Students asked questions this week about video to teacher astronaut Ricky Arnold at Spruce Street School, New York.
Photo credits: Chelsea Gohd / Space.com
NEW YORK ̵
On Monday (June 25), Spruce Street School students in New York City received a call from the International Space Station and got the chance to ask Arnold her most urgent questions about spaceflight as he floated around the station. Arnold talked about how life in space really is and encouraged students to engage in topics such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The call is one of three live events taking place throughout the country as part of NASA's year of training.
Arnold inspired students with stories about life on the space station. He encouraged them to study the STEM subjects and encouraged them to "use the amazing teachers that will accompany you throughout your career, and to rely on them to prepare you for your career." [Astronaut Twins Mark and Scott Kelly Honored by NJ Elementary School (Gallery)]
Yesterday, students at Spruce Steet School in New York asked @astro_ricky questions about life and work on @Space_Station ! Watch the video to see what advice Ricky has for students, why the view from space is life-changing, and how avoiding space debris is like dodgeball. pic.twitter.com/xKLRzWV55P
– NASA Education (@NASAedu) June 26, 2018
Of all the rewarding aspects of astronautism, Arnold described one of his favorites aboard the space station: the view. "A review of our home planet [from the space station] is a life-changing experience," said Arnold. He added this comment and described the "stinging color of the blue" when looking into space. He added, "When you get up here and look out the window for the first time, you just want to take all you've ever met, and bring them here for a chance to look at our home planet and see how special and beautiful it is. "
Arnold described to the student various aspects of life on the space station. He said that enjoying and photographing the view is definitely what they love to do, and that the astronauts also enjoy reading and playing guitar in their free time. But life in space is not just fun and games, he said. Apart from the hard work, Arnold told the students about some of the scariest moments that astronauts can encounter.
Fire, ammonia leakage and atmospheric pressure loss are the three scariest scenarios aboard the station, Arnold said. But while the astronauts are ready for anything, he said that false alarms in the middle of the night could be frightening because they do not know at first if the danger is real.
Arnold also explained some of the difficulties astronauts encounter when dealing with space debris, adding that trying to avoid space debris is like a "dodgeball game". He said that sometimes he even sees "falling stars among us".
For students who wanted to follow in his footsteps and become astronauts, Arnold's main advice was "to be a well-rounded person and to be persevering!"
After Arnold disappeared from the scene in a video chat Students ask more questions to a group of NASA scientists and education experts.
Matthew Pearce, NASA's Education Officer Goddard Institute for Space Studies, encouraged students to join STEM and pursue STEM careers. "Half of our workforce will retire in five to ten years."
Pearce used his own experiences and his path to NASA to inspire the students, saying that when he was a child, he thought, "I can not get a job at NASA … and I was wrong."
"NASA has a job for everyone," added Pearce. The participants, whose backgrounds included film, chemistry, physiology, education, and more, shared the unique experiences that led them to work at NASA, and let students know that they are pursuing different career paths and still a part of NASA and space travel could be.
And while many students in the audience were most excited to learn that the internet connection on the space station was pretty good, talking to an astronaut in space seemed to inspire everyone in the crowd. Pearce gave the students one last boost of encouragement as they left, saying, "I hope to see you in outer space."