mercredi 31 mars 2010

Interview de Jean-François Clervoy, astronaute de l'Agence Spatiale Européenne, qui a effectué 3 missions à bord de la navette spatiale

Jean-François Clervoy est un astronaute français.
Sélectionné par le Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) en 1985, il rejoint l'Agence Spatiale Européenne en 1992.
Formé et entrainé d'abord pour voler sur Soyouz et la station spatiale MIR, il rejoint la NASA et devient Mission Specialist.
Il effectue 3 missions à bord de la navette spatiale : STS-66 en 1994, STS-84 en 1997 et STS-103 en 1999.
Il a été responsable du Programme ATV (avec le 1er vol du Jules Verne en 2008).
Il est actuellement Président de la société Novaspace et astronaute actif à l'ESA.
En 2009, il publie ''Histoire(s) d'Espace'', où il relate son expérience et sa carrière d'astronaute, notamment sa mission STS-103 qui était une mission de maintenance d'Hubble.
Pour nous, il revient sur sa première mission STS-66.
1) How many years were you connected to the space program prior to your flight ?
9 years
2) How did you feel prior to the flight ?
Feeling the incredible was going to become true. Great excitement of feeling not in the reality
3) What kinds of sensations did you experienced during take-off ?
Mentally : mixed of concentration and excitement of living something very strong in my life.
Physically : sense of power behind my back.
4) What does weightlessness feel like, and what did you think about during the flight ?
Weightlessness is the sensation of not feeling your weight nor your body anymore and flying like a free acrobatic bird.
I thought about the great priviledge I had to live this experience, and cried when admiring the beauty of our planet.
5) What were some of the problems you encountered and how did you fix them ?
Secondary computer crashing when passing the south atlantic anomaly- just reboot.
Lost few reaction jets when separating from the external tank – remove them from the software matrix of available jets.
Backup power of robotic arm didn’t work right – not use it.
One air probe didn’t deploy on time during entry – jiggle the switch got it out.
2 meter long icicle formed during water dump, ground controllers took too much time to accept our proposal to knock it off with the robotic arm, as the end-effector camera failed in the meantime – just let it brake up during entry , knowing however it would likely damage some thermal shield tiles.
6) What did you eat, and did it taste real ?
Had a lot of different dishes from the NASA shuttle (dehydrated, thermostabilized, and natural food) menu but also from the France southwest cuisine (duck liver, cassoulet, duck confit, etc.). in general it tasted like on the ground , but felt I could accept far more hot and spicy than on ground. I organize an internantional meal onboard Mir on STS-84 for which each shuttle crew member brought food from his/her home country (French, Chinese, Peruvian, Texan, etc.).
7) What was re-entry like ?
Feeling myself very heavy, the videocamera also that I was holding over the pilot shoulder to film the landing.
Felt that I’d better not move my head too much to avoid being sick when gravity was coming back.
8) Were you glad to be back on Earth, or did you feel you could have spent the rest of your life up there ?
Each time , I wished and felt I could have stayed far longer. I would have liked to stay long enough to learn visually my home planet by heart .

samedi 20 mars 2010

Rencontre avec Robert T. McCall, Space Artist

 
En hommage à l'une de mes véritables idoles qui nous a quittée ce 26 février...
 
Robert T. McCall (23/12/1919-26/02/2010) est certainement un des plus grands Space Artist de tous les temps. Et pour moi, il sera toujours le plus grand.
 
Inconnu ou presque du grand public, alors que des millions de personnes connaissent son oeuvre sans savoir son nom, c'est le paradoxe de cet immense artiste et de son humilité...
 
Il est l'auteur de la célèbre fresque murale du National Air and Space Museum de Washington, du logo des missions Apollo 17, Apollo-Soyouz et des 5 premiers vols de la navette.
Il a créé de nombreux timbres Espace pour la poste américaine.
Il a participé aux décors de 2001 Odyssée de l'Espace, Star Trek ou le Trou Noir.
Il est l'auteur des célèbres villles flottantes, etc...
 
Ses oeuvres sur le programme Apollo sont inoubliables et criantes de vérité...
 
 
 
Voici une interview réalisée en 2002 lors de la visite de son atelier en Arizona...
 
 
Quelques mots sur vous et quand et comment avez-vous su que vous deviendriez artiste ?
Je suis né dans l’Ohio, à Columbus, il y a quelques années déjà (rires)…
 
Mon grand-père était docteur, un de ces véritables docteurs que l’on rencontrait dans l’Amérique ‘’profonde’’ de cette époque. Mon père était instituteur…
 
Depuis tout petit, je lisais beaucoup de livres et revues, surtout tout ce qui concernait les sciences… Mon grand-père avait écrit plusieurs articles pour la revue médicale américaine et j’ai lu et relu ses articles pendant longtemps…
 
J’ai eu aussi la chance de pouvoir lire énormément les premières revues de Science-fiction comme Amazing stories, Astounding, etc…
 
Je dévorai aussi Popular Science et le National Geographic…
 
Et vu que dès mon plus jeune âge, je me suis aperçu que j’étais pas trop mal doué en dessin (rires), j’ai décidé de devenir artiste vers 8 ans, même si ma famille aurait préféré que je sois docteur comme mon grand-père…
 
Comment avez-vous débuté ?
Fasciné par les avions, je décide de m’engager dans l’Army Air Corps. C’était la 2nde guerre mondiale… Puis, par un hasard du destin, je ne suis jamais allé plus loin que le Nouveau-Mexique (rires)…
 
Si j’étais parti à la guerre, je n’aurai jamais rencontré ma femme Louise qui étudiait les Beaux-Arts à l’Université du Nouveau-Mexique.
 
A la fin de la guerre, nous nous installons à Chicago pour travailler dans la publicité.
Mon modèle était Norman Rockwell. Puis après direction New York où je créais des illustrations pour des magazines comme Popular Science, Life, etc… Principalement dans les pubs pour l’aviation….
 
 
Comment vous êtes vous retrouvé artiste de la NASA ?
Au début de la conquête spatiale, l’US Air Force avait fait appel à des artistes pour promouvoir le programme et l’US Air Force…
 
Pour moi, qui adorait dessiner des avions, des machines, etc… c’était ma chance, je l’ai saisie, je me suis présenté. J’ai été pris… C’était le bonheur absolu…
 
J’ai voyagé aux quatre coins du pays et du monde, j’ai pu voir, toucher, tous les avions, voler dans presque tous… Approcher les pilotes, les pilotes d’essais, etc…
 
Puis la NASA a été créée et j’ai continué… J’ai assisté à presque tous les principaux évènements spatiaux américains des années 60 à maintenant… J’ai pu tout voir, tout toucher, tout essayer, tout visiter…
 
Comment expliquer vous ce réalisme dans vos œuvres… un réalisme saisissant… Lorsque l ‘on regarde une de vos œuvres, on se croit vraiment au cœur de l’action, dans l’œuvre…
(sourire…) Pour moi, je pense qu’un artiste doit faire corps avec ce qu’il peint.
Je dois donc être au plus près de l’évènement, du sujet que je peins, sinon, je pense que je n’aurai pas la même ‘’force’’ dans ma peinture…
 
Puis je suis devenu ‘’célèbre’’ à la NASA et j’ai eu la chance d’avoir carte blanche (rires…).
 

Puis Stanley Kubrick vous contacte…
En parallèle de mes travaux avec la NASA, je travaillais aussi pour Life où je dessinais des futurs vaisseaux spatiaux… C’est comme cela, et aussi pour cela (rires…) que Stanley Kubrick m’a contacté pour 2001 Odyssée de l’Espace.
 
Il fallait inventer des engins spatiaux, combinaisons, etc… du futur tout en étant tout à fait plausible et compréhensible pour les gens de l’époque (nous sommes en 1968). Il fallait que tout soit réaliste… Un sacré travail, croyez moi (rires…).
 
 
Qu’est-ce qui vous caractérise le plus ?
Je vis dans le futur…




lundi 15 mars 2010

Interview de Jason Petula, qui a été candidat pour la sélection d'astronautes NASA en 2004 et 2009

Jason Petula, 37 ans, actuel responsable du département Mathématiques et Sciences d'une école américaine, a été candidat pour devenir Education Astronaut lors des sélections d'astronautes de la NASA en 2004 (Groupe 19) et 2009 (Groupe 20).


Il a, à chaque fois, terminé dans le groupe des ''demi-finalists''.

Il a gentiment accepté de répondre à cette interview afin de partager sa passion pour l'espace et de nous faire comprendre ce qui pouvait motiver une personne à se présenter à une sélection d'astronaute.

Interview réalisée en 2010.

QUESTIONS TO JASON PETULA, DOCTOR OF MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE

Why have you decide to become candidate for NASA astronaut selection ?
I always dreamed of being an Astronaut since I was boy.
I remember vividly the Challenger tragedy as a seventh grade student. Despite the risks, I wanted to be part of something bigger than any individual.
I wanted to be a member of team that accomplished remarkable feats that challenged the boundaries of human exploration.
I consider the Astronaut Corp to be a wonderful way to serve my county and fellow humans.

What is your job and why have choose to do it ?
My current job is the Director of Mathematics and Science at the Abington Heights School District.
My responsibilities include the supervision of all K-12 teachers of mathematics and science; alignment of curricula to state standards; professional development of faculty; and acting as a liaison between the science and education research community and professional educators.

I choose this position because I feel that reforms in education underway in the United States are analogous to urgency experienced during the Apollo era.

During the Apollo era (aka, the space race) our nation was challenged to regain supremacy in space. Over 400,000 people were directly involved in the Apollo program, and many people consider the moon landing to one of our nation’s most amazing feats – a source of national pride.

Now, our education system is need tremendous reform. The changes needed in education cannot be accomplished by an individual – it has to be a team effort.
I feel that the next ten years in education will be remarkable. If we are able to reform our educational system, we will return our system to the best in the world.

I suppose you would like to go in space. But why ?
My reason for wanting to go into space is simple. I enjoy exploration.

I have been fortunate to travel to all corners of the world. Whether it is Atlas Mountains of North Africa or the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, the desire to travel a little bit beyond previous explorers lingers.

In addition to personal reasons, I see traveling in space as a unique vehicle for inspiring students around the world to take more interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Finally, the Astronauts I have been fortunate to meet were the most amazing people. I would consider it honor to work with them.

Did you think it's important for the mankind to have a step in space, to send man in space and why ?
There are many reasons why I believe a human spaceflight program is important.
First, and the least measureable, is the impact it has on students.
I met so many people that entered a STEM field because they were inspired by the Human Spaceflight program.
Second, I want to support scientific research that is amplified by low-gravity environments.
I am always amazed how many spinoffs from the Human Spaceflight program improve our standard of living.
I believe that the average citizen would support the investment of their tax dollars into the Human Spaceflight program if they better understood the return on their investment.

What represent for you Yuri Gagarin ?
I am not sure what you are asking, but I will do my best. Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space and that earns him a rightful place in the history of human exploration.

What represent for you Apollo 11 ?
The Apollo 11 mission represents the accomplishments of a national effort and the vision of President John Kennedy.
Although I often feel intense patriotism when I reflect on the Apollo program, I also feel a deeper connect to my fellow man.
Humans are explorer’s by nature. And, we are all members of the same family.
In the future, I suspect human spaceflight will become less of a nation’s effort and more of a global effort.
Apollo 11 represented what one nation can accomplish when everyone works toward a common vision.
The future holds that space exploration will require the effort of nations. For example, the construction of the International Space Station (ISS) is a great example of how many nationals can work together to accomplish the unimaginable.
Perhaps the lessons learned from these collaborations can drive progress in other areas beyond human space flight (e.g., eradicating Malaria, eliminating starvation, curing cancer, etc.)

What is your most incredible space dream ?
My space dream is to sit strapped in a capsule and feeling the rockets ignite as the countdown approaches zero. Then, embrace the energy during the lift off as the rocket propels upward from the pad.
After the short flight into low-Earth orbit, I dream of floating to a window and catching my first glimpse of the Earth from such a tremendous altitude. Ninety minutes I would celebrate my first circumnavigation of the planet orbiting in spacecraft.

dimanche 14 mars 2010

Interview de Julie Payette, astronaute de l'Agence Spatiale Canadienne, qui a effectué 2 missions à bord de la navette spatiale


Julie Payette est astronaute canadienne.
Elle a été sélectionnée en 1992 par l'Agence Spatiale Canadienne. Specialiste de Mission (Mission Specialist), elle a effectué 2 missions spatiales à bord de la navette spatiale : STS-96 en 1999 et plus récemment STS-127 en 2009.
 
Pour nous, elle revient sur sa première mission spatiale.
 
Interview réalisée en 2010.

How many years were you connected to the space program prior to your flight?
I was selected in 1992 by the Canadian Space Agency and my first space flight was in 1999.
 
What does weightlessness feel like, and what did you think about during the flight?
The most amazing thing about flying in lower earth orbit, on the Space Shuttle, is to be able to see at our beautiful planet Earth from above. It is absolutely magnificent and the only home we have so far in the universe.
Second to this incredible view, is the possibility to work and, live in the weightlessness.
Floating in the cabin is a lot of fun and after a bit of practice, astronauts become very good at pushing off a wall and fly to go from one place to another.
 
What were some of the problems you encountered and how did you fix them?
We did not encounter any major problems.
 
What did you eat, and did it taste real ?
Les astronautes mangent très bien là-haut!
Et on mange des aliments tout à fait normaux, comme des œufs brouillés, des légumes, de la compote de pommes, des noix et des biscuits au beurre. On choisit parmi un menu qui comporte une grande variété.
La grande différence, c'est que tout est empaqueté avec soin dans des emballages en plastique bien scellés pour empêcher que la nourriture s’échappe et commence à flotter librement dans la cabine.
Et pour réduire le poids et aider à la conservation des aliments (nous n’avons pas de réfrigérateur dans la Navette spatiale), la nourriture est déshydratée avant d’être empaquetée. Une fois dans l’espace, il nous suffit d’y remettre de l’eau, attendre quelques minutes, et consommer !
 

dimanche 7 mars 2010

Interview de Terry Marotta, journaliste et une des 40 journalistes sélectionnés par la NASA pour le programme Journalist in Space in 1986

Caroline''Terry'' MAROTTA est journaliste free-lance.
Elle a sa propre rubrique que l'on peut lire sur le site du journal Daily Register.com. Elle a également son propre site www.terrymarotta.com et son blog.
C'est une journaliste spécialisée dans les sciences et l'éducation.
En 1986, elle est l'une des 40 journalistes américains sélectionnés par la NASA pour le programme Journalist in Space. Mais, après l'accident de Challenger, le programme est remis en question, puis finalement annulé...
Cette interview est également visible sur le site du Daily Register d'Harrisburg (Illinois) http://www.dailyregister.com/opinions/x723441431/Terry-Marotta-Space-questions
Interview réalisée en 2010.
Q : Why have you decide to become candidate for NASA Journalist in Space selection ?
A : When they announced the Teacher in Space Competition all I could think was ‘Oh WHY did I leave teaching after only seven years? If I’d stayed in the classroom I could apply for this!’ Then the next fall, with Christa McAuliffe in flight training at the Johnson Space Center, a new competition was announced for people in my current career. A shiver went down my spine. A second chance?.
Q : I suppose you would like to go in space. But why ?
A : All my life I have struggled for a kind of perspective that has mostly eluded me. But each time I fly in a plane I can suddenly see my life whole; see our lives whole. I feel this sudden sense of exaltation, and want to tell everyone, “There’s so much more than we can see! We don’t HAVE to live like ants!
Q : Did you think it's important for the mankind to have a step in space, to send man in space and why ?
A : I think it’s very important. The human race is in its infancy! We’re babies, still in our playpens! But we’re learning fast now. It’s time to leave the house; to look around some. And this little solar system is just our front yard.
Q : What represent for you Yuri Gagarin ?
A : A Russian the first person up there?! Americans were horrified. And sure, back in ‘61 we kids played endless games of the Commies against the Americans, but we had this young President, and a dawning sense that there just might be room for all of us in his New Frontier.
Q : What represent for you Apollo 11 ? Which memory(ies) have you of this event ?
A : July of ’69. I stayed up all night with my new boyfriend to watch it with his mom on her black-and-white TV. We waited and waited to see that first boot set down on moondust. Little did we know that we would soon be family and 40 years would whiz past fast as any rocket.
Q : What will be your most incredible space dream ?
A : That someday there will be more people like you, fascinated by the prospect of space flight. With only a handful of missions left, I realize NASA won’t be putting me up there but maybe you will go, Stéphane, and how’s that for a dream? And when you get back, maybe I’ll get to interview you!

Interview de Jay Mathews, journaliste et un des 40 journalistes sélectionnés par la NASA pour le programme Journalist in Space en 1986

Thomas J. ''Jay'' MATHEWS est journaliste au Washington Post. Il a sa propre rubrique que l'on peut lire sur le site du journal. La rubrique s'appelle Class Struggle (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/class-struggle/).
C'est un journaliste spécialisé dans les sciences et l'éducation.
En 1986, il est un des 40 journalistes américains sélectionnés par la NASA pour le programme Journalist in Space. Mais, après l'accident de Challenger, le programme est remis en question, puis finalement annulé...
Interview réalisée en 2010.
Why have you decide to become candidate for NASA Journalist in Space selection ?
A : I was one of those kids who read Robert Heinlein and other science fiction, and wanted to be an astronomer when I grew up. My career goals change but i remained fascinated by space and a supporter of human exploration.
Q : What was your job during this selection and what is your activity currently ? Why have you choose a journalist career ?
A : I was the Post's L.A. bureau chief. I choose journalism originally as a way to get to China.
Q : I suppose you would like to go in space. But why ?
A : That's the future. I would like to get a sense of what it feels like.
Q : Did you think it's important for the mankind to have a step in space, to send man in space and why ?
A : It is the obvious future of our species. We are an explorer race. If the governments can't afford it, private groups will find the money.
Q : What represent for you Yuri Gagarin ?
A : Not sure I understand the question. He was a great man who took an enormous risk for the future.
Q : What represent for you Apollo 11 ? Which memory(ies) have you of this event ?
A : I had just come back from serving in Vietnam as a soldier, and was at Middlebury College polishing my Chinese before I went to graduate school. It was terrifically exciting, even on the little black and white TV in the student lounge.
Q : What will be your most incredible space dream ?
A : The first persons to land on an extra solar planet. What will they find? But more than that, the first contact with intelligent life beyond earth.