mercredi 30 décembre 2009

Interview avec Scott Parazynski, astronaute de la NASA qui a effectué 5 missions en navette spatiale lors de STS-66, 86, 95, 100 et 120

Scott Parzaynski, médecin de formation, est un astronaute de la NASA sélectionné en 1992 dans le Groupe 14. Il effectue 5 missions à bord de la Navette Spatiale (STS-66, 86, 95, 100 et 120). Il quitte la NASA en 2009. Toujours en 2009, il réalise l'ascension de l'Everest (après un échec en 2008)
Il a son propre site internet :
Interview réalisée en 2009
Q : How many years were you connected to the space program before your 1st flight ?
A : I was very fortunate to wait just 2 years from selection to first flight --- the first year spent as Astronaut Candidate, and then almost immediatly transitioning to STS-66 training (including two of my Class of 1992 crewmates, Joe Tanner and Jean-Francois Clervoy)
Q : How did you feel prior the flight ?
A : I felt well trained, but somewhat apprehensive beofre my first flight. I wanted to perform well, and there were so many unknows : how would I feet ? Would I have Space Motion Sickness ? You can only simulate so much on Earth --- so the first time in space is a very big life experience.
Q : What kinds of sensations did you experienced during the take-off ?
A : I was on the flight deck in teh MS1 seat, so I had a great view out the forward AND overhead windows. I remember having a mirror positioned on my knee, and I was therefore able to see the waves crashing on the beach below as Atlantis performed its roll maneuver to a heads-down position --- and then nothing the clouds getting progressively smaller as we rushed to space. Lots of vibration and adrenalin these 8.5 minutes...
Q : What does weightlessness feel like, and what did you think about during the flight ?
A : Weightlessness is a beautiful sensation, very similar to being submerged on a SCUBA dive with your buoyancy compensator perfectly adjusted, such that you neither float up nor sink down. Pushing off with fingertips allow you to fly like Buzz Lightyear wherever you desire, and the views are more beautiful than any photo can capture. I concentrated on doing the best very job I could, but also thought about home quite a bit : I want to memorize the experience, such that I could share the experience with my family and friends.
Q : What were some of the problems you encountered and how did you fixed them ?
A : Most of my missions were ''textbook'', thanksfully, although they were complicated operations. The one significant exception was during STS-120, when we had to go out and repair a live solar array. There's some additional information on my website, I'm very proud of how the entire team, Mission Control and our on-orbit crew, handled the very serious challenge before us.
Q : What did you eat, and did it taste real ?
A : I've always had a great apetite, so the ''camping'' rehydratable food was just fine; We also had a Frenchman aboard, so we had a few treats from France to round out our menu. On my subsequent flights I always had International Partner astronaut with me, so I've had dined on French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, spanish and Canadian specialties in space...
Q : What was Re-entry like ?
A : Reentry on STS-66 (my first flight) was very eye-opening, as I was on the middeck with Ellen Ochoa and just a wall of lockers in front of us. We had M&M's with us, and would toss them gently upwards and try to guess the g-level we were experiencing. The guys on the flight deck would tell us we were almost always right on... And then slowing down through the speed of sound the whole vibrated like a train running out of control, thanksfully, smoothing out shortly thereafter. We felt really heavy, almost like a 100 years-old man, having to carry our body weight and spacesuit for the first time in 11 days...
Q : Were you glad to be back on Earth, or did you feel you could have spent the rest of your life up there ?
A : I loved space, and would be thrilled to go back. That said, everything and everyone I love was back on Earth --- So I could'nt have stayed up there forever. I was anxious to get back home and share the experience with others !

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