Thankyou for joining us today and congratulations on your recent successful mission aboard Discovery. Could you explain to us what it was like to be in space?
Yes, I can. It was a lot smaller than I expected. I used to try to take in the fact that earth is spinning around a tiny sun which is just one of billions in a tiny cluster that makes up just a bit of our milky way which is one of billions of galaxies with billions of billions of kilometres between them and I would get a massive headache and overwhelming feeling of insignificance with bouts of depression that ultimately led to the breakdown of my third marriage but when you get up there you realise that there is not that much to it.
How long does it take to reach your mission destination?
Good question. Contrary to popular belief, distances in space are pretty close, Rockets are seriously fast so it only takes about 12 minutes to get to the moon and an hour or so to Mars etc. It was assumed the distances were greater because of our mistaken calculations in regards to the size of objects in space.
The moon for example was thought to be 384,633 kilometres away due to the calculation of it having a radius of 3476 kilometres but in fact it is only 16 kilometres up with a radius of 2.3 kilometres.
I myself walked the complete circumference of the moon in under an hour and that included stopping often to look at interesting rocks. If i throw one of the rocks out into space it will travel through the void for eternity. I usually do this three or four hundred times each visit. Sometimes I spit on the rocks first, knowing my DNA may travel to another world countless light years away and fertilise a new beginning for mankind.
Could you explain the functions of your suit?
Yes, the suits are pretty cool aren't they. They may look uncomfortable but are actually like wearing a large fluffy quilt and can be put on or taken off in under 30 seconds. I quite often wear mine around the house when I am ironing, mowing the lawn or popping down to the shops to get some milk. The controls on the front may seem complicated but simply control the bass, treble and volume of the built in mp3 player.
How do you prepare for each mission takeoff?
We try to get a good sleep the night before, making sure everything is packed and we haven't forgotten anything. Once the ignition spark hits 20 tons of solid rocket fuel we cant turn around and go to the shop. On one mission, no-one remembered to bring cigarettes so the whole trip everyone was bitching and grumpy - I had a packet in my suit but I had to hide them and only smoke in the toilet or everyone would have wanted them.
Music is also very important, we strap in, run a pre launch flight check then press the ignition switch hitting us with 9000G of thrust at exactly 12 seconds into the Linkin Park track 'with you'
which is fed at full volume through our helmet speakers.
As Commander, you must rely on a dedicated and highly skilled crew to ensure each successful mission.
You would assume that wouldn't you. You would think that a team would support their commander and encourage his leadership and support his decisions wouldn't you. You would expect there to be no bickering about little things or saying stuff behind peoples backs wouldn't you. Good teamwork comes from listening to your commander, that's why there are ranks. Some people just do not understand that there is no i in team. I tell them that the word team stands for Terrifically Exciting Aims Met and had T-Shirts
made but they didn't wear them.
Thankyou Commander for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come and talk to us today. Is there any last message you would like to give to our students?
No problem, I wasn't doing much today. Well if there was one message I would like to give to the kids of today, it would be not to do drugs. They may seem fun at the time and yes they may enhance sex and make music sound better but they can be expensive unless you know the right people so you would be better off buying books and pens and stuff. Space may be big but it's nowhere near as big as your potential if you have pens and other writing implements that you may need.