The Answers! Part Two
July 19, 2011 — Thanks for all of your great questions!! NASA’s Leland Melvin has taken 20 of HTE readers’ questions … and here are the answers! Thanks to everyone who submitted! For today and the next two days, between now and when Atlantis touches down, we will be posting 5 of the questions with answers.
6. How is an astronaut’s suit different from a deep sea suit?
Tyler, age 12, NY
Well, I’ve never worn a deep sea suit, but I would imagine they have many similarities. The whole idea is to have a self-contained environment that provides protection and a habitat for the astronaut or argonaut. Things like heaters, coolers and water are available through the suit to keep the wearer safe and comfortable while outside the primary vehicle.
7. Do you see more stars in space?
Noah, age 10, Canada
You do. Just like when you’re in the mountains and far from a city, you can see more stars. The light found on Earth often makes stars harder to see. Did you know that each star is a sun?
8. Why did you want to be an astronaut when you grew up?
Erik, age 6, Canada
I didn’t even think about being an astronaut when I was young. I liked science and building things, and I also liked sports. I was a professional football player right after I graduated from college, but I hurt my leg and had to stop playing. I went back to school for my master’s degree and then got a job at NASA’s Langley Research Center as a scientist. About ten years later, I applied for the astronaut corps and was accepted. I flew on the space shuttle Atlantis in 2008 and 2009.
9. How do they select team members for flight? And what are the physical and mental demands of being an astronaut?
Luc, age 10, Canada
The flight crews are selected based on what needs to happen during a particular mission and who has the best skills to do those things. Astronauts have to be healthy and in good physical shape to fly. They also have to understand technical things and be able to work with other people as a team.
10. Why does the International Space Station orbit Earth?
Mitchell, age 8, New York
We assembled the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit, about 240 miles above our planet. In that part of space, the station is in a state of free fall or microgravity and orbits the Earth at almost 18,000 miles an hour. Learning how humans, things and processes work in the low-Earth orbit region of space is helping us learn things we need to know to continue our exploration deeper into space.
Thanks for sending such great questions, kids! I hope you will study science and math, listen to your parents and teachers, and live a healthy and fit lifestyle. Doing these things will allow you to reach higher, to excel and to become the next generation of explorers!
Reach for the Stars,