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Last Post 19 Oct 2010 10:15 AM by  Kris Sigsbee
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19 Oct 2010 09:13 AM

    Hello,

    Im Angela R. I attend PaCyber Charte School . I am just curious(its my nature). Did you guys know that you wanted to be scientists? I mean did you jusdt wake up and say " hmmm I want to be a astronaut ?". I know that didnt happen. I just think of all the scientist out there and all the things they have discovered and the awesome things they have done and wonder ?!? "Things that make me think." Also How many astronauts have actually been in space. And If you may never make it to space why risk it all ... I mean live your life dreaming and working for something you wont get ? I dont know how it works Im just wondering . Who gets to go to space. I know you have to be major fit ... perfect health and all that stuff but - yeah. Also In the future could average humans go to space ?...But could average people eventually just go to space for a vacition ? Silly I know right !!! Answers.com says 458 people have been to space is that true ? Also is " space food " as bad as its made out to be ?

    Are these dumb questions ?????

    HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SMART SCIENTIST !!!

    Tags: space, scientist, astronaut, Astronaut Food, Tang

    Kris Sigsbee



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    19 Oct 2010 10:15 AM

    Hi Angela,

    You have a lot of questions, but that's okay, because scientists are supposed to ask questions! Here are the answers to some of them.

    You are correct, I didn't just wake up one morning and say "Today, I am going to be an astronaut." But actually, I'm not an astronaut and I have never been into outer space. I don't think any of the other Solar Week scientists have been into space, either. A lot of people think that you have to be an astronaut to be involved with the space program, but that is not true. Seeing television coverage of the astronauts landing on the Moon and conducting experiments on the Space Shuttle helped get me interested in science and engineering careers, but it turns out that most of the people who do research in the space sciences or design satellite experiments are not astronauts. In fact, the kinds of space science research that I do would be impractical and even dangerous for astronauts. I study the physics of the Van Allen radiation belts, which are regions of space filled with very high energy electrons that can damage communication satellites and pose a health risk to astronauts. I can safely study the radiation belts without actually going there using instruments on board a satellite that transmit data back to Earth.

    When I was in high school, I had a chance to go to Space Camp and train for a simulated Space Shuttle mission just like the real astronauts do. We didn't try a full meal like the astronauts on board the Space Shuttle or International Space Station would eat, but we did try some freeze-dried ice cream. It tasted okay, but it is more like the crunchy inside of a malted milk ball candy than actual ice cream. You may have even had some astronaut food yourself, without realizing it! The orange flavored beverage Tang was not invented by NASA, but astronauts on early space missions brought this powdered drink along with them.

    Kris

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