Scott Kelly: "Endurance" | Talks at Google
Scott. Welcome to Google thank you is coming in thank, you sir perhaps you could tell us what. Got you interested in space, sure well, first of all I'd like to say it's great to be here it's uh great. To be anywhere with gravity. Because. Now I can sit down, can't. Do that in space, so. On the space station I changed position so many times you, would have thought I was running for president. Maybe. I should have, so. To those of you in the audience that do not appear, to be space alien, aliens, I'd like to say good, afternoon and. To, the rest of you I come. In peace. What. I'd like to do first before I talk, about like what got me interested in becoming an astronaut I want to read from the book a little bit because. You. Can hear it in my own voice and then you don't have to go out and buy the audio book you. Know these are expensive. Let's. Start at the beginning, of the story it's, only gonna take about five minutes let's. Start the beginning of the story and uh it's, really sort of the end of the story, because. I. Got. Home this. Is about 48 hours after I got back after being on the space station for an entire year. I'm. Sitting at the head of my dining room table at home in Houston and finishing dinner with my family, my. Longtime girlfriend, amiko. Now my fiancee in the back of the room my. Daughters Samantha, and Charlotte my twin brother Mark his. Wife Gabby his daughter Claudia our. Father Richie and amiko son Corbin, it's. A simple thing sitting, at a table and eating a meal with those you love and many, people do it every day without giving it much thought for me, it's, something I've been dreaming up for almost a year I contemplated. What it would be like to eat this meal so many times now. That I'm finally here it, doesn't seem entirely real. The. Faces of the people I love that I haven't seen for so long, the. Chatter of many people talking together the. Clink of silverware, the. Swish of wine in, a glass these. Are all unfamiliar. Even. The sensation. Of gravity, holding me in my chair feels strange and every, time I put a glass or a fork down on the table there's a part of my that is looking for a dot a Velcro or a strip, of duct tape to, hold it in place, I've. Been back on earth for 48, hours I, push. Back from the table and struggle, to stand up feeling. Like an old man getting out of a recliner. Stick. A fork in me I'm done I announce. Everyone. Laughs and encourages, me to go get some rest so I go to sleep then. I wake up a few hours later with flu-like symptoms. Not feeling very well at all I, struggled. To get up find, the edge of the bed feet, down sit up stand up at. Every stage I feel like I'm fighting through quicksand, when. I'm finally vertical the, pain in my legs is awful and on, top of that pain I feel something, even more alarming, all. The blood in my body is rushing, to my legs like. The sensation of the blood rushing to your head when you do a headstand, but, in Reverse I can. Feel the tissue in my legs swelling, I shuffle. My way to the bathroom moving. My weight from one foot to the other with deliberate effort left, right left right I make. It to the bathroom flip. On the light and look. Down at my legs, they, are swollen and alien, stumps, not. Legs at all, there. No kids in here right no. Kids no, kids work at Google not. Yet oh shit. I say. Amico. Come look at this she. Kneels down and squeezes, one ankle and it squishes like a water balloon she. Looks up at me with worried eyes I can't, even feel your ankle bones she says, there's. About 400 pages after that, but. Anyway so. How did I get interested in becoming a journey, between I want to be in space and that, yes so you, know I was this a.
Typical. Kind. Of person. Kid that became an astronaut because when I was younger I was. A really bad student, I. Didn't. Do well not. Something I'm proud of I spent more time looking out the window, wondering. What was going on outside or, looking at the clock trying. To will it to run faster, just so I could get out of the classroom than, ever did paying attention, in school. I managed. To graduate from high school in, the bottom, half of my class, and. I went on to college because, I was supposed to go to college I thought I. Actually. Went to the wrong school now. I don't mean I went to this school thinking, this one over here was a better fit for me what, I mean is I applied, to and. Got. Accepted to and showed up here thinking. I was going to this other school. Quite. Possibly, the only person that has ever done this, and. I get to my college, and I'm there for a few days and I'm like hey when's the football. Game. And. They're like we don't have a football team that's. That other school in Maryland. And. I was basically you know doing the same thing I did in high school it, was impossible for me to pay attention I, think if I was a kid today I'd be the kid with a DD, or ADHD. And maybe I would have gotten a little bit more help because we know what that is I, couldn't. Study wasn't. Doing well eventually. I'm really not even going to class one. Day I just happen to be walking across the, school campus and, I go. Into the bookstore the, college bookstore to buy like gum or something not a book was. Not a big reader I walk. Into the bookstore I happen. To see this book on the end of the shelf, it's. Got this red white and blue cover it's, got a really cool title, made. Me pick it up not this book, made. Me pick it up look, at the back interested. Enough and what the back said that I looked through it took. My gum money purchased, the book went. Back and laid on my unmade dorm, room bed for the next three, days and read. The stories, of the fighter pilots, that became the test pilots that became the original Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts. The. Book was the right stuff by Tom Wolfe I think. It was a combination between you, know what these guys were doing and, how. Tom wrote in this creative nonfiction way, just, captured my imagination, and. I felt like I had a lot in common with those guys. The. Early, astronauts. And test pilots that became astronauts. With. One exception and that is I was a bad student I couldn't pay attention. And I thought you know if I could fix that one thing solve that one thing maybe I could be like them maybe I could go fly airplanes in the Navy land on an aircraft carrier, maybe. If I did good well at that I could become, a test pilot, later. Possibly. An astronaut, then, over you're thinking you know 18-year old kid reads a book decides. He's gonna become an astronaut, you know it's kind of science fiction, it's. You, know it's a giant leap really. What it was well you know it started with something very very challenging very. Hard, which was to teach myself how to pay attention and study once. I figured that out it, really became but one bunch of very you, know smaller, manageable, steps always. With you know opportunities, to fail but always somehow managing, my. Way. Back, on course and if, you, consider. That I read that book at eighteen. Fast. Forward eighteen years later I was 36, I was flying in space for the very first time as the. First American astronaut my class of 35 people to fly that's. A pretty remarkable, comeback. That. For me is even hard to believe. Thank. You very much it's, very very cool I'm not a the, whole book he's absolutely fascinating, I I wanted, um if, you could talk about, well.
Certainly, I learned, a lot about the International Space Station itself, and you spend a long, time there a year, but Austin what's it like living on, the ISS. Well. It's uh it, there's a few things about it that come. To mind right it's. Fun. For one you, know you're floating, which. After. You, getting over the novelty, of it being fun it's makes. Most things harder to do you. Know there's a few things easier. You, always say there's two things easier to do in zero gravity moving, having heavy objects, and, you. Know getting in the awkward positions, like to hook, up the coax. Cable on your TV, much. Easier when you can turn upside down or sideways. Actually. I said this to a kid last night and he pointed out a third thing and. He said acrobatics. He's also easier. Absolutely. Right everything. Is harder, because. You can't put anything down no, you lose it even. Brushing, your teeth is you know you have the. Toothpaste a toothbrush, maybe. A cap on the two. Toothpaste. And then you have nothing to do with the. Toothpaste. After you brush. Your teeth because there's no sink you can either spit it out into a tissue. Which is uncomfortable, in zero-gravity or you can swallow it people, half the people do one thing I swallowed, my toothpaste, for a whole year which. I don't recommend. You. Also have an incredible view on, the space station but. It's a hard place to live and work we knew maybe. Me wouldn't be hard for you guys because you guys spend a lot of time at work but, they make it really nice that you want to spend time at work, but. When you go to sleep you're at work when you wake up you're at work you. Can't go outside no. Sun no wind no rain no, freedom. Of choice to do what you want to do when. You want to do it. Challenging. Because you're living in this very risky environment, you always have to be ready for an emergency, even when you're asleep, but. It's, also this magical, place, it's, like living in Disneyworld the. Space station is very big a. Million, pounds. Size. Of a football pitch a. Internal. Volume of a really big house so you never feel like closed in but. It's a it's, a privilege to have spent. For, me five hundred days of my life there and the last time you went back that year-long study was. Designed. To find out how people cope in space so. We were to go to Mars how, would how would humans cope and you.
Know What, the lessons, that you you, brought back from that what was the science that we actually found it. So. This, year-long mission the idea behind it many, of you might be aware we generally. Send astronauts, up there for about six months, usually. Like four to five and a half is. How the schedule. Works but. NASA. Started, talking, about sending, an astronaut the cosmonaut, to the space station for a year with the idea of you. Know someday we're gonna go to Mars to. Get to Mars it's going to take 200, days to get there you'll. Have to spend a year on, the surface so. You know you're not in zero gravity but, since. You're still kind of in space you know Maura Mars doesn't have much of an atmosphere it's. Got a third of the gravity. Of Earth a lot of radiation. This. Could take you 200 days to get home and there, are things that happen to us in space. To. Our physiology that we need to understand more about bone, loss muscle loss affects on our vision effects on our immune system the radiation, effects on us at a genetic level, so. We wanted to study this for a longer period of time and study, it while we have the space, station which is an incredible, facility to, do science, before we lose that in the next I don't know six, or so years. So. The idea behind this year-long mission is, to someday go to Mars and there was also a side. Component, chosen, meat excuse. Me Mena's cosmonaut, up on the space station for a year there's. Also the side study with my brother and I because. He's an identical, twin nASA, has had data, on him since 1995. He's. Familiar with how things work he spent some time in space as. Well. He. Flew four times he spent 50, days in space I was thinking 50, compared. To my 500. Every. Chance I show that no, there's competition, no no competition oh. Yeah. So the idea behind this genetic. Study with my brother and I is to see how, the. Space environment the, radiation. Stress. The microgravity, perhaps. Affects, us genetically, they have found some interesting results. So far and. That's a longitudinal. Study I think yes. It'll go on for the rest of my life and, you. Know the way NASA science, works is. You. Know it's not driven, by. Like. Investments. And schedules, and trying to get results out because you're in competition, with somebody, else so. It generally takes a few years so generally from the time you collect a data it's like three to five years to a result. So. And you, would have get to the ISS so. Talk us through the, process of finding, out that you're going to be on a mission to, actually. Suez, or a lot. Of training yeah he's a training that build up to yes. So I became an astronaut in 1996. After you, know spending time in the Navy is a fighter pilot. Flying. The f-14, Tomcat. And. Then as a, test pilot in the Navy and then they went on to NASA then for. The next few years I basically. Get a PhD in the Space Shuttle because it's the most complicated, aerospace. Vehicle, ever built. 2,000. Switches and circuit breakers, inside, you, know some of which if you throw it was switch or push a button at the wrong time you blow the thing up, your. Crew members along with you and. Yeah. So I spent most of my time over the next you know three and a half years just you, know for this kid that probably had a Dede you know learning how to fly this most complicated thing, was a challenge, and I worked really hard at it happened. To get assigned to my first flight not in the traditional way you would think you would come. Into a large room and somebody, would, announce that, hey. You've been assigned to this mission, congratulations. The, way I found out is the commander, of the. Upcoming. Mission I was going to be on this Hubble Space Telescope, repair mission had, me he said hey come. In this office I need to talk to you and. I'd never really talked to this guy before he was this space. Shuttle commander kind of a you. Know had a little bit of reputation. He. Pokes me in the chest and he goes you. Better have your shit together because we're flying in space in six months. Yes. Sir I'll, get man I'll, get my shit together right, away, then, we trained for we went up to flying nine months later because of some delays, but you, know pretty soon you're, you've. Kind of made terms. With your situation you, know you consider the risk about. You. Know after this last, accident, we had you you have a 1 in 70 chance of dying, on. This flight it's, kind of like if I took a deck of cards and you know left the Joker's and all the extra cards in it I threw, it out in the audience, couple decks of cards everyone. That got the ace of spades didn't, go home tonight that's. How risky it is.
Demonstrated. Risk and so. You think about that leading up to the your, first mission and even subsequent, missions. Every flight I always wrote letters, to my family I would, give them to my brother and then when I came back he would throw them in the garbage the. Idea was if I didn't come back he would hand him out and I did. The same thing for him when he flew I'm. Pretty soon you're heading up to the launch pad on your first flight mine. Was on the space shuttle Discovery and, the launch pad is completely, abandoned. Because. The shuttles a giant bomb on the top of this hill fully fueled five million pounds of liquid oxygen liquid hydrogen two solid rocket motors. Place, is abandoned, and with, the exception of you and your six crewmates and a few people that are gonna help you get strapped in you. Get in the space. Shuttle about, three. And a half hours prior to launch get. Strapped in tight you're lying on your back and your earns pressure suit the. Guys. And, girls that get you strapped in they tell you they bolt the hatch close and take off you, get about five miles away clock. Starts counting down toward zero and. You're. Getting all these systems, ready for launch the auxiliary, power unit, that powers the hydraulics, the electrical system all, the different engines the main engines, that use, for liftoff. Environmental. Control system, which is the life support system the computers they all have to be perfect, clock. Gets the nine minutes and it stops that's. To give you time to catch up if you happen to be behind and what you're doing it's. Also the time you think man, this is really stupid. Flying. Into space for the first time it's. Not something you really expect, to ever think, you do for, real, at, least for me this. Kid that couldn't do his homework. And. Then you, can't get away right you're strapped in and. Hatches bolted closed, plus, you wouldn't want to be the first astronaut, ever run away from the rocket. I wouldn't. Look good on this evening now it'd be a bad thing I am that would not be good on your resume. Ran. Away from Space Launch. First-ever. Cock, picks up gets. To a minute in 30 seconds, at 30 seconds the space shuttle computers take over the launch. Six. Seconds the main engines, light a million, pounds of thrust but. You don't go anywhere if, you're bolted, to the launch pad by these eight giant bolts the. Clock goes 5 4 3 2 1 those bolts, are exploded, open simultaneously, the, solid rocket motors are lit and, it feels like the hand of God has just picked, you up off the launch pad and it's throwing you out into outer space, you. Feel every, pound, of that 7 million pounds of thrust and. I know if you've watched the shuttle launch on TV, or been there in person it. Looks like it's like lifting off slowly, when. You're inside there, is nothing slow about this. You. Get the feeling you're going somewhere, you're. Not sure where you're going but. You know you're not coming back to Florida. And. After eight and a half minutes you're flying around the earth at, 17,500. Miles, an hour, floating. Around the earth and zero-g. Now. To contrast, this with the shuttle, launch you know or the Soyuz, launch the shuttle and the Soyuz I flew twice on the shuttle and then twice on the Russian Soyuz and, the shuttle, was disbanded, in. 2011. Was the last flight so the only way for a manned, launch, to the ISS is, now the service yeah, so now their, access, to space for. China. Has the ability, to launch people they don't do it very often but. You know the access, to, space for the rest of the world with, people is through, Russia, and, the, Soyuz and the shuttle are similar in that you, know they both launch people into space and. That's where the similarity, stops. My. First Soyuz launch was in 2010. And I flew my last, Soyuz launch I launched, in March of 2015. For, this year in space mission, landed, a. Year. Later practically. And just, the contrast, I'll tell you a little bit about the sleeves launch so, he was smaller than the shuttle also, you, know a bomb on. The top of a hill fully. Fueled with liquid. Oxygen and liquid kerosene, is, the fuel they use. Instead. Of hydrogen. And. You getting a similar you. Getting a bus and head up to the launch pad with your crewmates. So. Uses a bomb, on a launch. Pad on the top of this hill just like the shuttle but. You get up there and the place is not abandoned. There's. Like a hundred people up there milling, around the base of this fully fueled, rocket, well it's vapor coming off the thing the. Russians you know and I tell, a few jokes about. The Russians but I have a lot of respect for the cosmonauts, and the people I've worked in, the space program with, you. Know just different cultures look at things different ways and, you, know what's very important. To a Russian, is if your friends, are going on a long trip you're. Gonna be there to say goodbye even. If it's at the base of a fully fueled rocket, so.
There Are a hundred people up there and you're just trying to get through them to get to the launch pad some. Of them are smoking cigarettes, I swear. To god you like. That. Guys smoking. So. You want to get in that rocket as fast as you can because there's an emergency, escape system, up on top they, actually had a rocket blow up on the launch pad and killed like over a hundred people and. They still allow smoking up there. So. You get in and it's it's, cramped. It's loud. It's hot your visors, fogging. Up. You're. All strapped in tight a few hours before launch, there's, no countdown clock and, the slaves. They. Didn't seem to need to put a countdown clock in there this was gonna be one of the Rockets that like launch nuclear missiles during the Cold War, after. A while you're like. Hey. What time are we leaving. It's. Like 10/10, right is, that Moscow time or Baikonur time. Eventually. Someone comes up on the radio and says ignition. And. I could just picture that guy smoking just running out there with it with. His life asking, the same question, well tell you don't you, and. Then you know you do liftoff slowly in the Soyuz because there's no solid rocket motors but still within nine minutes you're flying around the earth at 25 times the speed of sound quite, light you talked about the, rituals. As. You as you launch and the Russians have so many it seemed to be that well it worked the first time and no one's there let's keep doing let's, you could talk to a couple of year it's trained you won you know yeah, the Russians are a little bit more superstitious. Than Americans. I think by culture, but we also have, superstitions. In the u.s. space program as, an, example, after. You get suited up and your orange spacesuit. You. You. Play a round. Of you, play a card game, lowball, poker, it's got a specific name I forget the name of it I think I may have mentioned in the book but. The. Commander, of the mission has to lose or. You can't leave the building, and. If he is doing really well it's people start to get nervous because you're looking at this clock and you have to be walking out at a certain time because you have the schedule to keep and if, the guy starts keeps winning you, know eventually what you do is you kick people out of the game until eventually it's just like one on one but. I've seen people this keep winning and then not, so that's so his bad luck is bad luck, yeah. Yeah he has to lose so he loses he, uses up his bad luck before, you go to the launch pad and then, they do know that you're also on the launch pad right so you you're. Bad luck just doesn't matter so. But yeah the. Commander represents, the whole crew so yeah. Yeah. It's just about him I don't. Think it really matters if he wins or loses to be honest with you but it's, tradition. In. The Russian space program it's also traditions, we always watch the same movie the white Sun of a desert or something that's a comedy because they, had an accident in the Soyuz the. Next crew watched that movie and they. Never had another accident so they'll be watching that movie, all. The way until they have. Another accident, hopefully not we. Also stopped, the bus on the way to the launchpad in the same exact spot Yuri Gagarin stopped, the bus because he had to pee. So. We get out of the bus we undo our pressure suit that's just been pressure checked extensively. Pressure checked we. Break the seal and we pee on the bus tire in the same spot Yuri Gagarin. I'm the, FEMA you know what's bring us more possible with them as well they dream about I've heard they spray. Their water or in some cases urine, if they're really superstitious they, brought some of their own urine with them so, they don't have to completely, get out of the suit, it's.
Funny Though people are like wow you do that pressure check, you spend all the time to make sure the suit, works in a sealed and then, you just go undo, the whole thing and get, into the source, or use they. Say I can't believe the Russians do that and, I go we. Do the same thing in the US we, just have a bathroom, on the launch pad, the, last toilet on earth and if, you're leaving Earth you're going you're damn well gonna use that last toilet, so, you do the same thing you get out of your suit you pay, you put it all back on get. In the shuttle, and go that's, great I mean watch. That's. Great and what. I'm. School interested with the all year in space how did you cope with the isolation there's a period in the book where you talk about you were the only person in the US section. Yeah I mean it, started did it start off as a few, I've got the, air to myself a little more space. Its. Isolation, trading something that you get taught it's. Not something they teach. You they definitely they definitely make sure you're not like claustrophobic. When. You do, the astronaut, selection, they'll. Actually you, know hook you up with a heart monitor put, you in a small rubber, bag, thick. Rubber bag zip, it up mmm. Push you into a dark closet and leave, you there not. Telling you how long you're gonna be in it and. There's. No way you could fake not. Being claustrophobic. In that environment, but they do check that you. Know I had a nap you say yeah. It's. Not yeah but, I, was. Fortunate and that I flew, for, six. Months before I flew for a year, which. Is good training for a year in space because I knew knew what I was getting into I actually. Liked being on the US side, of the space station by myself. Not. That I don't like, the, people on there with but it's just easier, in. A lot of ways it's very quiet it's peaceful when, you put something somewhere you know it's gonna be there when you come back and, have it very orderly. So, I'll actually on this last flight I was alone. Basically, on the US side of the space station for about six, weeks okay yeah. I. Liked, it, and. But. To answer your question yeah yeah how do you deal with the isolation you. Have good connectivity, with, earth I mean you could make phone calls you, have email, you have video conferencing. Capability. I mean people are amazed that the, the. Ability we have to communicate, with, the ground which I find fascinating that, people are shocked, you. Can have email, in space I'm, like yeah you know satellite. Communication. The. Satellite. Satellite. I mean and, with the internet I guess social media plays an increasing, part in an astronaut, that public. Perception thing did you use social media the yeah. I did you know. Before. I launched, President, Obama invited, me to the State, of the Union address, and the he. During. The address, he, challenged, me to Instagram, the experience, so, of, course I tried to do that it's best I could actually, thought felt like you, know engaging with the public with, you. Know social media was kind of a responsibility, you know the public pays for this program. And to keep them involved is important. It, was also good for amiko, and I and our relationship for. Us, have something, it, was kind of like a personal, project to do that, had you, know daily feedback, in how, well you were doing at it with like I mean I worked in payoff when I said yes she worked at the NASA public affairs although, they did they made her do this as a, you. Know outside of her work hours. I'm. Just hard to believe that. That. Was the case but yeah. So I tried to engage the public I often, would have in my free time do some like tweet chats and things one, day actually I'm answering. Questions on a Saturday, on Twitter and President. Obama. Asks. A question he says hey. Scott do. You ever look out the window and just freak out. And. I'm like no. Mr. president I don't really, freak out about anything except, getting a Twitter, question. From you. Within. Seconds, Buzz.
Aldrin Jumps. Into the conversation, and. He says, mr.. President, he's. Only in low-earth orbit, I. Went. I went all the way to the moon. So. I got trolled. While. I was in space, by. The second, man on the moon, it's. Like the greatest thing that's ever happened. What's. Your next big challenge I'm interested sort of you've you've, you're not going back into space presumably, that's that part of your life is finished now you're. Still heavily, involved in NASA though you're on the board. To decide who's the next program I call. My next big challenge tomorrow. Okay. The, abbot's has been going one day after another especially, we won't write in this book we've been on this book tour since October. 16th, with. One day off on the weekends. You. Know it's challenging coming back after a year in space you don't feel well, it's. Hard to adjust back, to life without this very stringent, schedule, I, went. From being a. Government, employee for, nearly 30 years to. Basically. An, employee like, a I. Forget, I don't even know what the right term is a small. Business owner with you, know weight freelance yeah, like a consultant. And had. To establish like. Very quickly to, like kind. Of high end keynote, speeches I wrote this book which took like 18, months wrote. A kids book did. The audio book signed. 27,000. Pippins for this thing you, know all these things this has been one after another after another so I come. January, I'll start to start to think you, know harder about like what do I really want to do for. The next you know five to, ten years well, I'd love to take, some questions maybe I'll work for Google they go I'm, sure we would love to have you so. Have a think about some questions and we'll pass the microphone I've got one more are you talking again let me know yeah yeah yeah. Everything that's so speaking of Google so, I'm in Russia and. The. Head of the National Office in Star City and. My. I, was. Like the lead NASA guy there and the guy who was like the safety engineer he. Says to me one day he goes hey I want to show you something. He. Opens up his computer. And. He says see. This there's. A little, rectangular. Window and I said Google underneath, you said see this you. Should invest all your money in the right, now and. I'm looking at it and I'm like man. I don't get. How. Wrong yeah. I. You. Talk about being. In the astronaut office and being surrounded by these great astronauts, of the history of, which one was Senator. Glenn, um. Have you ever thought about going to politics, is that is that something you'd be interested in you, know I think, I. Would. Have a, lot to contribute the problem I have is. Well. There are a few problems one, is that neither. A Democrat, nor Republican. You. Know in the u.s. I mean I'm. Not a registered independent. But I voted, for Republicans. I voted for Democrats, I'm kind of in the middle on some, issues I look like a Republican on others I look like a Democrat, but. The bigger problem is in, the United States and I you, guys might not even understand, this because this is a uniquely.
Us. Perhaps, a uniquely u.s. thing but we have two, things that prevent. Moderates. From. Winning. Elections. One. Is called gerrymandering. Gerrymandering. Is when you create a political, district. That, includes, all the people of one party and, what. You do is if you're that party you sue the government to say I'm, going to take this swath and it's going to be mostly, Democrats, or mostly Republicans, and the, people in the United States that run in the, primaries. Are, the hardcore, people, in the party they're the extreme, right or the extreme left and if, you're running in one of these gerrymandered. Districts, if you're a Democrat, and you're running in a gerrymander. Democrat. District, you, have to be on the left side of the party the. Extreme, left likewise. The extreme right for a Republican, so. You can't even get on the ticket unless you're an extremist, and the. You either have to be an extremist, or you have to be a very clever liar, you. Know you have to make believe you're on the extreme, then somehow spivot to the center very very hard to do so, it doesn't, make. The. Situation. You. Know acceptable, for, workable. For people, that are moderates. We. Have an independent party in the United States but it's not one that's ever been very successful. Because. Of things like this, thing called citizens united the citizens, united was, a lawsuit but, it allows, corporations. To, give unlimited amounts, of money to political action committees that support candidates so. Basically you, know you become. Beholden. To these, donors, that are giving you tons, of money and if you don't. Want to, be. Somebody's, you know, working. For some, corporation. When. You're really supposed to be representing, the people it's. Hard to win but. You did vote from space, I wrote, it yeah how does that quite an easy process, yeah. Yeah pretty easy I didn't have to wait in line to pop the ballot again that's, good I'm questions. Must, be questions, yeah. There's ten microphone on your left I. Thank. You so much for coming, to visit us really appreciate that question. About the Hubble telescope. How. Was it how. Was it to work on what's it like. So. Yeah my first flight was to Hubble and it's a it's. Really big it's, like the size of a school, bus maybe bigger one. Side of it that you rarely see is, I, don't. Know why you really see this side but does one, side always faces, the Sun it's. Kind of like burnt like. Burnt to a crisp almost. And, but. It's amazing, to see a. An. Instrument, that's been out in space for so long that has shown us more. About, at least the general public, more about the universe. Than. Anything. Else ever. So. I really enjoyed. Working. On it I didn't I didn't do any of the spacewalks cuz I was a pilot of the mission we actually launched right before y2k. On, this flight in. December. And NASA, had. Us land early because they were worried that the computers, on, the space shuttle we're gonna divide by zero and we. Were gonna go through some wormhole. End. Up on the other side of the galaxy. Not. The way to another thousand, years to see if that would have happened you. Won you did get to see the outside of the space station quite a lot and was that you discuss, how the you talk about how that was kind of if, you see the tiny asteroid or, pop up yeah yeah the opportunity on this flight to do three. Spacewalks I'd never never done a spacewalk before, because as, the pilot, or commander of the Space Shuttle you just don't do them because it's, risky, and you're. Critical. To landing, the spacecraft. Safely the. Mission specialists, are more expendable. But. Yeah going outside for the first time is pretty pretty crazy. Neither. Of us had done a spacewalk before, so I was the more experienced, guy so I got to go out first and open the hatch and you open the hatch and earth is, 250. Miles below you and your own, 17,500. Miles an hour and you're making. Sure you're for, one it's hard to get out because the. Suit and the, hole that is the hatch are. Like almost the exact same size. So. And it's square the suits kind of square but this hatch is round, it's like putting them around a square peg in a round hole has. To be perfect to get out and. It, feels like at first you're kind, of climbing down with your head down towards, the earth although you know you don't have gravity so you don't physically. Feel like you're upside down but visually you feel like you're upside down it, was interesting when I got halfway out all.
Of A sudden my orientation. My reference frame shifted, so. Now all of a sudden I felt like I was climbing out of there sunroof. Of a car and, there. Was this alien planet over, my head like in a science. Fiction movie like, right there and I, felt like I was on earth, there. Was this alien planet and it looked like it was just gonna come crashing, down upon me Wow I had to really focus so I didn't like lose anything, or very, distracting, that kind of situation, I think you talked about if you lost focus and we're no longer tethered to the ISS you. That's, you're done for what if you are mile an inch away, well, you know in the u.s. suit we do have a jet, pack that has a little bit of fuel that, you could potentially fly yourself, back if you became, detached. It's, challenging. To use often, when you're practicing, this in a VR situation. You don't miss, you miss the station, altogether and in, those cases you know if you're an inch away and, you can't reach it might as well be a mile away the results are still the same Wow. He's. Got the microphone. To. Hear what the experiences, were like once you return to Earth after. You're in space and was it harder. To can't readjust from, a mental or physical perspective. Yes. So there's you know there's, I think, two general, adjustments. There's the physical and the psychological, part. Physically. You. Know at first you're. You're. Nauseous, although. You. Know I didn't throw up this time I threw up after six months surprising, I didn't throw up after a year I wish I could've but I couldn't I would, have felt a lot better if I got to just puke my guts up, I don't. Know if some, of you ever saw pictures of me coming out of the out, of the Soyuz some up there's one off finally yeah but, anyway I had this you. Get it's interesting the UK book has different pictures but I had. This big big. Smile on my face when, I got, when I landed and. He was not because I was feeling well because I wasn't I was. Just trying to look better than the two guys I was with. Was. Actually hoping to get an Academy Award. But. I understand they sometimes make mistakes so. Maybe. Next time I fly in space for a year you talked about that they carried, you two chairs for the Russian doctors yeah, you, wants them you could walk if you had to you wouldn't walk, well, the. First time I started walking I, make a comment there's, actually this PBS special that just came out and they actually show the video of me in the tent doing. Some post flight tests right after I got back and I say something like yeah, I'm walking and I'm like going like this. Like. I'm walking like Jar Jar Binks. I felt, like Jar Jar Binks but, you for. The first few days you're sore your joints, your muscles are stiff, I had I was nauseous for a week anywhere, my skin touched anything I had rashes, and hives for, a couple of weeks like.
I Said and when I was reading when I stand stood up my legs would swell I could actually see him swelling no, kidding just like us, dealing. All the blood just infusing. In the bottom of my legs it was like and. This is not good. And. How long did that take to get over I would, say the physical, stuff. Completely. A couple, of months, the. Mental. Part of it probably, more like eight. Months, because. You live in this very controlled, environment where. You. Have a schedule that you are following, you. Know every five minutes now sometimes the blocks of time that are dedicated to your activity, are ten, hours if it's a spacewalk other, times if it's throw this switch it's five minutes but you were following that every, all. The time for a year, and. Then when you get home you don't have that anymore and I both, times after my long flights I would, find myself just. Sitting. On the couch with. All this stuff to do but because no one was telling me when to do it or what I had to do I just, sat there, it. Took a while to readapt, to living, on earth. There. Are actually some good physical things, about being in space for a long time and that is when. You when. You don't use your feet all the calluses. They. Fall off takes. A few months it's. Kind of disgusting when you take your socks off and you get this. Cloud. Of foot. Dandruff. You never. Want to take your socks off in the vicinity of one of your crewmates. But. Then when you get you, know after a few months you have these baby feet and I. After, my first, long flight when no one knew who I was and that I was up there like two days after, I got home I went to get a massage one, of these commercial. Massage places, you know at the end of the massage they rub your feet, ladies. Rub my feet and she says, you. Have the softest, feet I have ever felt. An entire life. All. I said to her was thank, you, I'm. Very proud of them when. I, left he's. Probably still still talking about that bald, guy, I. Think. A question of hair. You. Have a new unique experience, saying working, with Russians, and, they'd like, to ask you about a how, would you like to see. That. Doesn't the, future of. Collaborations. With Russia in the mint right, yeah, yeah, I think our space, cooperation, with Russia's, is a great. Example of, how. Two countries. That. At. Times were enemies sometimes, not. Friends. Often. Conflict. But. How we can work together in. This, international, program, for, something. That. We both believe in feel, strongly about and do it as a team and.
In. Space even, on the ground working, preparing. For spaceflight any. Kind of conflict that we ever had our, governments ever had does, not affect, our working relationship, you know we are friends we are colleagues, what. Is more important, to us is supporting, one another our. Personal, safety. You know we have to rely on each other sometimes, for our lives that. Any issues. Between, our countries. We. Never really, even discuss much sometimes you do like when, I was on the space station its when Russia. Moved into Syria, and there, was real concern that, pretty, soon. Due. To some kind of accident you know the US and the Russian military would, have get, into some kind of skirmishes, fortunately, that never happened, we talked about that on the space station but, it almost we, were talking about a kind of in an abstract way like we were talking about not, the United States and Russia but like China and Germany. And. Then. We just realized hey this is on, earth, and we are in space and. That. Those. Issues don't, really, translate. Up here, Mischa, Kornienko. Mikhail Kornienko my. Russian. Brother from another mother, that. I spent the year in space with he would say a few times during the year he says you know if. Our countries ever want to solve their the issues we have with one another all. We need to do is, put our two presidents in space, we're here together. Although. Those two guys might like it too much. This. Table from the back. Hello. Very. Nice work, congratulations. So we are computers, science right so whenever we watch a movie and there's a computer guy doing stuff we, look at that say yeah that never, gonna happen that's not like that how, do you feel when you watch films. Like interstellar, and, Marsh. The Martian, gravity, all, these kind of movies from space that we from our point of view oh that looks amazing might be like that how do you feel about it well, I watched all of those movies in space. Maybe, not interstellar, but I definitely, watched the Martian, and gravity. In space I actually. They sent us the Martian a couple days before it, it, came out we. Watched it like, a preview, actually. Talked, to Matt Damon, on. The phone a couple days before it. Came out he, was interested. In what we were doing it seems like he knew about as much he. Knew as, much about spaces, maybe. George Clooney does. But. The. Martian was pretty accurate I think you, know there, was things there were always things that are wrong with these movies like you know, that. Storm. They had on Mars there's like no atmosphere, on Mars you wouldn't have some like 800 mile an hour you might have an 800 mile an hour wind but it's not going to knock anything over you. Know because there's no air. The. Other thing that was weird. With the Martian is they always called the commander. From the female commander on the rescue ship they, would call her commander, we're. On a first-name basis. Then. Gravity you know gravity's, got all kinds of technical problems with it but it's, exciting. Exciting. Movie, I, think, it's good that they took, that license. To make it really. Dramatic, we. Watched it on the space station they, had this screen, setup in the. Node. One, of the space station which the u.s. laboratory module, is, in the back and. It's. Kind of like watching a movie of your house burning down. Whilst. You are while you're inside of it. But.
There Was the, biggest regret of my, whole year in space, was. We're watching that movie and. Sandra. Bullock in this. Scene with. Her short dark hair is. Floating. Through the lab module, in her underwear and. Samantha. Christopher, ready this Italian, astronaut, woman with. Her short dark hair comes. Floating by in her like spandex. Like gym shorts she ran in and a t-shirt, looking, exactly. Like. Her and I'm thinking I, gotta. Get a picture of this and then, I didn't because I felt like weird about it because. You. Know she was in her gym clothes and, Sandra. Bullock was in her underwear but it would have been the it, would have been the biggest. Tweet, ever from space. You. Actually I think you talked about talk, about that and you were compared with not Watney unfavorably, when you let some flowers yeah, who didn't let the flowers in the system let some flowers just yeah I was just following NASA's rules on taking care we've, grew some vegetables, lettuce, in space and we grew some zinnias, flowers. Which apparently you can eat but you don't, eat them the, idea being if you can you. Know grow, a flower, you can grow maybe something like a tomato and. I was growing these flowers, and, just. Following the directions water, them don't water them water them there, was so much time delay in the NASA system, of looking at the photos about the condition of the flowers when they would tell me to water them they, would. Be almost dead. When. They would tell me to stop watering, them they, would be covered they would be wet and covered in mold. And. I, was fine with that because it was it's not my experiment, I was just doing what I was told and then one day I post, a picture of the flowers, and some guy. Comes, up and he says. You. Are no Mark Watney. Fight. Was on then right and. Then I told NASA. I said okay if, you want these flowers to live you're gonna have to just let me decide when to water them because there's too much time, delay in the system so, I started like touching, them and brought them back to life and got them really nice occasionally, I'd take them down to the Russian segment put. Them on the, duct tape on their table, it's a little centerpiece, when we were having dinner and they, got a lot of attention and people liked the the flowers. One. Day sergei, volkov russian. Guy he system he goes, scott. Why. Are you growing these flowers. And. I say I say Sergei we're. Growing these so if, we can grow these flowers, maybe we can grow something that's more nutritious. That. We can eat to supplement our nutrition. On the space station especially. If we're going to Mars and. Go the plan is you know we grow these flowers then we can grow tomatoes that. We can eat he. Goes, why. Would you want to grow tomatoes, so. We can eat them he goes, you. Should grow potatoes. You. Can live on potatoes, you can't live on Tomatoes and. You can make vodka. This. Is a great. Question. Yep. Hi. Thank you very much for a very inspiring, can. You show some thoughts about the potential, of building a colony, on Mars the. Necessity. Feasibility. And maybe even timeline. Journey. To Mars yeah in a colony Tomas you know I was asked a question when, I was on the on the, space.
Station By, a reporter, and. The question was now that NASA has determined, that there is liquid water on Mars sometime. During, the year will. That help us get there any sooner. Said. I don't know maybe. Now. If we found money on Mars. That. Would help us get there real quick because, that's what we need is money right, my, brother often says you know going to Mars is not about rocket science it's about the political science, you. Know I think we know a, lot of what we need to know to. Get. The crew a crew, to Mars to, support, them on the surface it's. Just going to be really expensive and to. Do that you. Need you know representatives. In government that, are that. Are science, minded, people that believe, in science. We. Don't have enough of that in the United States so. I. Think. Us. Getting. To Mars is, doable. I think it's doable today but. I don't think it's gonna happen anytime soon. Because, at least in the US government I mean my. Concern is less about going to Mars than it is about. Members. Of Congress, not believing, that 97%. Of the experts, scientists. Are. Correct. When they say we are responsible. For, in, some ways responsible for climate change that's a bigger concern of mine when, you have people that are not. Don't. Come from a technical background, and can say I disagree, with all these experts I mean that's that's. Arrogance. To an amazing, degree. That. We, have to get past, that before, we can do anything like going to Mars someday. Do. You think that, so. One, more question on commercial. Space travel, so within Virgin, Galactic and SpaceX the, space. Tourism seems to be inching ever closer do. You think that will ever reduce the risk enough that that will happen you talk about the one in 70 odds you, know do you think that's where the risk. Lies absolutely. You know absolutely I think we are on a cusp of. You. Know technological. Advances, that, you. Know whether it's in space flight or self-driving. Vehicles. Self piloted, cars I think, you know we're kind of getting into a revolution, you know certainly with spaceflight you know it's gonna be risky people will die it's. Like in the early days of aviation but you, know hopefully, within our lifetimes you're gonna be able to you, know hop on a. Rocket-powered, airplane, or whatever you want to call it and be. In, New York in 30 minutes, to, be really would you be first first in line for that it, depends on how much they paid me. Yeah. All right let's take one more question any good one more question and I want to just leave with a final thought great man at the back. Thank. You. So. My question is like thinking, about your entire career, from, first, day at school to. First time flying on your own first. Time in space doing a spacewalk like. What was the biggest jump. In scariness, and did. The previous jumps, help you with that.
Definitely, A career yeah definitely building. Block. You know I would say the. Scariest thing I've ever done is landing on an aircraft carrier at night you. Know half the time it's terrifying, the. Other half is just scary. The. Most like, holy shit moment, though would, be the, first time you fly in space and those solid rocket motors light and you feel every pound, of that seven million pound of thrust and. That's more than a holy shit moment that's like a holy. Something. Else moment, where. It, is so shocking, that, and. So, surprising. And so unexpected that when, I I, flew my first, flight like, three years before my brother ever flew into space so I had three years to explain, to him what that was going to be like and he. Was a combat, pilot through the a6 in the Gulf War test, pilot, same, astronaut, class. Basically. You, know same, DNA as me I tried. To explain that to him when. He landed, and the hatch opened, and he, came out of the shuttle the. First thing he said to me I was waiting right there he said I had no idea what that was gonna be like none. I mean, that is how amazing. Absolutely amazing, it, is. Thank. You so, before, we. Leave yeah I just like to leave you all with you. Know one final, thought on my my, experience, in space, and that is you, know when I was leaving. The space station, this is a space station I spent 500 days of my life on over, three flights. I flew my first flight to Hubble it was a week, second. Flight was two, weeks third, flight 159. Days fourth. Flight was, 340. Some. Smart guy told me that's a second-order, polynomial. If. You graph it if, I fly in space again I don't really come back it, goes asymptotic. Almost. Maybe. It's like five, and a half year mission but. I'm leaving the space station I'm looking at this thing out the window what I can see from the little window of them thinking. You know we built this thing a million, pounds, the, size of a football field or pitch. Football. Pitch, while. Flying around the earth at 17,500. Miles, an hour in a vacuum in. Extremes, of temperatures, of plus and minus 270. Degrees, built. With this international partnership, of 15 different countries, different. Cultures different, languages different technical. Ways of doing things. Put. Together by astronauts, and cosmonauts in, space in these difficult. Or work space suits. Connecting. These modules, some of which had never touched each other before on our first, time they ever met was in space. This. Is the hardest thing we've ever done, absolutely. Convinced. Of it harder than going to the moon and if, we can do this we can do anything if, we want to go to Mars we can go to Mars, if, we want to cure cancer and put the resources behind it we can cure cancer if. We want to fix our problems with the environment. Challenges. In my country in the United States which there are many I think they are all solvable. Challenges. You guys have in your industry. In your. Country. Here or wherever you may come from I was, absolutely, inspired, after spending a year in space that. If we can dream it we can do it thank, you very much ladies and gentlemen Scotty. You. You.