My Best Space Moment

My Best Space Moment

How do Astronauts keep in touch with their families when they are orbiting the Earth? Communicating with loved ones became more sophisticated over time.  In the beginning, families could send up brief messages with other NASA information to the Shuttle’s antiquated printer. Later on, those few words could be sent with packets of information to our onboard computer.  Neither of those methods were private, and so they were painfully terse: “Miss...

Read More

Were You Afraid?

Were You Afraid?

That is one of the most frequent questions I am asked about my Space Shuttle launches. Would you be scared perched atop four and a half million pounds of explosives with someone about to light the fuse? I had been named as a crew member on a flight that was to launch in June, 1984.  Through many twists and turns in NASA’s schedule, I ended up training for three different flights until an April 12, 1985 launch date was locked in.  We had...

Read More

Teams.

Teams.

How did our nation get to the moon in less than ten years from the time we first sent a man into space? Thousands of people had a hand in that bold adventure. Today I meet them, their children, and their grandchildren who can’t wait to tell me their part in that story with pride. It was not until I got to NASA that I learned to appreciate the true value of teamwork. We had close-knit teams that made sure our spaceflights went well. It took me a...

Read More

A Healthy Job.

A Healthy Job.

What would it be like to have a job where your employer wants to keep you healthy and is willing to pay to ensure it? Being an astronaut was like that. November is my birthday month which means it’s time to go to Houston for my annual physical exam. NASA likes to keep track of any health effects of spaceflight, so I am invited back each year to be tested. I applied for the program in 1977 and went to the Johnson Space Center for a week of...

Read More

Can I Do This?

Can I Do This?

There I was, hanging under a parachute over Florida’s Biscayne Bay having just been flung off the back of a flat top boat like a parasailer.  Soon I would be floating down to the bay only to be dragged along on my belly through the water until I could manage to disconnect from the chute.  I was about a month into my training and already I had to prove myself at a water survival course.  There followed many other tasks—both mental and...

Read More
0

Your Cart