jeudi 6 janvier 2011

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

Marcia Bartusiak est écrivain et journaliste scientifique.
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...
Elle était finaliste de l'Etat de Virginie.
Elle est actuellement Professeur (writing science) au Massachussetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T).
Elle a son propre site et son propre blog :
Interview réalisée en 2010
Q : Why have you decide to become candidate for NASA Journalist in Space selection ?
A : It was actually my second attempt at getting into space.
Just as I was finishing my master's degree in physics, I applied to NASA to become an astronaut.
But my application was rejected because, at the time I applied, I had not yet completed my graduate degree, which was a requirement.
I applied too soon! But I went on to become a science writer and when the Journalist-in-Space competition was announced, it seemed natural to apply.
Here was the opportunity to engage two of my passions at once: writing and space exploration.
Q : What was your job during this selection and what is your job currently ? Why did you choose a science writer and author career ?
A : From a young age, I was always interested in both science and writing.
My undergraduate degree was in journalism, which allowed me to write on many stories, but after four years I returned to school to get a master's degree in physics so that I could specialize in writing on science alone.
Ever since I have been writing on physics and astronomy for a general audience, in both magazines and books.
At the time of the Journalist-in-Space competition I was a freelance writer, working from Virginia.
Many years have now gone by, and I've since moved to Massachusetts, near Boston.
I continue to write on science, but now I also teach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
I'm currently executive director of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, preparing the up-and-coming science writers of tomorrow.
Q : I suppose you would like to go in space. But why ?
A : I think it's in my genes. All my grandparents, when only teenagers in the 1910s, emigrated to the United States from Poland searching for a new life.
I think of space in that way: the next frontier to visit and explore.
It's an urge, I believe, that is part of our evolutionary makeup.
Q : What represent for you Yuri Gagarin ?
A : I can't believe we're approaching the fiftieth anniversary of his spaceflight around the world.
I was 11 years old at the time and quite caught up in this major event.
Just a few years before I had gotten my first telescope and was fascinated by all things related to outer space.
And, given those Cold-War times, I guess I was feeling from all the adults around me the jealousy that the Russians got there first.
Q : What represent for you Apollo 11 / Which memories have you of this event ? A : I remember sitting in front of the television....literally....for hours and hours.
I didn't want to miss one moment.
What stays with me is the image of the CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite wiping away a tear when the Apollo 11 astronauts safely landed.
And now we no longer have any presence on the Moon, except for the occasional unmanned survey.
The last astronauts to journey across the dusty soil did so in 1972, nearly four decades ago.
Who knew that Cronkite's tear of joy would turn into a tear of disappointment for those of us who longed for the life of the movie 2001 to come true.
Q : What will be your most incredible space dream ?
A : To actually live for a while somewhere else in the solar system, such as Mars, looking up at the sky and searching for that blue speck called Earth.

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