Interview: Peggy Whitson
International Space Station Expedition Five Crew Interviews with
Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson.
you're getting set to begin a four-month-long mission in space.
Tell us, in summary, what are the goals of this expedition to the
International Space Station?
Five's going to be continuing our assembly of the International
Space Station. We're going to, first, with the launch of UF-2, be
adding on the Mobile Base System, and later, with 9A the first or
the second large piece of truss called S1 for starboard 1, and then
11A will be bringing up P1, which is port 1. And so we'll be continuing
that assembly, as well as, inside, we'll be conducting all the scientific
research and in addition to continuation of experiments that have
been conducted starting as early as Expedition Three, we'll be adding
on and doing some new investigations during Expedition Five.
do you look at yourself as a scientist, or a builder, or an explorer
It's kind of
a mix. You know, my training is in science, although since being
selected as an astronaut I've learned a lot about a lot of different
things, which actually is probably the most fun part about the job...
learning new things… everything from comm systems, life support
systems, guidance and navigation, things that I knew absolutely
nothing about. And so it's kind of melding of all those things.
me stop and go in that direction for a minute then. Tell me why
you wanted to be an astronaut.
I was nine years old, I watched the first men walk on the Moon,
and that was a very... key time, I guess, for me. But ... at nine
you think you're going to be... a pilot, whatever -- lots of different
things, when you're nine; but when I graduated from high school,
[that was] the year that they selected the first female astronauts,
and I think at that point I thought: this is going to be something
I'm going to try and do.
you've had your eye on it since then?
about how you got there, then. What was the course of your education
and your career that led you to become an astronaut?
high school I went to a small undergraduate school -- Iowa Wesleyan
in southeastern Iowa. It was very rural, a very small school, and
I got a double major in biology and chemistry, and from there went
to Rice University. [It] was a huge culture shock to move to Houston
for me! But then I got a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Rice University.
And immediately after that started working for NASA, so I've never
had a real job, in my mind, because I've always done what I wanted
about the kinds of work you did at NASA before becoming an astronaut.
I've had a
lot of different jobs. I started out initially as research biochemist
and continuing research in biochemistry there. But I was very quickly
included into the joint negotiations and joint scientific investigations
we were doing with the Russians. At that time, in 1989, my first
trip to Russia we were conducting joint biomedical research with
the Russians. And then later I was, because of my experience with
the Russians, I was asked to be the project scientist -- the lead
scientist -- for our investigations during the first flight of an
astronaut on board the Mir station and then, later, as part of that
NASA/Mir Program as well.
this time, you had your eye on becoming an astronaut.
Yes, all the
all of that time then, as you look back at it now, who do you think
are the people who may have had some of the biggest influences on
you getting to where you've gotten?
Well, I think
my parents probably are the biggest influences. I was raised [on]
a farm; the two hardest-working people I know are my parents. And
I think they always encouraged me, always told me, you know, you
can do whatever you set your mind to. And…I think I even surprised
mentioned that you were working in the American space program as
it was first starting to work with the Russians. From your perspective,
can you tell me how you've seen the partner nations in this space
station project improve their abilities to work together, or the
relationship mature, over those years?
1989 I've seen a lot of changes in the way we do business with the
Russians and vice versa, and it's pleasing to me that there are
some steps forward. Sometimes it's very frustrating in the day-to-day
work level, you know, it's very frustrating dealing with the differences
in the cultures. But overall we are definitely coming together and
I think International Space Station is demonstrating that.
about to go there as a crewmember, and it's going to be your first
time to fly in space. What was it like to be told that you were
going to, you were assigned to this crew and that you were going
to make this trip?
very exciting…I think, based on everything I've heard from
other crewmembers coming down…flying in space is a phenomenal
event, but living in space has been even more special for all the
crewmembers who've talked about it after returning, and so I'm looking
forward to that.
of any crew, a group of folks, have to have a range of talents in
order to do all the jobs that are going to be done. Tell me, what
are your top jobs on Expedition 5?
5…I'm one of the robotics operators, Valery and I are both robotics
operators. And in addition to that I'm the U.S. systems expert on
every system, so every U.S. system I've had to become expert level,
get additional training in case of failures or need to repair things.
And so, all U.S. systems -- comm, life support, guidance and navigation,
everything -- I'm the expert on.
you've spent now a couple of years, I guess, traveling around the
world, training to learn not only the American systems…
the other systems as well. What's that experience been like?
been traveling to Russia since '89 and even after I was selected
as an astronaut one of my technical jobs was what we called the
"Russian crusader" -- it was a job in Russia, trying to help develop
the dual-language Flight Data File and doing anything relative to
the hardware that involved the crewmembers, like fit-checking treadmills
into the Russian segment, into the Service Module, things like that.
So I've had a lot of experience being away and traveling. And I
don't think going into space is going to be all that much different:
we still have access to e-mail and even a phone, so I think it's
not going to be that much different than being away on travel. I
have enjoyed it…traveling to Russia has been very gratifying in
the sense that I'm learning new things; as I said, I really enjoy
learning new things, and learning about the Russian segment, the
Russian systems, the Russian EVA suit, the Orlan, and, has been
very interesting to me. And so it's very complementary with the
things that I've learned on the U.S. segment as well.
fly your mission here in the next fifteen or twenty minutes. You
go to space when Ken Cockrell and his shuttle crew deliver you,
Valery, and Sergei to the station. Once you get over there, you,
along with other things, are going to spend four or five days helping
the shuttle crewmembers unload the items that are coming up in your
moving van, in your Multipurpose Logistics Module. What kind of
supplies and equipment and whatnot is coming up for you in, on this
real basic things, like clothing and food. Not only do we have food
for Expedition 5, but we have food for Expedition 6 as well, because
the MPLM on UF-2 is the last one that will be going to station for
about a year, so in the meantime we have to pre-position food for
later expeditions as well. So we have a lot of supplies, generic
supplies, just to live on station. But in addition to that, we've
got one rack facility called the Microgravity Science Glovebox,
which is going to enhance our capability to do materials science
experiments inside the station. So we'll be moving that whole rack
-- it's between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds and huge -- person-size,
bigger size rack -- that we'll be moving into the station. Carl
and Dan and Yury will have prepared a spot on board the Lab; they
will have emptied out a slot, and we'll slide that into a slot on
the station, and it'll stay there. Then we'll change out the different
types of experiments that go on in there throughout the course of
our expedition, and then later expeditions as well. We're also taking
up an EXPRESS rack. And these are very useful racks for investigators
on the ground because they provide power and data and video capabilities,
cooling capabilities that their experiments might need, and it provides
a platform which investigators can use to get science into space
quickly, and that's why they call it the EXPRESS rack -- expedited
processing. So we hope that, to get various different types of things
to fill it. And this is a special rack also because it's an ARIS
rack, which is an Active Rack Isolation System, so during our expedition
we'll be setting up that active rack isolation and it will minimize
the effects... even in microgravity we do have some acceleration
effects and vibration effects on board the station, and so this
active isolation system uses…accelerometers to dampen the energies
and the forces that are just inherent in being in the station. And
so that the science is cleaner, it allows [a] better platform for
microgravity science on board the station.
there's one of those racks on board already, right?
and it's active and running and has several experiments going. And
we'll set this one up, and later experiments will be added to it.
the time the two crews are on board, there's also time scheduled
for what's called the "handover" between you and the Expedition
4 crew. Give me a sense of what it is that you folks do and talk
about during this period and how it helps you and your crewmates
get off to a better start.
our handover has already started. Carl and Dan have been sending
me notes -- remember to do this, keep in mind that you'll need to
change your computers, turn your computer system on every morning
and reboot the VT machine -- so they've been already sending me
hints and reminders of things I should put in my crew notebook.
But when I get on orbit, I anticipate that they'll be showing me:
"Well, here's what they didn't show you in training -- you
need to know how to get to this one valve that is hard to access
on orbit, much harder than they showed us on the ground," or
whatever. And so they're going to show us the real-life nuts and
bolts of... "you're going to have to interact here, you need
to know where this valve is," and kind of give you a three-dimensional
orientation inside the station of, "this works well, this you
need to bang on a little bit to get it running." And so, I
think that they'll be sharing that information.
four or five days enough for that?
I think it
probably will be. Never having done it before, I don't know for
sure, but -- especially because in addition to the e-mails they've
been sending me, we will have scheduled in a month preceding our
flight, we will have weekly conferences with them to discuss details
of stowage and transfer items, where we're going to put things,
where we're going to temp stow things while we're moving things
in and out of locations. The whole transfer process, the stowage
and transfer process, is this logistical nightmare that somebody
has to choreograph how we're moving all these thousands of pounds
of payload out of the MPLM and onto the station, and get all the
other stuff back onto the MPLM to take home. So it's a big choreography
that goes on and we have to figure that out and discuss it in advance;
get a plan.
all of that going on, and there's this handover, and during the
docked operations there's also scheduled to be three spacewalks
by shuttle astronauts to complete the delivery of the Mobile Base
System, primarily. Tell me, first of all, what, about the Mobile
Base System: what it is, where it goes on the station, and how it
contributes to the assembly and to the improved functionality of
Well, 8A is
taking up the S0 truss, and on the S0 truss is what's called the
Mobile Transporter, and it's got all the device and mechanisms to
actually move along this truss that we're going to be assembling,
at the end of which will be the solar arrays. So the Mobile Transporter
is sitting up there. We're going to take the Mobile Base [System]
and attach it to the Mobile Transporter, and then it has the capability
for the arm to attach to it. So currently, our arm is sitting on
the Laboratory module. The shoulder is sitting on the Laboratory
module, and we'll use the arm off the Laboratory, grab the Mobile
Base System out of the payload bay, and attach it to the Mobile
Transporter. And then once the shuttle's gone and left, one of the
things we'll do is we'll check out the Mobile Base, make sure it's
working correctly, and then we're going to do the step-off procedure,
which means we'll grab one of the Payload and Data Grapple Fixtures
with the arm and then release from the Laboratory, so our new shoulder
becomes on this Mobile Base System. And that allows us the capability
of moving the arm along the truss. And that's important for the
next phase, when 9A arrives with the next piece of truss, because
from that Mobile Base on the end of the truss of S0, we will reach
down into the payload bay and grab the S1 truss and pick it up and
attach it to S0. And then during 11A we'll do the same from the
other side, except because of the configuration we'll actually have
to, the shuttle arm will pick it up out of the payload bay and then
we'll grab it from the shuttle and attach it to the station. So
it's going to be an interesting assembly complex, and the Mobile
Base is key in positioning the arm in the appropriate place and
it is a platform for the arm from which to work.
the spacewalks to install the Mobile Base System, you'll be present,
although inside the station. Tell me what you're going to do, and
where people are going to be during those spacewalks.
Carl [who is] from Expedition 4, will be running the arm during
the EVA and providing EVA support. And then Carl and I will take
the Mobile Base System from the payload bay and attach it, using
the robotic arm, to the Mobile Transporter. And then the EVA crewmembers
will do the final bolting attachment required to hold it in place.
But we'll attach it with a mechanical claw that will grab the base
and hold it until the EVA crewmembers get out there to bolt it in
place, and then do the electrical connections that go along with
is accomplished then over that and a subsequent spacewalk…
As a subsequent…
the time that shuttle crew heads home, along with Yury, Carl, and
Dan leaving you folks to get settled in to your routine, I wonder
if there's, if it's possible to have a "routine" day 240
miles up: what is daily life for a space station crewmember going
to be like?
I don't know for sure.
you know better than the rest of us!
But we've been
training, and we have daily, routine "day-in-the-life" sims. And
I think it's really interesting because, you know, you have to power
down computers, set things up, re-power computers, upload the latest
inventory management files, and look at the execute packages to
determine what notes from the ground you've gotten, information
about the tasks you're going to do today, tool lists, where to find
the tools, and all this information. And then you get to start your
day, after you do all this stuff. You start your day, which will
include either maintenance or scientific payload experiments repairs,
whatever's needed in order to sustain the station and to conduct
the investigations. And at the end of the day, it's kind of a repeat
of the beginning, where you plan for the next day. So again, a lot
of choreography is involved in conducting the investigations and
making sure that we do all the prop, maintenance at the proper times,
and so there's [a] huge group of people on the ground that help
give us all the information we need to be able to just live through
one day, and I really appreciate all the efforts they have to put
in to make that possible.
like to talk for a few minutes about the science that'll be done
during your increment. Can you tell us, is there a way to say how
the space station's scientific mission will be advanced during the
period of Expedition 5?
Well, I think
science advances a lot slower than any of us would like it to; but
specifically during Expedition 5 we're getting the Microgravity
Sciences Glovebox up, which I mentioned, and this is a facility
payload that is going to allow various different investigators to
do materials science inside of a confined environment. In environment
of the space station, if we do things that involve toxic materials,
we need to have several layers of containment, because obviously
we can't just open the window if we have a little toxic fluid escape.
So, the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox provides us a level of containment.
It allows us to work inside with the rubber gloves up on our arms,
and we can manipulate and set up experiments inside a contained
environment. And it would be experiments that we couldn't possibly
do without that additional level of containment. And so it's an
important tool to allow us to do different types of experiments.
We've had other smaller gloveboxes flying, which have flown before
either on the shuttle, in Spacelabs, and even one on Mir, that we
had flown on Mir. So there have been previous ones; this is a, kind
of a facility-class payload, very large, and I think it's going
to really enhance our capabilities in the materials science world.
materials sciences is one of the broad areas of science that goes
on; talk about what the others are.
big area, one that I am a little bit biased toward, is the human
research. That's where my background is. We're doing a number of
different types of experiments using what we call the Human Research
Facility. This facility went up during Expedition 2 and has been
used periodically throughout the other expeditions. And one of the
experiments we're doing is called PuFF: it's a pulmonary function
experiment where we look at how changes in lung function are occurring
as a function of duration of spaceflight. And in addition to that
we're also looking, immediately after EVA, to see if there're any
changes with the pressure, reduced pressure, that the EVA crewmembers
experience, and so after, immediately after EVAs we also do this
pulmonary function test. So that's one example, and we're doing
numerous types of experiments in human research. Some are only pre-
and postflight, looking at, for instance, like bone density, and
viral reactivation to look at immune function. So there's a wide
variety of different types of things that are going on in human
the research into how people respond to living in space is one of
the primary goals of the station.
That's, I think personally, I think the, one of the most important
goals of station is to figure out how to live in space longer and
reduce the risk to the crewmembers while they're doing it. And I
guess that's why I may be additional bias for human research is
because not only do we need to understand more of what happens in
space, but we need to be, figure out how to minimize the detrimental
effects that occur during spaceflight.
well, one of those Human Life Sciences experiments is designed to
learn about the risk of renal stone formation in microgravity, and
you've managed to neglect to mention the fact that you're the primary
investigator on that experiment. Tell me what's involved in what
they, what's called Renal Stone.
is based on some previous data that we've collected on the shuttle
and on, in the NASA/Mir science program, and there we found that
crewmembers are at a greater risk of forming renal or kidney stones-you've
probably heard [them] referred to as kidney stones. And that's a
big deal in spaceflight because, if you've ever known anybody who's
formed a kidney stone, it is excruciatingly painful if that stone
begins to move, and in essence it will incapacitate a crewmember,
and you would probably have to abort the entire mission. So we are
interested in trying to reduce that risk of stone formation. We've
had crewmembers form stones after flight, and there's one case where
they aborted a Russian mission because of a crewmember who formed
a stone during flight…that moved. And so our research is in,
specifically, we're looking at a countermeasure to try and alleviate
some of those effects. We're using a drug that's commonly used on
the ground for cal, to inhibit calcium-containing stones, and based
on the results of our previous research we're going to be using
potassium citrate in the crewmembers on a daily basis to see if
that actually reduces the risk of forming renal stones, and collecting
the same data that we collected during the shuttle and the NASA/Mir
programs before, so to compare to our previous data, and see if
the risk is actually decreased.
there an assumption that there's a higher risk in microgravity than
is; and our research shows that there really is a higher risk, and
it has to do with the fact that the crewmembers tend to be somewhat
more dehydrated, as well as the fact that their bones are demineralizing,
so there's a greater level of calcium and phosphate in the urine,
which can form crystals and form the, be the nucleus of the stone
formation that could occur.
are a handful of investigations in your expedition under the category
Space Product Development. In these cases, what kind of products
are you folks researching, and presumably there's some advantage
to trying to do it there as opposed to here?
Well, one of
the commercial products is the, it's a, we use the commercial…it's
a commercial bioprocessing facility…and we're going to grow
plants. And, this case, they're interested in seeing how plant formation
is changed during spaceflight, and in particular one of the things
they're looking at is lignin production in pine seedlings. And it's,
could be of benefit on the ground because if you can regulate lignin
production on the ground you can change the structure of the wood
that you would be harvesting, and things like that. So, they're
interested at a very basic science level of understanding how microgravity
affects it, but using more microgravity as a tool to see how things
are regulated. And with that understanding of how things are regulated,
they may be able to change it here on Earth as well. Another one
of the more commercially related projects is one where we're doing
micro-encapsulation of drugs. And this, and these can be used in
various pharmaceutical drug treatments, and the, changing how we
form those micro, how well it, the microcapsules form, can be a
benefit to understanding here on Earth how, for drug delivery systems,
realistically, what is it that you and your crewmates do to help
the, all of these investigations along? Are you checking up on them,
are you participating in them, how does it vary from one to another?
Well, it does
vary a lot. For instance, things like protein crystal growth is
another area where we bring up the samples, we activate them, and,
after that, we just make sure we don't kick them-that's the primary
goal. And others are very interactive, like the pulmonary function
or the renal stone-you actually have to collect samples, urine samples,
or pulmonary function you're actually blowing into a tube at predetermined,
you know, protocols for breathing and then assessing your inspired
and expired gases, and we'll use the GASMAP in the HRF facility
to quantitate all the changes that are occurring as a function of
spaceflight. And so some are extremely interactive, and others are
more, "black box" things where you turn it on and don't
mentioned, in talking about the new glovebox a few minutes ago,
that there had been one on Mir, and we also pointed out that you
were a project scientist for the Shuttle/Mir Program some years
ago. Is there comparison to how the body of research that's being
done on ISS is building on what was done on, on Mir and during Shuttle/Mir?
Well, I definitely
think so. My experiment and the description I gave you of how we
took the information we learned in those programs, and now we're
trying to develop a countermeasure to minimize the risks that we
quantitated initially. And so I think every scientific investigation
is learning from their previous the things that worked, the things
that didn't work, and how to improve on everything, from crystal
growth to kidney stones.
is a shuttle mission that will visit the station during your increment;
it's called 9A, and will deliver the S1 truss segment and what's
called a CETA cart. Can you give us the thumbnail sketch of what
the new hardware on that mission is about?
Well, the S1
truss is a continuation of the truss that's required…eventually
at the ends of this truss, we'll have, we'll place the solar arrays,
four panels of solar arrays, and that's going to provide a phenomenal
amount of power for our station. Right now we have one temporarily-stowed
set of solar arrays and they're providing all the power for, most
of the power, for the station; the Russian solar arrays are also
collecting some power, some solar energy as well but because of
the attitude of the station a lot of times they don't collect nearly
as much as the U.S. solar arrays. But this truss is going to get
those solar arrays out and away from station and so they'll put
them in the optimal arrangement to collect solar energy and allow
the gimbals to work in the correct way to move and point directly
at the sun at all times. So…9A is actually bringing up just
one portion of that truss. It fills the entire payload bay, it weighs
almost thirty-thousand pounds, but it's going to be like watching
grass grow to watch us pull this out of the payload bay and move
it over there, because the mass of the object is so large that we
can't move it very fast at all. And so, but it's going to be very
exciting… I'll be working with one of the shuttle crewmembers
to do the installation, and then I'll be helping her with the EVA
support, because she will have trained with the EVA crewmembers
most recently, so-excuse me-so, we'll be attaching the truss and
then there are very critical launch-to-activation times so the EVA
crewmember, while we're moving the truss and setting it up for installation,
the EVA crewmembers will actually be in the Airlock, prepping to
go out the door; as soon as we get to a certain point in our procedure
for the installation they'll be going out the door so that, as soon
as we get it installed they'll be connecting the electrical and
that installation all takes place over two, three spacewalks.
The first, the most critical one is the first one in terms of timing,
and the others after that include some other activities. For instance,
we're installing cameras, which [are] really going to help us dramatically
with our camera views. That's one of the most limiting things with
moving the robotic arm is actually having enough camera views to
see where everything is all at one time. And while we have a shuttle
there we have a pretty good view in most areas but once we get the
arm onto the truss we can move it behind the Laboratory so that
even those cameras don't provide good views. So we need to have
arm cameras out on the truss so that we can look down the truss
and see and make sure we have clearance with the arm, because it's
a very large arm-it's amazing…that's one of the really interesting
things about the training, you know, we do a lot of the, especially
the robotics training, we do a lot of computer simulations. And
after a while you get to thinking, oh, that's like a computer game,
you know, moving the arm around. And then we'll go and do a training
session in Building 9 [at the Johnson Space Center] and they'll have full-size mock-ups of the arm, full-size mock-ups of the truss
segment. The truss is huge, and moving it around we had to change
trajectories so we wouldn't hit the ceiling inside the high bay
of Building 9, and it's huge. So it really gives you a feel for
the size of the objects you're moving around and how close you are
to everything, you know, especially during initial phases when we're
pulling it out of the payload bay of the shuttle, our clearances
are very close to the tail of the orbiter and to the Laboratory
module. So it's a very delicate process of pulling it out, pivoting
it, sliding it back, sliding it out over the, away from the shuttle,
and then moving it around. So that first, initial step is very tedious
because we're working within a foot or two clearance at times, and
so we have to be very slow and meticulous about how we're doing
things…don't want to break things.
talked about two shuttle missions that you've been involved with
so far and spacewalks on both of them, and you've been inside. Your
crew does have a couple of spacewalks that are planned during your
tour when there's no shuttle crew around. Tell me about those: who's
doing what, and what are you going to do when you're out there?
have two spacewalks. Valery and I'll do the first one. These'll
both be in the Russian EVA suit, the Orlan, and going out of the
Russian Docking Compartment, which is kind of like our airlock.
And so we'll be doing a spacewalk from there. One of the items that
we brought up on, that we will have brought up on UF-2 is the MMOD
shields: these are the micrometeoroid shields that will be placed
on the Service Module. During UF-2 they will be temporarily stowed
on the PMA near the Russian segment. And during our EVA Valery and
I will use the, it's kind of a manual crane that Valery will actually
crank and take me out to where the PMA, where the shields are; we'll
attach the shields, he'll crank it back in and we'll go to the Service
Module and there we will install the six of, I think there's twenty-four,
eventually, panels that will be additionally added as additional
micrometeoroid protection to the Service Module. After that we'll
also install two ham radio antennas, and bring in and replace new
experiment called Kromka. It's a, we call them a witness plate:
it's an experiment that collects data relative to the materials
that are being off-gassed as a result of the maneuvering engines
firing on the Russian segment. So we'll be taking one of those off
and putting a new one, installing a new one. So that's the first
EVA; and then Valery and Sergei are going to do another EVA which
involves replacing one of the pumps on the FGB thermal control system.
And I think they're also planning to do some Japanese experiments.
NASDA has some experiments, one of them is called SEEDS, and they'll
be placing those out. Again, these are passive payloads that collect
data on atmospheric oxygen, or cosmic oxygen levels and things like
that…monitor those types of things.
it sounds like during the spacewalk that you will make, you're also
going to go for a ride on the arm?
Well, on the,
the Strela. Yes, the Strela arm. So, yes, I will get to ride around
on that; Valery will be cranking.
do you simulate that for training?
have [the] Strela crane mocked up and we actually trained on that
when we were in Russia this last time; it's in their Hydrolab; it's
basically a large swimming pool that's got a portion of the Service
Module and the FGB in there and the Docking Compartment and a Strela
crane, and in the water we can simulate doing, going through that
whole process of moving around on the arm, on the crane.
it's not like looking down on the Earth while you're doing it…
Now, I imagine
the view's going to be pretty good!
the time the next shuttle crew arrives, your ride home and your
replacements get there, you'll have been working with your third
shuttle crew and your second other station crew. Is it hard to keep
straight of who's doing what over all that time?
I mean, we get a lot of training; I've had less training with the
Expedition 6 and the 11A crew, but they're going to try and get
as much of that in in the next few weeks as we possibly can. I kind
of relate it to building a porch on the front of your house, and
the people that are going to help you build your porch are going
to be coming in at intervals; they live out of town, and they're
coming in at intervals to help you get this structure in place.
And so it requires a lot of coordination ahead of time, either in
training here or, you know, we'll be doing e-mail and telecons with
each other to discuss plans of changes, things that, you know, invariably
in this program things change, things break, we need to repair something,
and so we've got to be prepared to be flexible enough to adapt to
those and keep going.
your opinion then, by the time that you and Valery and Sergei are
ready to leave, what will had to have occurred for you to think
of Expedition 5 as a success?
guess it, you know, the successful completion of any assembly is
going to be a success, but in my mind partly because I'm a scientist,
I guess I will have, want to have completed all if not most of the
scientific investigations that were planned during that time period.
And I'm looking forward to that.
the last half an hour or so we've talked about ISS as a science
laboratory, as a place to learn how people can live in space, a
place to develop technologies; it's all of those things and others
as well. I'm interested in your opinion: what is the most valuable
aspect of the International Space Station?
Well, I do
think it's an important orbiting laboratory. But I think probably
the most valuable aspect is the international cooperation. I think
the things that we learn now will contribute to our further exploration,
which I imagine that our exploration of space will continue as a
global event, as opposed to a country or one or two countries continuing
on. And I think the international cooperation is probably the most
in mind, how do you feel about the idea that you get to play this
important and visible role in the project?
thrilled…privileged, and ready to go.