Xeni Jardin at 5:04 pm Mon, Feb 18, 2013
ADVERTISE AT BOING BOING!
Isn’t he a game changer in space? Bill Shatner – Cooking – Reddit
Here is a test pilot – RMC Grad – astronaut – who understands how to tell a story
He can tell a story. He can sing a story!
man, that was SUCH a good read. scientist, astronaut, musician, compassionate thinker, poet, super-savvy PR internet user, fantastic moustache… is there anything he CANNOT do?
He sounds like a grand fellow, and he does a brilliant job in that AMA.
Still, it’s rather a shame that no-one has ever come up with a useful purpose for the space station, excluding propaganda (which isn’t inconsequential; getting people excited about science and human achievement matters). It’s an awful lot of money, a lot of time and effort from brilliant people like Mr. Hadfield, and all to obtain no discernable results. At a time when our unmanned space exploration program is going from strength to strength, it’s a real struggle to think of anything worthwhile accomplished by manned spaceflight over the last few decades.
No one could think of a useful purpose for high-energy nuclear physics and particle accelerators, but now we have CAT scans and MRI machines, and we’ve probably discovered that the Higgs boson is actually pretty boring by the standards of the field.
The ISS allows us to perform all sorts of experiments with respect to human life and survival in low/zero gravity for extended periods of time, as well as experiments on the effects of exposure to greater levels of radiation due to being outside of the protective atmosphere of the Earth. These are of particular importance if we are going to have any sort of regular travel to and from the Moon or Mars. There are likewise a whole host of experiments on other forms of life (fruit flies, etc.) that can yield useful biological and behavioural information for how life adapts to zero gravity.
Initial studies, for example, have shown that some bacteria have come back from space more aggressive and effective. That’s something that definitely needs to be understood better before we start setting up interplanetary flights out to the Red Planet.
It’s my feeling that it’s all working toward a human race that can’t be made extinct by destroying our planet.
There is every chance that, before that happens, we will make ourselves extinct without destroying the planet.
Yeah. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.
International Space Station Experiment Results
I love all this PR Chris Hadfield’s doing but — not to go all space fanboy on you — he’s not the commander of the ISS until Expedition 34 (Ford, Novitskly and Tarelkin) returns in March. Hadfield’s commander from March-May.
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