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Home / Science / "One Strange Rock" asks astronauts to tell the story of the earth | News and opinion

"One Strange Rock" asks astronauts to tell the story of the earth | News and opinion

The New Mega-Doc Series One Strange Rock attempts to tell the story of the earth.

On March 26, National Geographic launched a massive project that was filmed in 45 countries and six continents. and even from outer space.

It requires a very galactic view of the earth. Imagine an alien spaceship approaching the Andromeda and suddenly locating the Earth on its ultra-high-end scanning device. By becoming acquainted with the properties of our planet, their crew learns how the Earth creates and regulates oxygen, that their inhabitants are formed of unicellular bacteria, that their extreme environment involves global dust storms and collapsing glaciers, and that the sun kills but devastating particles the means available for life.

 NatGeos a strange rock

Few beings have such a cross-over perspective of our planet (which we know) but astronauts do. [196592002] So One Strange Rock looks like an alien view. It designed eight astronauts (Chris Hadfield, Jeff Hoffman, Mae Jemison, Jerry Linenger, Mike Massimino, Leland Melvin, Nicole Stott and Peggy Whitson) who each had 1,000 days in the room to anchor one episode at a time. The entire series is hosted and told by Will Smith.

NatGeo recently held a press event in Los Angeles and PCMag joined to interview Stott (described by Will Smith in his on-screen commentary as "a badass"). During her 27 years at NASA she spent 104 days in space and traveled as part of the crew of STS-128 first to the International Space Station. In 2009, Stott made a six-hour and 39-minute spacewalk, and two years later she was on the shuttle shuttle's last flight.

On One Strange Rock Stott moderates Episode 2, which explains how the Earth was formed from cosmic violence due to accidental collisions in a dangerous cosmos. We sat down with her and talked about space walks, shuttles, gravity and her role in the series. Here is an edited version of our conversation.

First, tell us how you participated One Strange Rock . Did Darren Aronofsky have your private phone number in Florida?
Ha! No. The folks from Nutopia called me in 2015 and I thought the concept was so fresh. At first I wondered why the astronaut connection, but then I have it. One Strange Rock -ja. It is. This is our home. And if you take the time to think about it, it's pretty wild to think about our home as a planet, and that we're all earthlings. I am very happy with the progress of the series. I think everyone who sees it will feel like they have been reintroduced into the grandeur of our home planet.

  NatGeos One Strange Rock

Let's talk about your experiences Space that gave you the perspective the producers wanted One Strange Rock . When you made this six-hour spacewalk, what was your mission goal?
The mission goal for the spacewalk was to obtain scientific results from materials exposed to the space environment of the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) and Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) hardware located outside the International Space Station at the Columbus Laboratory ; and also the removal of an ammonia tank that had failed several months before our flight – all this hardware was to be returned to Earth scientists on the Space Shuttle.

Can you describe what it was like? during your spacewalk?
Flying in space is surreal. The spacewalk was the surreal part of the spaceflight experience – being out in my own spaceship, crawling all around the ISS and seeing the planet below me through the visor of my spacesuit. The highlight for me was to drive at the end of the robot arm, the big crane. I was strapped to the end of the arm and pulled that box of EuTEF from the end of the space station. As I clung to it, I was sitting in the footrest and this box was just disconnected. In my mind, I thought, "On Earth, that thing would weigh 900 pounds!" But I could just move it because we were in outer space. I could move it wherever I wanted.

 NatGeos One Strange Rock

A Realization of Superhero-like Forces During the Zero-G
I thought: Wow, I'm super strong. But then I had to tell myself, "Okay, Nikki, do not do it too fast, because if you do, it will take you or hit the ISS." You do not want to be that person …

But a very cool moment. Earth-bound laws of gravity just do not apply up there.
Right! It was a recognition of the impressive physics of the entire mission and our role in it. [Sir Isaac] Newton has done it right with the whole concept of momentum and laws of motion: what is in motion will remain in motion.

I'm going back a bit now. What was your most difficult part of the astronaut training?
Learn Russian. When you go to the ISS, your crew consists of astronauts from all international partner agencies. While English is the official language on the ISS, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft is your emergency vehicle. On the Soyuz and for all related operations everything is in Russian – the procedures, the communication with the floor, all the boards are in Russian – everything.

 NatGeos One Strange Rock [19659002] So the connections in your ear are all Russian and you know better what they say? There is no multilingual real-time translation?
No. I agree. Everything Russian. So you have to be able to communicate – and very technically.

How long did it take to master Russian technically?
A few years. And I do not know how I did it – because I somehow made all the way through the university without ever learning foreign languages ​​- and so I became a little 40 and learned Russian intensively as my first foreign language.

Impressive. Now tell us what the most exciting aspect of astronaut training was.
There are so many things about astronaut training that are exciting. I mean, just thinking about training as an astronaut is intoxicating. But if I have to decide on one aspect of training, I definitely have to say spacewalk training. You get into the large space suit, the ExtraVehicular Mobility Unit, and then dive into NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab, where you learn to make the same moves you have to go through in space. Fortunately, when you get into space, you do not have the same resistance as in the water, because that's not there in space. Getting from one place to another, on a spacewalk, is not the hard part, it stops the problem itself. So you have to be diligent.

 Astronaut Nicole Stott, NatGeo's One Strange Rock

But the current physical repercussions of reentry can not be easy.
Well, when I came back to Earth, I did not end up in a Soyuz. It's a bit like a car accident when it hits the ground. I had to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and land in the shuttle, which is a beautiful landing, just as people should be back on the ground, a nice flight onto a runway. It's weird to come back on my first flight home after being in space for just over three months. You make all those lovely "S" turns to give all that energy to land from 17.500mph to 200mph. Our commander talks to us all the time and counted the load when we re-entered, "OK, that was point-one-G," and I remember thinking, "how can THAT be only point one?" There's no way to really say before you fly, how your body will react, when it comes into space or returns to Earth – the one thing they all have in common is hard.

Because the pressure is oppressive after standing there in outer space?
I can not remember that it was depressing but rather unusual. Once you've been in that liberating, floating zero-g and microgravity feeling in space to even feel any force on you, it's like & # 39; Holy Moly! 0g and 1g are two very different environments! When you go into space, it's really amazing how quickly your body and mind find out how to move and how to gracefully navigate that three-dimensional space and how to come back to Earth, how to adapt to the weight of gravity. That does not mean that it goes without some challenges, but it's pretty cool how it fits.

But re-entry to earth means that gravity is really used?
It builds up as the shuttle enters the country. Then it's a g-to three g-but only briefly, and then passes the great reality check on landing. I remember thinking, "That's what we live on earth every day – gravity is a real burden on our bodies." You feel heavy on earth first. I had to think a little bit about holding my neck up to support my head. Fortunately, we work two hours a day on the ISS as a countermeasure, but still your vestibular system is affected. The lower half of my leg felt like it weighed 100 pounds as I crawled out of the shuttle and came to the hatch. I really had to concentrate on my weight training squats to get myself back on the ground.

In One Strange Rock we see how astronauts have an incredible life perspective on Earth. Thank you for telling us a little about how you went into space and how it was.
You have to go into space with an attitude of adventure, there is no other way. The first time I went up there, I remember looking at the outlines of Florida from the ISS, all blue, thinking, "This is my home, I live there – and then very quickly out of Florida, but on the Planet Earth as my home. & # 39; This is what I hope we communicate as astronauts, in One Strange Rock this feeling about this incredible planet on which we all live.

One Strange Rock airs on National Geographic on March 26. 19659040]
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