jeudi 5 septembre 2013

Interview de Jeff Ashby, Commandant de navette spatiale

Jeffrey ‘’Jeff’’ Ashby est un ancien pilote de chasse et pilote d’essais de l’US Navy.

Il est sélectionné comme pilote par la NASA en 1994 dans le groupe 15.

Il a effectué 3 missions spatiales : STS-93 en 1999 comme pilote, STS-100 en 2001 comme pilote et STS-112 en 2002.
Il aura passé 27 jours et 16 heures dans l’espace.

Il quitte la NASA en 2008.

Il est actuellement Responsable de la sécurité des vols habités chez Blue Origin. 

Interview réalisée en 2013

How many years were you connected to the space program prior to your flight ?
About 4 years. 
I was selected as part of Group 19 in March 1995 and flew my first space shuttle mission as Pilot for STS-93 in July 1999.

How did you feel prior to the flight ?
Anxious but not afraid. 
There are many new experiences ahead of an astronaut before their first flight, and its hard to know if you are completely prepared.

What kinds of sensations did you experienced during take-off ?
The STS-93 launch aboard COLUMBIA included several vehicle anomalies in first stage (first 2 minutes). 
In between reacting to the failure indications, I recall thinking that the ride was more physically violent than I had expected.

What does weightlessness feel like, and what did you think about during the flight ?
There are at least 3 great experiences during a spaceflight. 
Physiological adaptation and body movement in a weightless environment, observing objects float and behave in the apparent absence of gravity, and the view of Earth from space. 
Most life-changing for me was the view of Earth’s incredible thin atmosphere.

What were some of the problems you encountered and how did you fixed them ?
Most spaceflights encounter vehicle and equipment anomalies and malfunctions. 
The astronaut crews work with experts in Houston Mission Control to resolve the problems and complete the assigned mission.
What did you eat, and did it taste real ?
My favorite food was applesauce, followed by the Cherry/blueberry cobbler. 
Both tasted better than they did on Earth.
What was re-entry like ?
In contrast to launch and ascent, re-entry is very smooth and lasts much longer. 
The maximum G-forces experienced during space shuttle re-entry were about 1.6G.

Were you glad to be back on Earth, or did you feel you could have spent the rest of your life up there ?
A big part of any spaceflight experience is coming home to share the stories with family and friends, and to share the sense of accomplishment with the hard-working experts and engineers who support the flight from mission control. 
I was glad to come back, but immediately began thinking about a future flight.

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