Brookline, Massachusetts asks:
    do you take showers with little wet cloths?

    Yes-- we don't have a shower so a spoge bath is the only way to get clean.

    27 - Student at Sparks Elementary from Frisco, Texas asks:
    what a kind of food is your favorite in space?

    I like shrimp cocktail and m&ms

    Betty Swiston - Teacher at St. Louis School from Washburn, Wisconsin asks:
    Students from Washburn, WI wonder if you have electronic video games or TV to play or watch in space?

    They can watch DVDs on space station

    Jan Stone - Teacher at Panama Elementary from Panama, Oklahoma asks:
    Have you ever taken any food outside of the shuttle while in space and eaten it?

    The space suit used to have a food stick that you could eat on a spacewalk

    Robin 13 - Student at Holy Family - Kirkland from Kirkland, Washington asks:
    What goes through your mind when you hear the countdown?

    So many things--family, friends, hoping everything works right, the job you are getting ready to do, thinking about what you need to do during ascent. A wide range of thoughts

    at from asks:
    1/23/2003 2:18:55 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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