A couple weeks ago, I got a chance to interview Rex Walheim—astronaut, test pilot, and all-around swell guy. He answered five questions BoingBoing readers had about what it takes to be chosen for the space program and what the experience of training to be an astronaut is like. Unfortunately, we only had 10 minutes to talk, so there were a lot of good questions that had to be skipped over.
But here's where the "swell guy" part comes in. Walheim liked your questions as much as I did, so he set aside a half hour for us last week, to answer some of the queries we couldn't get to during the first interview.
There's some really great stuff in here. Want to know what songs to listen to in space? Curious about what the ISS smells like? Perhaps you'd like to know why Rex Walheim thinks politicians should have to spend some time orbiting the Earth? Read on for a candid look inside the life of an astronaut. Read the rest
Rex Walheim is an astronaut. He's gone to space three times, including on the last flight of the space shuttle. He has spent an accumulated 36 hours outside the ISS on spacewalks. He has tweeted from 240 miles above sea level.
Walheim reached those heights the old-fashioned way: Air Force test pilot school (plus a masters in industrial engineering). But his isn't the only path to the stars. Today, NASA has Walheim chatting with lots of different news outlets about the astronaut recruitment process and what it takes, in the modern world, to have the right stuff. I got to talk to him this morning. Walheim was kind enough to answer five questions, submitted by BoingBoing readers, about astronaut training, the astronaut selection process, and how the Earth-bound can recreate some of the astronaut experience in our daily lives.