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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (mlee18 Chat Log)Hosted by Col. Mark Lee of NASA

    at from asks:
    3/18/2003 10:19:42 AM - Room opened by Moderator.

    at from asks:
    Hello and welcome to the online chat with astronaut Col. Mark Lee. 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

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    What is the maximum amount of time an astronaut can spacewalk? Is it dependent on the amount of oxygen or the cold conditions?

    It is dependent on the amount of oxygen and battery life plus your metabolic rate. Normally it is at least 6 hours but we have had spacewalks last over 8 hours and the oxygen and battery can be recharged while in the suit.

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    How is it different when you exit the atmosphere then when you re-enter the atmosphere

    The biggest difference is speed through the atmosphere. During launch you are at maximum 2 to 4 times the speed of sound while in the atmosphere but during reeentry you hit the atmosphere at 25 times the speed of sound or 5 miles per second. Yhis causes the high heat load during reentry.

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    Does time seem to "stand still" when you are in space for several days, or do you still have a sense of time passing as it does on earth?

    I don't think it slows down at all. In fact time seems to go by much quicker than down on earth--probably because you are so busy.

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    I read your earlier transcript and am wondering about the time it takes to reach Mars. The twin rovers are planned to launch in May and June of this year and land on Mars in Jan.,l 2004. What would be necessary for humans to endure a flight of that length?

    There are various trajectories that a mission can take and it is also dependent on how long you intend to stay on Mars. I think the quickest you can get there at constant speed is about 4-4.5 months.

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    What is your daily routine in space

    After an 8 hour sleep period you get up and have a 3 hour post-sleep during which you read the changes to the day's activities, get cleaned up, eat breakfast, change clothes, review checklists and prepare for the day. The work day is 10 hours long with lunch in the middle and usually a 1 hour exercise period but most of the day is spent doing experiments or other mission activities. End of the dya is a 3 hour pre-sleep for dinner, relaxing, e-mail and getting ready for bed.

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    how much time have you actually spent in space since you have become an astronaut

    Ive spent 33 days on 4 missions

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    What projects are you currently working on? I read a biography on the Internet that was from 1997, so I do not really know.

    I am currently retired and working for a company called Orbitec in Madison WI building experiments that will fly on Space Station

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    Ashley asks I know you weigh less in space, but do you feel any different

    Things orbiting the earth are weightless because you are continually falling around the earth so it has the effect of floating.

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    Have you ever seen a black hole?

    I have seen picture of evidence of black holes taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It would be best to contact the space telescope institute and maybe they can send you some literature and a picture

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    How do you feel about the "Teachers in Space" program? I met Barbara Morgan and am very proud of her efforts in training and enthusiasm.

    I think it is a great program amd in fact I'm meeting with Barbara next week to discuss a plant experiment we would like her to conduct as part of her teacher in space program

    Cheryl Reinke - Teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary from Marco Island, Florida asks:
    How many miles does the shuttle travel before the booster rocket comes off?

    They come of just over 2 minutes into the flight-- so I'm gueesing it is around 25-30 miles from the launch pad

    Cheryl Reinke - Teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary from Marco Island, Florida asks:
    How many miles does the shuttle travel before the booster rocket comes off?

    They come of just over 2 minutes into the flight-- so I'm gueesing it is around 25-30 miles from the launch pad

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    Do the heat tiles on the shuttle experience the same amount of heat at launch and re-entry?

    Almost no heating on ascent but 2000 degrees C on entry

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    Which one of your trip was your favorite trip?

    It is hard to pick a favorite trip into space. I probably enjoyed the 3 spcewalks on the Hubble Space Telescope the most

    Cheryl Reinke - Teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary from Marco Island, Florida asks:
    Is is comfortable in the sleeping bags that hang on the wall?

    You can sleep anywhere you want--float all night, most people don't stay hooked to the wall they move to a spot they like that's comfortable

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    Tanner asks how do you know if it is day or night while you are in space

    Time on the mission is referenced to liftoff so we don't worry to much about day/night cycles since there is a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    Do you go through a normal sleep cycle while in space?

    It is set up for 8 hours and after a day or so you get tired and have a fairly normal sleep cycle

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    Is Neal Armstrong one of your heroes?

    All of the early astronauts are my heroes

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    How much does the jet pack weigh?

    It weighed about 80 pounds

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    Leslie asks if you were untethered in space how did you change direction and get where you were going

    I was wearing a jetpack that had about 30 tiny thrusters to control my attitude and move me around

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    While in space, what do you miss from Earth life the most?

    The wind and the different smells of being outside

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    How much did your muscles atrophy after being in space?

    It depends on how long you are in space and how much excercise you do

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    On your untethered spacewalk, did you use a jet pack?

    Yes it was called SAFER---Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    what kind of science experiments have you done on your space flights

    I did 45 different experiments on the Japanese spacelab mission dealing with human life sciences, material sciences and some experiments with animals

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    Morgan asks were you scared on your first space walk, and what did you think about

    I wasn't really scared just a little unsure about what to expect

    Emely Perez - Teacher at Brentano Math And Science Acad from Chicago, Illinois asks:
    how do you stop in space

    You don't unless run into something

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    How much personal time do you get in space?

    Not very much-- maybe an hour a day

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    Do you prefer space food or food on earth?

    Space food isn't that bad but I'll take a pizza or a hamburger and french fries any day over what we have in space

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    out of those 45 experiments, which one was your favorite?

    A crystal growing experiment

    Emely Perez - Teacher at Brentano Math And Science Acad from Chicago, Illinois asks:
    Do you have touble walking once you come back to Earth?

    Yes--it takes a little while to maintain your balance. For me after about 2 hours I felt pretty much back to normal

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    What kind of effects does reentry to earth have on your body?

    Very little other than gravity slowly builds up and you start to feel heavier than before

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    Are the sars and planets look larger in space than when you see them from earth?

    I think they look about the same they just don't twinkle because you aren't looking at them through the atmosphere

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    We recall reding somewhere that there was an experiment using wasps. Did the wasps lay any eggs?

    I didn't see any

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    William ask what is the food like in space and is it hard to swallow

    Foods are very much the same as you have on earth- scrambled eggs, green beans, chicken and beef. It is not hard to swallow becuase gravity doesn't play a large part in swallowing something

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    What is the scariest or dangerous part of the missions to space

    I used to think that it was just launch but now I'd have to add reentry

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    What is your favorite planet other than earth?

    I think Mars because it is a place we will go someday and I think it is exciting to think about exploring it

    Cheryl Reinke - Teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary from Marco Island, Florida asks:
    We would like to invite you to visit Marco Island where you can go fishing and boating. Our teacher is from Wisconsin!

    Send me a ticket

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    What is the easiest food to prepare on the shuttle?

    Probably a tortilla with chicken salad spread

    Maria Haberer - Teacher at Stewart Elementary from Washington, Iowa asks:
    How often can you go on space flights? (asked by Mallory)

    Every 2-3 years is the general rule--depends on how often we are flying also

    Cheryl Reinke - Teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary from Marco Island, Florida asks:
    Have your space missions and experiments helped you to become a better farmer?

    I have become more consciuos of the environment-- and have planted over 140,000 trees on my farms in the past 15 years

    Maria Haberer - Teacher at Stewart Elementary from Washington, Iowa asks:
    Who works with the plants growing on the space station?

    One or two of the astronauts are trained to do the experiments

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    Which animal have you worked with?

    Mostly frogs in space but other animals on earth

    Maria Haberer - Teacher at Stewart Elementary from Washington, Iowa asks:
    Do crystals form in the same manner in space or do they assume different shapes/structures?

    They usually have the same structure but the lack of gravity allows them to grow larger than they might on earth

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    What are your mission numbers? When I go to JSC I'd like to get your patches.

    STS-30,47,64.82

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    what were your interests in high school?

    Football,wrestling,track, girls and------homework

    Maria Haberer - Teacher at Stewart Elementary from Washington, Iowa asks:
    You are welcome in Washington, Iowa, too! What was the most interesting thing you saw on a space walk? (asked by Jacob)

    I flew up out of the payload bay on my untethered spacewalk just as the sun was rising and couldn't see the shuttle at all and I felt like I was on top of the world---actually I was

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    how long did you have to train before going into space?

    from 8 months to 3 years depending on the complexity of the mission

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    How similar is the robotic arm to a human arm?

    Similar in degrees of freedom but you don't really think of it the same way as moving your arm

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    Is being an astronaut a high paying job?

    I was in the Air Force and got the same pay as anyone else my rank

    Cheryl Reinke - Teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary from Marco Island, Florida asks:
    How does the ozone layer look from the shuttle?

    It can't be seen

    Maria Haberer - Teacher at Stewart Elementary from Washington, Iowa asks:
    Joni would like to ask how many frogs you worked with and what experiments did you do? Did the frogs lay eggs and go through a life cycle? (Jovany)and hav

    We had 4 frogs and yes they did lay eggs and we brought the tadpoles home

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    what subjects in school prepared you for your work in space?

    All of them but primarily math and science. READING is the most important thing you can do to be ready for anything

    Cheryl Reinke - Teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary from Marco Island, Florida asks:
    How big is your farm?

    I have about 300 acres right now

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    What was your favorite part of the training?

    When it is over and you are ready to fly.. I like the neutral bouyancy lab and the underwater work in the spacesuit

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    Are the controls of the robotic arm similar to a joy stick?

    You have 2---one for translation in 3 directions and one for roll,pitch and yaw

    at from asks:
    Thank you to all of you who submitted questions. We received many questions and unfortunately weren’t able to answer them all. Check back tomorrow to see an archive of the chat. And special thanks to Col. Mark Lee for joining us. The chatroom will be closing at 12:30 PM Eastern Time.

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    we have taken our picture of all the students talking to you, if you would like, we will email it to you so you can see us, too.

    send it to space explorers and they can forward it to me

    Emely Perez - Teacher at Brentano Math And Science Acad from Chicago, Illinois asks:
    When you are on space are you afrade of hights?

    This is not a good profession for people afraid of heights---so most people don't experience those fears in space

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    Is the robotic arm similar to controlling the crane with toys to pick up at the supermarket arcade?

    Not really--you can only move them back and forth and sideways. The arm can move in any direction and the end effector can rotate over 360 degrees

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    What was the most impressive thing you saw on earth from the shuttle ?

    Great wall of china, Italy, sunrise,sunset, almost everthing is amazing from space

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    What was the most impressive thing you saw on earth from the shuttle ?

    Great wall of china, Italy, sunrise,sunset, almost everthing is amazing from space

    Joyce Iliff - Teacher at Richmond Elementary from Portland, Oregon asks:
    I like the movie Race to Space. What is your favorite movie with s apca theme?

    Apollo 13 because it really happened

    Brian Derowski - Teacher at Sanilac Co Science Math Center from Peck, Michigan asks:
    Is the heat from reentry unbearable inside? Or is it not that bad?

    Inside the cabin it is 70 degrees--we dont' feel it. The silicon tiles dissipate most of the heat

    Kerry Gallimore - Teacher at Hickman County Elementary from Clinton, Kentucky asks:
    thank you from Clinton, Kentucky.

    I enjoyed it and I'll be back

    at from asks:
    3/18/2003 11:32:33 AM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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