Jeff Williams, the NASA astronaut, had a live session of questions & answers with his hometown in Wisconsin. Most of the city’s 306 inhabitants came to the school’s gymnasium to get inspired. It is not the first time an astronaut calls home, but each time the moment is impressive and highly emotional.
The call was made through Internet and radio connection, from Winter, Wisconsin to the International Space Station that is now orbiting North America. Johnson Space Center made an introduction for the call.
People from Winter welcomed him wearing yellow T-shirts as a commemoration of Mission 47.
“Station, this is Winter, Wisconsin School District. How do you read me?”
Students asked dozens of questions on the experiments Williams is making in space, and how laboratory mice are feeling on the space station. Williams assured them the tiny cute creatures were correctly fed. No mice ever managed to escape.
A college student asked how the space station has enough energy to function up in the space. Williams answered that it is strictly by using the power of the sun, which is kept in charge batteries for times when the station is not under direct sunlight.
Another question was on how men can stay for longer periods of time in space and how to confront the side effects of weightlessness. The astronaut said that each mission is an opportunity to learn more and that nutrition and exercising play a significant role in preserving the body mass.
The training for a space mission lasts two and a half years. Williams said his favorite thing while in space was taking pictures of the Earth and sharing them on social media. The astronaut and his two Russian colleagues will return home in September.
The International Space Station completes an Earth orbit every 90 minutes. Since 1998, 222 people from 18 nations have visited the station.
Jeff Williams is a retired colonel in the US Army. He was selected to work with NASA shortly before his retirement. His missions include two successful walks in space. In 2002, Williams spent six days working in an underwater laboratory called Aquarius. He wrote a book on his space missions and has three grandchildren.
The astronaut is remembered by his former colleagues and friends as being “the smart one.” Everyone in his hometown is looking fond towards him, and he kept close with his friends from home.
Williams is now at his 4th space mission, which will make him the man who spent the longest period in space.
Image Source: Wikipedia