If you could ask an astronaut anything at all, what would it be?
On Tuesday, you can ask them yourself. One hundred astronauts are gathering at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology on September 22, and four of them will join me for an online Google Hang to take your questions about what it is like working and living in space.
I’ll be sitting in the KTH Biblioteket at 1:30 p.m. with Anna Fisher, Don Pettit, Anosheh Ansari and Luca Parmitano, during the second day of the Association of Space Explorers annual congress, being held at KTH.
What do astronauts think about when you’re not working? What is like to see your country so far away, on a distant blue orb? How do you clean a space station, and how often? Do you get anxious in space?
Submit your questions using the Google Hang Q&A app … since we will not be inviting any viewers to join the hang.
We intend to explore the inspirational and practical aspects of living and working in space and space exploration, and what these reveal about our common humanity and its relationship to the planet Earth.
The entire webcast will take about 30 minutes, inside the KTH university library, beginning at 13:30 and ending at 14:30.
Here’s some background on our panelists:
Selected by NASA in April 1996, Pettit reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. A veteran of three spaceflights, He has logged more than 370 days in space and over 13 EVA (spacewalk) hours. He lived aboard the International Space Station for 5-1/2 months during Expedition 6, was a member of the STS-126 crew, and again lived aboard the station for 6-1/2 months as part of the Expedition 30/31 crew.
On September 18, 2006, a few days after her 40th birthday, Anousheh Ansari became the first Muslim woman in space. Ansari was the fourth overall self-funded space traveler, and the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station. Ansari was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1967. She emigrated to the United States in 1984 and became a naturalized citizen. Ansari holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from George Mason University and a master’s degree from George Washington University.
Luca Parmitano is a major in the Italian Air Force. He has logged more than 2000 hours flying time, is qualified on more than 20 types of military airplanes and helicopters, and has flown over 40 types of aircraft. Parmitano was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. In February 2011, he was assigned as a flight engineer to Italian space agency ASI’s first long-duration mission on the International Space Station. He was launched on a Soyuz launcher from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on 28 May 2013. Parmitano spent 166 days in space conducting over 20 experiments and took part in two spacewalks and the docking of four spacecraft for his Volare mission. He landed safely back on Earth on 11 November 2013.
Anna Fisher was among the first several women selected by NASA to fly to space. Fisher is a chemist, a medical doctor, specializing in emergency medicine, and a NASA astronaut. During her career at NASA, she has been involved with three major programs: the Shuttle Program, the International Space Station, and NASA’s new crew-rated spacecraft – Orion.