Space travel officially began on October 4th, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. Since then there have been many missions to space and beyond, with technology and science only making each mission easier. But what is it like to be an astronaut going into Space, leaving Earth as you know it for many months?
Reporter Charles Poladian was able to ask these questions when he got an exclusive interview with the next International Space Station crew. The Expedition 39 crew’s members include NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsky and Oleg Artemyev. They will launch to the ISS on March 29th and return to Earth in September.
They discussed with Poladian the type of duties and skills required for their mission; The ISS is essentially a science lab used to see how materials burn and things grow in space for example. The experiments are used to discover more about biology, biotechnology, science, education, human research, physical sciences and technology. Each mission has different goals within this wide range of disciplines.
Poladian exemplified the crew members need to always adapt to the different type of situations they may encounter, and thus a skill to think on your feet. No two missions are the same and each crew member has to be prepared for everything and anything.
But do people still care about Space travel, with all the countless missions, is it still exciting and relevant?
Social media has had a huge role in generating people’s interest as well as YouTube videos that have gone viral. Curiosity has its own twitter handle, with 1 million followers, and NASA has over 5 million followers.
Charles Poladian does believe that is still relevant and interesting as no two missions are the same. In understanding Space we are also able to learn more about the planet we inhabit. The Expedition 29/40 will now continue to prepare for their journey to The International Space Station.