Brent W. Jett est un ancien pilote de chasse et pilote d’essais de l’US Navy, notamment sur le F-14A/B/D.
Il est sélectionné par la NASA comme pilote de la navette spatiale en 1992 dans le groupe 14.
Il effectue 4 missions spatiales en tant que pilote des missions STS-72, STS-81 et Commandant des missions STS-97 et STS-115.
Brent Jett est actuellement Deputy Manager for the Commercial Crew Program au Johnson Space Center de Houston.
Interview réalisée en mars 2012.
How many years were you connected to the space program prior to your flight ?
I have selected in 1992. I have been assigned for my first mission in 1994-1995, and flew in 1996.
When did you know you would become an astronaut ?
In fact, I had about ten years old when I wanted to become Navy Pilot. Yes, I wanted to become pilot first. I grew up to Fort Lauderdale and I had a chance to tour the ships of the Navy Aircraft Carriers to Port Everglade and Fort Lauderdale. I saw airplanes all the days and I always wanted to fly airplanes.
It’s only later, when I was test pilot I decided to become astronaut (I grew in space age, the 1960’s, and I was interested by space too). I have the qualifications and I’m going to apply.
How did you feel prior to the flight ?
Very excited and very concentrated !
What kinds of sensations did you experienced during take-off ?
Shakes a lot and pretty rough for the first 2 minutes. I have good felt my body weight twice…
After boosters separation, ride smooths out. But we accelerated easier and faster and my body was pressed back into my seat again. It’s not easy to breath. And suddenly, after 8 ½ minutes, no shales, no noises, and weightlessness immediately. A very great ride…
What does weightlessness feel like, and what did you think about during the flight ?
Weightlessness is a really great sensation !
I think to make my job in the best !
What were some of the problems you encountered and how did you fixed them ?
None big problems…
It was a excited mission with some challenges as retrieved SFU satellite, deployed & retrieved the OAST-Flyer satellite and 2 spacewalks to evaluate techniques in assembly of the future (at this time) ISS.
What did you eat, and did it taste real ?
Freeze dried foods, peanut butter… and yes, it’s not bad even if I have added some spicy for the taste.
What was re-entry like ?
Very good. We could feel our bodies weighing more and more heavy.
Were you glad to be back on Earth, or did you feel you could have spent the rest of your life up there ?
Glad to be back and ready to go again !