NASA astronauts discuss challenges of space life and data collection

Yahoo Finance’s “Space Race: Investing in the Final Frontier” series continues with an interview with NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps and Tracy Dyson. The two space explorers join Wealth! to share their experiences in space.

Dyson describes their mission as ongoing and emphasizes that the primary goal is to learn how to live, work and explore in space, while collecting crucial data for future expeditions. She explains that these are long-duration missions, typically lasting six months or more for each astronaut.

When it comes to tackling the challenges of gravity, Epps notes, “It’s hard to get used to.” Astronauts must adapt to floating bodies and use minimal force to navigate, allowing “life to happen in zero gravity.” As space tourism continues to gain traction, Dyson cautions potential civilian space travelers, “The space environment and microgravity are a big challenge.”

While both astronauts acknowledge the fun aspects of space travel, they emphasize that scientific research remains the core of their explorations. Their main goal is to collect valuable data that can improve life on Earth.

Read Yahoo Finance’s special coverage of this week’s Space Race: Investing in the Final Frontier series.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Wealth!

This post was written by Angel Smith

Video transcript

The International Space Station orbits at an average altitude of 400 kilometers from Earth and reaches a speed of about 28,000 km/h.

And I can now talk live with two astronauts from the ISS.

We have Jeanette EPPS and Tracy Dyson.

They are NASA astronauts and flight engineers for Expedition 71.

This is Brad Smith from Yahoo Finance.

How do you hear me, Brad?

We hear you loud and clear how great we are, we hear you clearly.

What is the current mission you are working on?

And what do you hope to accomplish while on the ISS?

I think our current mission can be characterized as ongoing.

And even though the people change, the mission remains the same.

We are here to do science.

We are here to learn how to live and work and explore space.

And the people who do the work here are just trying to keep the engine running, if you will.

And we also add data to the data they collect about space.

So we, and ourselves, are also experiments.

We are here to contribute all the knowledge we gain during our stay here on the International Space Station so that we can use it for future explorations.

Tell us what a long-term mission entails and what specific aspects are associated with the research you conduct. You won’t do that too much.

OK Go through.

Well, this week I participated in a study in the materials science lab.

And that is the process of solidification of metal alloys.

So we’re looking at how the solidification process of solids changes in the absence of gravity. By studying these properties, we can make better metal alloys on Earth and in space.

OK. And we’re going to talk about gravity.

If we’re talking long term, yes, go ahead.

I’m sorry.

No, I just wanted to address the first part of your question: what is long duration? Each of us has been here for about six months and that is considered a long time, six months or more.


And, and so Tracy, while you have the microphone, I see that you’re both apparently in weightlessness right now.

How do you deal with weightlessness?

Well, railings really help and, uh, we’ve just learned to appreciate and respect microgravity and try to work with it instead of against it.

Definitely Jeanette.

Yes, it is difficult to get used to microgravity. You have to surrender to it, as it were, and no longer keep things under control as we would do on earth.

Eh And here we have to use very light forces and let our body float, we must not fall.

So you know, we’re relatively safe, but we’re just allowing gravity to happen, allowing life to happen in zero gravity when you think about how many people sign up for space tourism and want to experience what you’re experiencing now in weightlessness. .

How do you think this will change the broader landscape for how people value space?

You know, what comes to mind is that there are a lot of fun aspects of being in space.

I mean, floating is one of them, this, this feeling that we have now.

It seems a bit normal to us since we’ve been here for a few months now.

But it’s really fun, the kind of stuff you can do in zero gravity, not just the fun stuff we get to do, like floating and doing stupid astronaut tricks.

But also the science can be quite fascinating if you remove that part, but I’ll tell you what the space environment and microgravity is very challenging.

So I would say there’s a lot that you not only have to overcome, but you also have to lower your expectations of your own adaptability first.

Because what you knew of your life with gravity was so different from your life without gravity.

To me.

There’s no such thing as a dumb astronaut trick.

This all seems very complicated to us.

Ordinary Earthlings down here trying to figure out how to keep us from tripping when we walk.

So we need to know what your own schedule looks like on a daily basis?

Well, for example, I can tell you today that the schedule changes every day, but today I had exercise in my schedule.

First exercise is one of the most important things we do for our health.

But it also contributes to the data we collect here on the International Space Station.

So I had to do weight lifting and then the treadmill.

And so I had to do three miles on the treadmill after lifting, you know, today was my toughest day.

So I’m going to sleep pretty well tonight.

And then we had various tasks to help maintain the station.

So I worked here in the Japanese module, working on their environmental monitoring sensors and making sure they were working properly.

The other part of the day we also looked at the storage and logistics on board, because we don’t have as much logistics storage space as you would think.

And then we had a meeting, then we had lunch, and then we had a coup.

We had to do an earlier recording.

And here we are now, I’d also like to know if you think about the overlap and the combination of the privatization of the space industry and still the public sector and how these forces have come together, how has that taken the work to the next level lifted that you can do?

And, and maybe, how has this changed over time?

You know, we could probably talk about that aspect of space exploration for longer than we have time for today.

But I would say one thing it has done is it has added a lot of complexity to what we are already doing.

Um, and there are so many facets to that.

One is that NASA, we have a long history in space, our relationship with our international partners, particularly our Russian colleagues, and we have developed a culture. And when you add the privatization, the commercialization, the industrialization of space, it adds a component that emphasizes the Cooper operation and how to do that, how to develop a different culture.

Uh, it takes time.

It’s, it’s quite a border area.

So I would say it adds a lot of complexity.

But again, we’re learning a lot more about the way we do business ourselves and our whole mission by widening the loop and including communities like privatization and commercialization.

It is absolutely essential that we leave the discussion there.

But like you said, you’ve developed space tricks over time.

Can we take a quick look at one before we let you go?

Okay. We will, we will try this, but if it doesn’t work, then we will try.

Remember, you need to lower your expectations.




Leave a Comment