mardi 23 novembre 2010

Rencontre avec le Dr John G. Sotos, cardiologue et ancien candidat astronaute NASA

Le Dr John G. Sotos est médecin cardiologue.
Il est également diplômé en mathématiques et en informatique (spécialisé en intelligence artificielle).
Il est actuellement le Président d'une société spécialisée dans le traitement des apnées du sommeil.
En 1989-90, il fait parti des finalistes dans la sélection NASA comme astronaute.
Il ne sera pas sélectionné mais aime toujours autant l'espace.
Interview réalisée en 2010
Q : Why have you decide to become candidate for NASA astronaut selection ?
A : In 1960s America, every boy wanted to be an astronaut.
That is not surprising.
Whenever a manned space launch was scheduled, teachers would stop their lessons, roll a television into the room, and the entire class would watch the countdown and launch.
With this kind of emphasis from teachers, who wouldn't want to become an astronaut?
Q : What is your job and why have choose to do it ?
A : In college, a buddy and I intensively studied the biographies of all the astronauts who had so far been selected.
We realized that our chances of selection would be good if we could do three things:
[1] get an M.D. (medical) degree,
[2] get an engineering degree, and
[3] get flight time in military fighter aircraft.
That probably explains why I am a cardiologist, engineering new medical devices, and why my second job is as a flight surgeon in the Air National Guard.
Q : I suppose you would like to go in space. But why ?
A : Sure, it would be fun to go, to see the view, but that doesn't really help anyone or make a contribution to the sum total of human knowledge.
So my desire today is not too strong.
Q : Did you think it's important for the mankind to have a step in space, to send man in space and why ?
A : Yes, I do.
Is it more important than getting cars to run on something other than oil products ?
I'm not sure about that. I think the chief value of the space program today is as a source of inspiration for young people who want to do something worthwhile, difficult, adventurous, and larger than themselves.
We can't have our best people wasting their talents as investment bankers.
Q : What represent for you Yuri Gagarin ?
A : I know very little about him, but I suppose Gagarin, like all the early cosmonauts and astronauts, was a highly capable military officer doing his duty.
Certainly it took enormous courage to do what he did, especially given the disasters that had plagued the Soviet space program.
I recently read an insider's account that Gagarin was selected for his flight, above others, because he was good looking and would therefore be a better emblem for the Soviet Union than some of the less attractive but perhaps more capable cosmonauts.
Q : Which memory(ies) have you of Apollo 11 ?
A : Much to my dismay, our family was visiting relatives in Greece.
In 1969 few Greeks had televisions.
We had to find the Voice of America building in downtown Athens to see the liftoff.
When the lunar module descended to the surface, we listened to it in a hotel bar. (My first time in a bar!)
The walk on the moon happened about 5 am in Athens.
It was really hard to wake up, but we did it.
All the Americans in our hotel (and only the Americans) were down in the lobby watching.
The TV was horrible. I couldn't tell what was going on.
I heard Armstrong's "one small step" phrase and sat there thinking it made no sense.
Finally I had to ask my father if Armstrong was on the moon yet.
Q : What is / will be your most incredible space dream ?
A : If magic were real, I would like to see three things:
(1) the civilizations that are out there,
(2) the biology and adaptations that evolution off the earth has produced, and
(3) the view near the center of the galaxy.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire