An interview with NASA astronauts Daniel Bursch, who crewed four shuttles, and Greg Johnson, a test pilot who crewed two shuttles, along with Ed Rezac, an engineer who makes space travel possible. The three recounted their experiences plus lessons learned. Our main takeaways from a fascinating discussion were:
- On the International Space Station, “International” is the operative word. The cultural differences are diminished by a mutual respect of nationalities, no politics and collaborative common goals. It is a scientific lab with lessons learned about navigation, human physiology including bone loss and eye changes, with the knowledge to help life on earth.
- We have a valuable nearby lab, the moon, which we should utilize.
- Commercial sector space flights are valuable assets that enable NASA to concentrate on space exploration.
- Robotic repair of robots increased the lifespan of the Hubble Telescope with continuing success and innovation for other space objects.
- Houston control is filled with people who have never known the world without someone in space.
- Space flight isn’t easy! Learn from mistakes, do not give up, and stay young and imaginative in your thinking.