tv Chasing Space CSPAN June 25, 2017 7:50pm-8:56pm EDT
assistant manager of the children and teenager department welcome to our yvette this evening the official web site for our guest says it all the only person drafted to the nfl and then to fly in space a career in a vast body of experience is taking him from the gridiron as the administrator and beyond i mean to read a 50 miles above the earth beyond born in virginia before he went to university of virginia on a scholarship earning his bachelor's degree in chemistry ennead a hamstring injury but in 1991 he received his master's degree from the university of virginia and in working to
create optical fiber sensors resulting in publications of numerous scientific journals as well as the health monitoring team and was selected to be an astronaut 1998 and has logged more than 565 hours in space including two missions to the international space station as a mission specialist since then appointed the head of nasa education serving with the co-chair with science technology engineering mathematics to develop the five-year stem education plan a global collaboration warning about space when he is said to expire at
at --- inspiring the next generation he pursues a hobby as a photographer and writer his story cannot last week as well as the younger readers addition that is available the children and youth department it is an honor and privilege to introduce our author. [cheers and applause] >> thank you very much this is my first book signing and i am so broadway by my friends and family and colleagues but i have always thought maybe writing a book one day but i did not know the process so were the things that happen so about
april 2001 my parents had a 35th wedding anniversary i was sitting in the car with my cousin phyllis and a friend of hers neem genet so this is where my life changed in a dramatic way so phyllis was a cousin from north carolina her friend was a person who had a message for me and i did not know her i just met her she said something will happen to you no one will know why this happened you'll be healed and he will fly in space to share this story with the world. i say okay. thinks for the information. [laughter]
was time for me to train. said the extra of vehicle trading the was trained to do a space walk. in this suit there is a little pad that is about that big and velcro into a the helmet to pressure to clear your years genet said something will happen nobody will know why so this flashed before my face so now i'm going down in the 6 million-gallon pool and the pad is not in my helmet so i do have to press your nose to clear your ears?
will i can do that sawyer frantically moving and realize the pad is not in my helmet were trying to tell the test director and then telling them it is an berry said don't yourself try to keep going because there are 200 people supporting this training run so my friend was one of my classmates on the other side he is already down at the bottom of the pool supply will not hold him up they have been waiting almost three years to do this trading because it is the gateway to get a flight assignment quickly so the two of us would probably get signed pretty quickly if we could demonstrate we could do this training so it 20 feet until the test director to turn up the
volume and i hear nothing but static and white norway's so they rushed me out there popoff my helmet the doctor walks over and says how many people have read the book? a you know, all of this. [laughter] the doctors talking but i don't hear anything said he touches my right to your and shows the blood coming out reconfigure this out. we can make this better so they rushed me to the hospital there is a doctor there who was a day -- and your nose throw to the 25 at
what happened so they operate the start pressing on these to windows but thought there was an area where the food was leaking out a reading was intact so have a picture in the book right after the surgery all the doctors have their heads down and resistor is bare so all the communication i do in a hospital after the surgery is through the yellow legal pad that is why communicate -- all my friends are here. [laughter] so have the big legal pad
they could not find anything we don't know what happened so at that moment win everyone leaves i tried to figure out what is going on mr. watching the movie good will hunting so when matt damon solves the problem on the board and comes back on the subway there is this music playing this moment of satisfaction and whenever i would hear that music would be so inspiring that i realized i could not hear what i watched the video of him sitting in the car feeling this euphoria and
i'll probably focus more so i can really understand what is going on. but the flight surgeons at nasa said i would never fly in space because we don't note what happened to you we don't know what happened. we don't have a smoking gun so if we put you in space if this happened again and have to jeopardize the mission. they said very emphatically you will never, ever fly in space. said, okay. and i then tri-tried to figure out my next step nasa. that's when i met my education friends in here. i came up to washington, dc to work this program called the educator astronaut program. so we were going to hire teachers to become astronauts and doing it through the students. what's your name? so we were getting -- the rafys
of the world to nominate their teachers to be astronaut, and that was in 2003. started out january of 2003. i've been here for maybe about, what, six months or so. and getting the team together, starting this program, and then we win on the road to start it off, february 1st of 2003, many of you know what happened. we last space shuttle columbia, i was actually driving from d.c. back to lynchburg. my parents still live there and i was driving home to see them. and the head of nasa, deanna lawson, she called me on the cell phone and said leyland the orbiter is late, the shuttle is late. when we land we have in fuel left so it's a glider coming in and it's accurate. the countdown clock gets to zero. the countdown clock was counting up. said how late it?
she said, it's late. so i turned around, going down- -- i can think i was on 66 going home and i turned around and came back, and everyone at nasa headquarters was assembling this team of people trying to figure out what happened. but as astronauts the first thing we do is take care of our families. and so at that point i was told to drive out to washington, virginia, david brun -- the mission specialist on the flight, where his parents left atop browns mountain. drove out there. it was nighttime, there were satellite trucks on the side of the road. a state trooper was blocking entrance to the mountain because a reporter had acted as florist to get the story, and just kind of bum-rushed up to get the story. so they let me through and i walked in the house, and i'll never forget this moment.
it was very transformative. i'm going to there to console -- i walk in and i hug david's mom, dooley, andber both crying. his father, judge brown in a wheelchair. go over to hug him, and he says something to me that just galvanized my spirit to make a difference. and again, i'm not flying, aisle still medically disqualified. he said my son is gone. there's nothing you can to do bring him back about the biggest tragedy would be if we don't continue to fly in space to honor them, by carrying on their legacy. he is already thinking about the legacy of his son, and then we started crying, and i stay there i think overnight, and we're just trying to figure this thing out. and i'm -- so honor the legacy
by flying, by continuing to fly. and the doctors have told me, you're never going to fly. so i'm trying to figure out how to honor the legacy. his father, judge brown, told me this thing that real impacted me. and over the next few months we fly in the nasa airplane to the different memorial services around the country. we're taking off and landing, and the head of all the flying surgeons, dr. rich williams, he is sitting beside me on every flight. i didn't even think about that. just sitting there and he's taking notes, and we take off and we land and i squeeze my nose and clear my ears and so now it's about may -- the middle of may, and the educator astronaut program is wrapping up at headquarters. we're about to send all of the applicants down to houston to go through the astronaut selection process, and so my work in d.c. is done. i'm going back to houston.
and dr. rip williams calls me in his office and says, he leland, every been watching you clear your ears, i believe in you, and signs a waiver to fly in space. the moral of the story for the rafy and the kids in here is that you never know what's going to happen but you always, always, have to keep going and believe in yourself, and sometimes when you don't believe in yourself there are other people that do believe in you, and i've always through this book, throughout my life, i've had people that have believed in me when i didn't believe in myself. it started out at a very early age, and some of the people in the room are part of that community that fueled my curiosity, that helped me get through different things, and this moment, is kind of like a crossroads in my life as an astronaut. without this piece of paper written by the chief flight
surgeon, i would have never flown in space. and then this prophecy from this woman, jeannette who is never met before, she said these worths to me and that -- words to me and that also gave me hope. that's kind of really what this book is about. it's about the little engine that could. think i can, i think i can. curious george, rafy, have you read curious george? you like it. >> sort of. >> he was my guy. okay. you need to read it again. but, no, having this spirit of curiosity and explore asia -- exploration and having it instilled in you at an earl age was begin to me through my community, through my parents, and i never forget the day that my father -- he was school teacher. he drove this -- my dad did all these different jobs. he was a school teacher, played in the band, did all these
different things to make money to give me my piano lessons less and -- clarinet lessons and all these lessons. he worked hard so i could get these things. the day he drove a bread truck into our driveway was the die i said -- the day i said, okay, you're going be a bread delivery man now? what's the deal here. this is when learned about vision. the bred truck drove in, we got in it, we look at it, smelled like bred still, and he said thisser is our camper. and i said, no, it's not. it's a bread truck. he says the bread on the side of it. didn't have a vision. but he did. he was always doing things on the cheap, you know, to take care of his family, and this bread truck cost $500, and over that summer i became an engineer. i helped rewire the truck electrically. i built bunk beds that flipped
down from the side of the truck that my sister and i slept in. we had sometimes roll out of the beds but over this summer i learned what engineering science was about and learned what it meant to have a vision for something to have this thing being converted and being repurposed for something else, and it wasn't still until we pained the bread sign off the truck that i realized it was our camper and we spent countless summers driving across the country in bread truck that was now a camper. so these lessons of the book is chasing space, an astronaut's are so of grit, grace and second chances. the grit was always -- i was always seeing that in my mom and dad. and the other most beautiful thing about my parents was that they were beg school teachers in
lynchburg, virginia, for 30-plus years, and i retired from nasa, my friends here my nasa friends can retired in 2014 to move back home to be with my father. he wasn't doing well. and i got home on a sunday, and my dad and i had this incredible conversation, most beautiful conversation. actually kind of one of these conversations where we kind of flipped the script. when i was a kid -- daddy, why don't you take a bad? i don't stink. i don't need a bath. i'm talking to him and he said i don't need a bad. it's bath night. did your mother tell you i need a bath? i don't need a bath. having this conversation and it was beautiful. and then the next day he was gone. and i was trying to figure out my life as an astronaut, life as a associate administrator for education, all these 24 years working with mass sacker that identity was gone because i had
retired from it. moved from d.c., moved back home and the reason i moved home was to be with my dad, and he is now gone. so i had to -- that was a moment of really trying to dig deep and understand the purpose and why i'm here and i've been told that mark twain always said the two most important dives your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why. why? what is our century i was today by my editor when i said -- he said mark twain didn't really say that. but if you look in the book, there's no mark twain reference there. but i still use mark twain because it sounds kind of cool, i think. but figuring that why out, and as a society, in this day and age, with all the things that are going on, all of us collectively figuring out why we're here to help impact the rafys and the people that are here that are going to be the explorers that help change our
planet for the positive. that's why i wrote this book. and it's the jeannette, you will share your story, it's the family community not giving up, believing in me when i didn't believe in myself, and it's a journey of stem education, signs, technology, arts and mathematics. i grew up not knowing what steam was but i was living it every day with piano lessons and building bicycles and bread trucks and all these different things, and i think one of the thing that's going to help us as a civilization is when we realize that we're really on this really small little blue marble together, technically working together as one civilization, granted we don't always see this happening every day, but from the vantage point of he international space station, when i look out over
virginia and i see my home town from space, it's only 240 miles up. the distance from d.c. to new york. not that far, really. going around the planet every 190 minutes, seeing a sunrise and a sunset every 45 minutes, doing this with people we used to fight against i. was there with the russians and the germans, and having these moments where i'm flying over virginia, five minutes later we're over paris, where leo, one of my crew mates is looking down, my mom is probably eating down there, too, and russia, they're in a couple minutes. i shows you how connected we are as a people, and then flying over afghanistan and looking down and seeing how beautiful it is, but knowing what is happening down there. aleppo, all these maces of unrest and fighting and these things going on, but from that
vantage point it's simply stunning. i'll try to get you all signed up for spacex mission i have some coupons up here. you might be the lucky one to get the spacex right but if you get an opportunity and whether it's through vr or whatever the experience you ha to get to see this, it fundamentally, cognitively changes you as a person to make you want to do better when you see our planet from that van take opinion, and on my first mission in 2008 i was up there with dr. peggy whitson, the first female commander of the mission -- for the young ladies in here -- any young ladies in here? okay. just want to tell you that experiencing peggy, running the
show, large and in charge, with all of these men, was one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen. and to have that respect and that excellence was just remarkable. and so she is up there now. i talked to her maybe three months ago. she's going to be the longest running u.s. astronaut in space, 650 days. yeah. and i think she has the length record but also the number of space walks record. the length of hours in space walks, too. they just did one the other day for a couple hours to fix some stuff. another thing the book, i call it the space sphoerg smorgasbord. we installed the columbus laboratory, and when i fir got the assignment, there was a
maybe 20 german anything controllers in houston and they were there working together with the flight directors and people to make sure that everything was in place. the procedures procedures and an play to stall is in columbus laboratory, and so they had found out i was now assigned to be the robotic arm operator to install their baby. they had been waiting ten years to install this mod dual, and all their job security depend on me installing it properly. so i walk into the room and there were these 20 guys, and they're like, high-firing me and chest-bumping me and all that. youer going to install our baby, and we have been waiting all this time. and then as i started to walk out of the room, this one guy looks at me and he says, mr. melvin, we have been witnessing ten -- we have been waiting ten years, don't screw
it up. and so in space, my hands on the rotational hand controller, the translational hand controller, and i've now grappled the columbus laboratory and i'm unberthing it from the payload bay of the space shuttle. so coming up, and now we're starting to turn it and position it to install it to the side of the space station. it's getting closer and closer and closer. the motion stops. and i'm still pulling the hand controller. and in the back of my mind i hear this "don't screw it up." what happened, there are these four ready to latch indicators that are springloadded and they tell you the orientation. so if you're like this, you'll see on the computer monitor that these or two engaged but these are not so you know you need to pitch done a little bit, our pitch up a little bit or
whatever you need to get all four connected to the same time. so, peggy whitson, she is watching all this, kind of like floating behind, looking, and this -- i was moving the hand control sore slowly, just trying it get very slowly that the four indicators just stalled the motion out. and peggy said, leland, pull. and i pulled one time, chh, all indicators lighted up and it was berthed to the space station. all the people in germany and europe were you celebrating and weren't saying my name in vain. and i'll never forget that moment. that was my major task to do on this mission, my prime -- the primary task, actually. the other was to bring dan toni home and transfer some other things and i'll never forget the night we installed europe's baby.
it was -- i had this cognitive shift in my head because peggi invite to us dinner russian segmentment she said you flow over with the rehydrated vegetables and we'll have the meat. all my team has heard this story. you're like, not that story again. so, float over with this food, and there's sade playing to thank you speakers "smooth operator" and dan is floating around singing. ♪ smooth operator. ♪ and that's a table over there and they've been heating up cans of russian meats and we come in swoop down with the vegetables and velcro them to the table and there's some hot sauce there veil thed -- kelsoed to the cabe and we're about to have this incredible meal and that's when
i look out the window, and i think we're coming over virginia or i can kind of see the virginia area, and i just look around me and see who i'm breaking bread with and that's when i had this shift of, we got to take care of this place. we got to work together. we got to do better. and after that moment, we did the rest of our task and i came back home, and it fundamental will you changed me. and i wanted to help make this a better civilization. and so i hope when you read the book you see that piece in there because that is what everyone of us needs to do to make sure that wear doing our part to keep us thriving as a civilization, and so, again, these are all little points and pieces in "chasing space" i want to hear from your heart why i put those things in there, and then kind of the ending of the book is kind of
like the future of our little guys, and girls and make sure they have the tools they need to take our places and to be effective, and a lot of that is having access and being able to utilize the internet and if they don't have something in school, lots times in school it's teaching to the test and don't get they hands-on thing is had when i was a kid, and we have created this web site called steamographyy that part of my team is here and we just kind of celebrated the launch of this -- the children's book but also steamographyy at leland melvin.com and you -- it tells the story through images, video, shedowny, starting with a little skinny kid in virginia what wanted to be arthur ashe and not neil armstrong, because i saw arthur ashe looked like me doing incredible things and i didn't
identify with neil armstrong, even though everyone wanted to be neil armstrong walking on the moon mitchell journey to becoming an astronaut was never one of i want to be an astronaut. it was people that said you would be a good astronaut. and i said, really, me? i don't see that. but it was kind of meandered on to that. so, how is our time? >> we're good. >> want to do some questions now? anyone have any questions? >> we have a microphone over there if you want to queue up behind the mic. >> what's that? >> can i come -- >> definitely. yes, sir. >> i'm sam hancock of emerald planet tv. the question is in the current political and economic environment, is that with almost the reaction area we don't want to -- reactionary in stained we
don't want to feel but we to an win and not do the best we cannot just for our country but for the earth. how do we rekindle that to thing you -- to thing you so we are not fearful but we embrace and it carry forward in the future so we have another hundred years of abundance instead of being fearful about what we may not have. >> right. >> and thank you for being here. heard you on the radio the other day. >> science friday? >> very nice job. >> thank you very much. when i win on the show, i'm like -- but you're an astronaut. >> very nice job. >> thank you very much. so, not fearing. i think we -- a lot of this we're looking to our government to fix things, and i know that when i grew up as a child in lynchburg, virginia, i wasn't
thinking about good. i was thinking about the opportunities my parents gave me and what they instilled in me, and so however we can get back home in -- i know a lot of kids don't have what i had, but we as a community have to instill this sense of can-do spirit. the curious george' piece, curiosity, that we'll explore and continue to do things, and whatever administration in office is at the time they have their agendas, their policies, their things, but i think it's more grassroots where things get done, and hopefully that cue can engender this type of spirit in the youth in the groups that need to get these things done to carry those messages forward. we have to work with our government. have to work with the policies, but if enough people are shouting loud enough to say that
we need do these things, and they vote in a particular way, that's where the change happens. we can't be an the tuck at home and say -- apathetic at home and throw our hand up. we have to have a strong voice and lift up our kids and inspire our communes and band together as a community to make the change and make the difference. >> what's your name and what grade are you in? >> my name is -- i am in third grade. and i have two questions. one is a comment -- a question, actually imhave a friend who wanted to be an engineer nasa. if that's one thing that want to say to him, what would that be? >> he wants to been engineer at nasa. >> yes. >> his names is --
>> kai. >> tell kai that he -- the first thing he needs to do is believe in himself. all right? you have to believe in yourself that you can do anything. the other thing is to work very hard and be very disciplined. science and engineering are very kind of exacting subjects, and the more that you study it, the more you learn it,ed the better you'll be at executing it. so, work hard, tell him too toe eat his green beans. okay? got to be healthy. while you're making those decisions. and to have fun. and be curious. okay? you got that? >> yes. >> okay. >> and another question is, what do you think -- how did you feel being up in space. >> how did i feel in space? good question. good question. when i first got to space, after
the eight knopf minute others lens -- takes eight and a half minutes to get into space. was strapped into my seat and i started seeing thing floating around me. like the pen i dropped is floating, dusts particles, a piece of paper, but i'm still strapped in, and right when the engines cut off, because of my -- you have this inner ear which tells you what orientation you're in. that no longer works once you get to space, and so i felt like i was doing somerault. so i unfastened my seatbelt and then i was like a pinning pong ball going back and forth. and then i had to get to work because the job was to take video of the external tank falling down to the planet.
i started filming that. is went away and i saw the beauty of our planet, the blues and greens of the oceans, and then about an hour late are i got sick. i didn't feel sick but igor -- something like, woo, something is happen here and i got the bag and, bla, and back to work. i felt great. saw beautiful things issue got sick, got back to work, we had great meal, and it was incredible. >> thank you. it was an honor listening and speaking with you. >> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> good questions. nye questions? any other questions? i can keep talking. is that mr. -- come on up. come on up and ask a question. it's my god son. come on, micah. what's your question? both of you come up. what's your question?
come up here. >> what are your dogs' names? >> one is jake and one is scout. and jake is the one on the right, like in my ear, and scout is, like, watt are you doing, man? what are you doing? good question, sir. all right. miya, do you have a question? no questions? you let your brother ask all the questions? okay. all right. let's see you in a little bit, okay? good questions. any other questions? yes, sir. come on up. thank you for coming out everyone. it's really inspiring. this is really nice. yes, sir. >> i want to do it right here. >> yes. >> so, first off, hey, man. >> hey. >> second he, we have this president that is retracting so many different things about
climate change, right? so this recently announcing about france and coming back about climate and then you having so much direct experience about the planet, what do you think about that? what's your recommendation about that? given what we're dealing with today. >> so, i was at the march for science. i believe that we have censors we have data senior -- sensors headquarters data and we're seeing changes in our environment daily due to the effects of humans -- to the effects of cow us actually. the methanes that cows produce because our penchant for red meat or fields and fields and fields to grow cows for consumption, and so the combination of methane, co2 from
car, all these things are definitely impacting our planet. if you think about the oceans, we're talking about by 2050 the oceans becoming sterile because of all of the co2 getting absorbed and creating a toxic environment for our wildlife in the oceans. looking at the planet from that vantage point i can see the amazon burning. you can see dish didn't see -- because of the timing between the two mission is didn't see ice shelves caving and those kind of things but i see that indication every day with video, with movies like "chasing ice" and all the document riz showing us what is happening to our planet. the data doesn't lie. the data doesn't lie. so we grassroots, whether it's a grassroots effort, whether -- whatever we have toadish.
>> what do we do. >> what can we do? >> what do we. >> that's a very good question. if the current administration says this is our policy, you know, that's the law of the land. there are rogue epa web site, rogue nasa site, sites that are keeping the data alive so that after this administration, things may turn a different way. the administration -- who knows how long this is going last. i'm hopeful but, again, it's making sure that micah and miya know what is going on. it's making sure that rafy knows, making sure that this student, that is in high school, this student going to college is going to be forefront to help us how to figure out how to fix the solution.
i don't have the answer but. >> but you have a perspective. >> yes. it's happening. i know it's happening. >> thank you. >> there was a picture taken in -- come on up. hey. theirs a picture taken in 1968 when apollo 8 went behind the moon and coming ban around we shot this picture of the earth rising. it was an iconic picture in the '70s that fueled the environmental movement. the epa started after that picture was taken, and 2018 will be 50 years after that picture was taken, and so i'm work with a group to see if we can try to change that -- course correct the ship because what is going to happen in the next 50 years in 2068, are we going to have a planet for our kids?
and so we all have to make sure that we are awake and watching and seeing and using our voices and using our votes to make sure we have a 2068 for our kids. which is so important. okay. >> hello. i want to know what you think about diversity in the astronaut corps and thinking about your selection process and i believe it was big class that year. >> it was 25 u.s. and six internationals. >> then thinking about the number of minority inside nasa, and do you think it's getting better or is there anything we can do to help increase diversity so that when astronaut classes come out, that there's more than just one? >> right. i was one. >> i know. >> that's a good question. very good question. i think the movie "hidden figure
s" helped people see the work that has been going on a long time this, diversity in nasa and i had to chance to city catherine johnson a week ago and he as asking me about mars, when are we going to get people on mars, and if you look on the back of the book, she wrote a little quote there, and she was just so proud to see a black man flying in space, when she had calculated the trajectories to get john glenn going around the planet, orbiting to match eury gregarian, i think it's gotten better. i know that in any organization, any society, there are ." s --isms" "the only way to break
that down is really to break bread with people to have a conversation to sit down and talk about what happened here in your childhood in your life and what happened to them and i think people sometimes are afraid to let people that don't look like them or don't talk lime think or don't have the same cultural background as them because they don't feel as comfortable, and so -- i know that we were having those conversations in space. so the people that are in the -- that are making the decisions in the astronaut corps -- i was an selection board two times and was ensuring was doing my part to make sure the group of people coming in were as diverse in a number of ways i. think it's better but sometimes the final outcome -- we approximately bring in -- this last astronaut class -- you have applied how many times? two times. okay. so, scientists applied two times. applied once and got in.
at that point, there's so many things that factor in. there's michigan, there's diversity from an engineering eg and sciencic standpoint of the people coming in. >> do you think part of that is getting more minorities to apply so that the numbers in that selection become -- >> i remember when i applied, i was -- how many of you know charlie bolden, the nasa administration, the first african-american administrator, flew four missions, the first nation deploy the hubble space telescope. i was in washington, dc and was thinking about applying, he said you pants get in unless annual apply. how many people think about becoming an astronaut but never apply? so we have to make sure that people follow through with that final piece because i've heard
of a lot of people after the mar -- 18,000 people applied to this current selection because of "the martian" watching matt daman and poop and make potatoes from his poop. i'm sure the numbers were diversement how many of these people actually applied in and that's the follow-through we need to make sure that people apply. someone said, you need to apply. actually it wasn't -- what happened -- let me tell you what happened. it's in the book. got the application, this friend of mine said -- a professor, professor at university of maryland. he said, leland you 0 be a great astronaut. handed met the application. i set it down. my friend charlie kamarta applies and gets in. said to myself, if that knucklehead can get in, i can get in, too. so it was more of a competition,
and applied and got. in between that time of him getting in, he flew back to nasa langley with john young. you know john young. john young flew every vehicle known to humans in the space program. he flew sts1, columbia. he walked on the moon. so when john young tells you should apply, guess you should apply, and i applied when he came and talked to us. so, i guess a lot of people dent apply. they talk about it but don't follow through. you had a followup. >> thank you for being an inspiration. >> thank you. [applause] >> i am originally from puerto rico. you were the first astronaut i met in 2003 when you visited my school. >> i was?
>> correct. i just am just here to let you know that this is part of your legacy. i was inspired by then. could i not go to talk to you because i could not speak english by then, and i was inspired to continue grad school and nowdays i'm a scientist, and i'm a -- we are with you. we're part of the first high seas mission on mars, and we are here with you to inspire. >> i'm here with you. >> como esta? that's what it is about, having people coming together as a community, figuring out how to get other people inspired, and i had that, and i mean that's a
testament to my father and my mother of their legacy and what they did and i want to carry that on. so thank you for sharing that. >> yes, sir. >> my name is dylan morris, and my question is, what inspired you to write the book "chasing space"? >> i'm going to share this journey with the world. and then also just going through my life and having all these things happen it would be best to share that. i wasn't an a student. was perfect as everything i did. i had -- almost went to jail. it was a time when i -- after graduated from high school i almost had a run-in with the law and almost was in prison, and some other things happened. so, life is sometime not always perfect and not always easy, but
the things in life that are meaningful are worth doing and worth striving for and overcoming the obstacles and so that's kind of some of the things i wanted to share, and to help inspire you, to see my journey and say, if leland can do it, i can do it. if that knucklehead can do it, i can do it. those are the reasons why. what grade are you in. >> i'm in sixth grade. >> what do you want to do when grow up? >> an nba player. >> okay, okay. so, are you good at math? >> yes. >> so, to get all your math down so you can count all your money. so that they don't take your money from you and invest it in something -- learn how to invest you money, but make sure that you have your education so that you -- if that nba career doesn't pan out, my nfl career didn't pan out because i got injured. so always have your education as your backup plan just in case that doesn't work out and you
can do anything. you can do anything you put your mind to. so good luck on your nba. point guard? steph curry? >> no. >> okay. >> thank you. >> good luck. >> count that money, now. >> hi, hi name is ben and i was noticing you were talking about how you grew up and you saw people like neil armstrong walking on the moon, john young, and then got to by part of the program, the shuttle program. now, the shuttle is gong. this on way to get into space i soyuz and nasa's plan for putting something on the moon is the 2030s. that's quite a was away. how do you see us without the political incentive that got people like neil armstrong on the move? it's not problem for the
passionate people but for the people that aren't necessarily passionate about signs but are voter ands decide where our money goes. oh due we keep them motivated about the space program and get to the goal. >> thank you for the question. i think -- so, we're sending up our astronauts now to space station with the soyuz in kazakhstan and also build building the orion vehicle, so you can go up in 45 days. think 2017 or 2018 we'll do some test runs. one of miss classmates will be in the vehicle doing the test runs. i think the one way to really get people to think about oneses that aren't into science and math, not in the nasa in other wordses and me and my crude here -- you're a nasa nude, --
nerd -- having story about the impact of nasa on people's lives. have an uncle who was a farmer in virginia and he would always tell me, what good is nasa? what you doing, you're playing in space. doing this; i said we're actually looking at your crops. we're looking at how you can actually rotate your crops to have a better yield from your crops. so there's all these spinoffs that are happening from nasa that no one really knows about. they only think of astronauts in space and this really expensive space station up there doing all this stuff but what is the benefit back down to at the planet? and so it's more messaging. if you turn on the television you have 5,000 channels to look at and so that message gets so washed out with all that noise, and one union one -- one-on-ones like this, sharing the message of space and the future. what if, what if, a ten kilometer in diameter asteroid
finds its way to our planet and does what it did to dinosaurs? what do we do? let's say we have five years. it's coming in five years. what do we do? i bet you everyone is going to be focused on -- save us, nasa. but it takes some type of crisis or something to really get people to wake up to see that there's impending doom happening, and during the '60s it was the russians. the sputnik. sputnik was going around beeping and people were afraid of getting killed by the russians. what is-under new moon shot? the funding is there. ...
there's room for everyone. nasa education when i ran for four years we have all types of ways to engage and inspire in the technology through these different ways. i don't know what opportunities are available right now to see how the education budget will pan out but there is a place for everyone, definitely. >> can someone know where the
microphone for my friend here. >> what is your name? >> basil. >> i love basil. go ahead, what is your question? >> i wanted to ask if you would want to go to jupiter. >> what you want to go? >> yes. >> by? >> it's got a lot going on there. we have a class right now that swoops in and back out. it's called juno.
go to the website and find out what it's doing. i think that you will like it. thank you for your question. >> you're welcome. [applause] can you describe the eight and a half minutes of your very first mission what was going through your mind flex >> let me start with the three and a half hours before. you get in the vehicle and it is three and a half hours before. it's trying to keep you cool as you are sitting in the seat. all of your document notebooks and things get ready for the
launch. so, the main engine lights, the main engines ignite and tilt the entire stack of the shuttle forward like a springiness that comes forward and then as it lines back up, we have these explosives holding down the rocket boosters. the solid rocket boosters are all connected together and hold the shuttle in place so they are broken apart. i have a computer here to see that older systems are working properly but it is moving so much that all i can see is green lines on the computer.
we turned a little bit and now i can look at my wrist is the overhead window back down to my family where my friends are sitting. to know these people are following us and it is two and a half minutes the ride plumes help a little bit and we are pulling three g. so it is kind of laboring debris a little bit. you are having to inhale deeply to breathe and then you are going through that check systems so if we lost an engine, where could we make it, there were different locations in case of emergency. and then about eight and a half minute mark we hear the main
engine cut off. that is my eight minutes. good question. [applause] we have one more question. okay. [applause] >> peggy miller williams members when i was born in lynchburg virginia. [laughter] >> do you remember we lived in doctor johnson's apartment? this story will be really quick. i've always wanted to be arthur and not neiann neil armstrong. when i was born i was in these
apartment on fifth street and the they have johnson on the side even to this day you see johnson on the side. he was a doctor, the first black doctor to integrate the hospital while i was born. he's also a tennis coach that taught arthur ashe and gibson. he came to train in lynchburg. we moved from doctor johnson's apartment until i was five blocks from where this was in lynchburg where these two stellar athletes were being trained. also there was and spencer, she was a poet and her son was chauncey spencer who was one of the first aviators to petition
congress to give money to create the tuskegee airmen. so i had three levels of integration without even knowing what was going on in lynchburg. that was a part of the journey in writing this book to find out the people that had an impact in my life that i didn't even know. so, do your history. [applause] [applause]