Six NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit answered these questions
Hays, Jackson, Miss., Age: 48
I commend you for your efforts to educate the public about the boundaries
of space. Has there been any problems adjusting to eating in space
and maintaining a regular fitness routine? May God bless and protect
Eating and fitness go about the same here as on Earth. Eating does
tend to be a bit messier due to food floating off your spoon, but
you adjust and get good at chasing down errant pieces.
George, Glasgow, U.K., Age: 38
referring to Don Pettit's experiment with thin film water. Can you
control the thickness of the film by changing the diameter of the
wire (not the loop)? What happens when you arc a current through
the film? Will static pass through? Thanks.
Yes, you can change the film thickness as it is drawn with the wire
diameter. About the thinnest you can draw a film is one-half the
wire diameter. Thinner wires make it
harder to draw films. I find it is best to use a wire about 0.012”
and make thinner films by expanding the loop. I have not tried zapping
the films with electricity. I will have to think about that one.
Goedde, Haubstadt, Ind., Age: 43
Everyone onboard is seen wearing short-sleeve shirts. How warm is
it inside the ISS?
From where I am typing you this answer I can see it is 22 C (74
F), nice weather inside for shirt sleeves.
Rose and Katie Crombez, Livonia, Mich., Ages: 4 and 8
Mary Rose asks: Is it fun up there? Katie asks: Does anybody get
homesick while in the space station?
We have fun while we do our work on space station. I have two little
boys and I miss them a lot. I miss my wife, but we will all be together
after I return from this mission.
Dr. Ed Masteller, Erie, Pa., Age:
Can you describe your impression of the liftoff when it finally
took place and your thoughts on your first view of Earth from space?
Ed: Ascent was like being in a closet mounted on a roller coaster
that goes only straight up. When the main engines cut off, all forces
vanish and it feels like you have entered some fairytale land. Seeing
the Earth for the first time was way better than anything you could
hope to see in an IMAX movie. The difference between an IMAX movie
of Earth and seeing Earth is like the difference between eating
strawberries that have been frozen and strawberries that are freshly
picked off the bush. It was good to see Missy at the launch. Take
Misty Scruggs, Silverton, Ore.,
What was your number one reason
for going up into space?
Misty, being an explorer is part
of the fabric from which you are made. I have wanted to go into
space ever since I was a student at Eugene Field grade school.
Francois Mostard, Heerlen, The
What is the most common thing you
miss, and what will you enjoy when you're back on Earth?
I miss the wind and being in the
Kirby Runyon, Spring Arbor, Mich.,
I've noticed in ISS pictures that
Ken Bowersox is frequently wearing earplugs. Could you please comment
on the noise level onboard the ISS?
The noise levels on the space station
are like anyplace where you have a lot of machinery. The noise levels
will not give hearing damage. However, we wear earplugs more for
Ryan Stroyls, Americus, Ga., Age:
How are rest periods scheduled,
and how many hours of sleep are you allotted? Good job you guys!!!
We are scheduled for eight hours
of sleep per day and are given time each evening to take care of
Kristen Kluge, Phoenix, Ariz.,
Where is the bell located on the
ISS? Who usually rings it, and are there occasions other than a
shuttle docking when the bell can be used?
The bell is located in the Lab's
forward hatchway. It only rings for special occasions or when somebody
happens to bump it.