Skip to main content

tv   Private Space Travel  CSPAN  January 4, 2015 3:02pm-4:11pm EST

3:02 pm
i will pull some slides out and talk about that. if i go back 50 years ago, that is why my dad got into the space industry. he was doing radiowave propagation, bouncing radio waves off the upper atmosphere. when sputnik flew, he was one of the few who could listen to it and analyze it. that what made him apply to be an astronaut. he was accepted into the third group of astronaut scientists. what is interesting about that first decade before we went to the moon, that was a very personal decade. a lot of people grew up in that
3:03 pm
period of time. an incredible amount of progress was made during that decade. what is interesting about that 50 years ago, still just over 500 people after 50 years have left the earth. that is not that many. we have been stuck in low orbit for a while. one thing apollo did do was, it was the opening bell if not responsible for the tech boom. it accomplish a great deal towards inspiring our generation to get -- it did inspire our generation to get into the tech industry. i am a game developer. like so many people of my generation inspired by this, a
3:04 pm
lot of them turned back to space. we're way past 2001 and we are way short of having a -- rotating platforms in space. the reason why that has been true is a pretty simple equation. traveling to space is expensive, dangerous. it is not surprising that it would be very uncommon. that is what is changing now. those first assumptions that it has to be expensive and dangerous, those assumptions are wrong foundational he -- foundationally. my life is working with a new company. the cost is going to drop in the next decade about 1000 fold.
3:05 pm
safety will go up. for a lot of us -- those of us inspired by apollo but the dream does not happen, that is the group of us who went off to do tech stuff. i had a father who was an astronaut. he flew on skylab as well as the ninth launch of the shuttle. my mother was a professional artist. katie and josh, i think your son will have the same blend that i did, which i think is great. it is a great combination of appreciations.
3:06 pm
for me, it led to computer games. if you have not played my series of games, you're still probably heard of the word avatar. i came up with that term. my exploration began at the explorers club. when i was young, it was a doctor who told me because of my bad eyesight, i would not be a nasa astronaut. i said, i will have to build a private space station. at 13, that sounds easy but you do not do much about it. my first investment and my only investments are in the areas of exploration.
3:07 pm
my first investments were with retiring nasa astronauts. interestingly, all of those were failures. my hindsight says that most astronauts were hired because they were great pilots, not because they were great entrepreneurs. in hindsight, that was probably not the best approach to get civilians to space. it came to connection that this club in the 1990's -- i met with a group of people and we started things like the x prize.
3:08 pm
we started 0-g corp. we developed expeditions. all of those things i have done. antarctica, meteorite hunts. another thing i picked up from my father, take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. you also bring back scientific samples and try to start a business around it. everywhere we went, we brought back sterile samples, froze them in liquid nitrogen.
3:09 pm
we have found some of the highest temperature bacteria that had ever survived. it might still be a recordholder. we sold them to universities and other facilities for research. everyone who has flown in space here has been one of my neighbors. when i went to college, i met sesame street people. i realize, this is how everyone else thinks of the world. as i mentioned, i was told i could not go to space. that is when i started this sequence of companies that cracked the door open. i think they opened the door for civilian-based flight. especially with space adventures, i invested in them so i could get myself to space.
3:10 pm
i intended to be the first client to go with the company that i had found. that was in 2000 when the dot com crash happened. dennis tito became the first civilian to fly into space. charles went before and after me. sarah brightman is our next client.
3:11 pm
we have now sold two seats. names unannounced, for people to go around the moon. it is being manufactured now. you also heard that by having a father who was an astronaut, that makes me the first second-generation american astronaut. i also flew with the first second-generation, russian astronaut. just because you can build a company that has the agreement to go -- i missed the first lot of money and then i had the money. after making substantial payments, it was discovered that i had a serious disqualifying medical condition. i was told i could not go. you could imagine how crushed i was after all of these times i had come so close.
3:12 pm
then, they called me back and said, we think we can make it ok for you to go but you have to undergo surgery to remove a lobe of your liver. i was missing one vein. about 10% of the people in this room probably have the same condition. in space, it could cause an increased chance for internal bleeding which you could not detect or fix. i had to go to this surgery. here it is. you show off your manly scars. [laughter]
3:13 pm
[applause] that is one of my mementos from operation. people said i did a lot. at that point, you are committed. there was no chance i was not going to do that. i'm going to go quickly through the training. others earlier did a great job of describing the training we went through in russia. the casting of your body for the spacesuit. everyone has to know how to operate every piece of equipment for a combination of reasons. one is safety. you need to make sure everybody is capable of operating if there is an emergency.
3:14 pm
if you need to operate the radios, the last thing the professionals want you to do is, ask the professionals as a civilian to help you set up the radio. they are busy with other things. we did the outdoor survival training, the sea survival training. many people say that is the hardest part of training. you can see some of the bruises i got out of this difficult process we were going through. it did work out very well. we finally passed our team crew exams. just one little side story about the radios.
3:15 pm
now that we are approved to fly, we get our crew photos. we get two days prior to the launch. the vehicle was not assembled. think about how many days, weeks, months in advance the machine has been assembled and checked. two weeks ahead of time, i am seeing that it is not assembled and i do not know how they will assemble it and get testing done. 24 hours later, here it is assembled and rolling out to the pad. they do this like clockwork. this is one of my favorites.
3:16 pm
one of the beauties of the russian soyuz. the weight of it is sitting above the center of mass. it is handing there. -- hanging there. the soyuz as soon as the pressure is greater than the weight, it begins to rise gently. on the inside, i was shocked. i am going through the data files and on the outside -- you know it is possible to sit 200 meters away.
3:17 pm
i am sure you have done that by now. in russia, you can on occasion -- there is a place people stand just outside the death zone. on the outside, especially when you are close, it is loud, violent. on the inside, you could almost not feel it. when the vehicle began to rise you know. it is so gently. it is a few seconds later when you feel the acceleration increase. the beauty of launch was less like a sports car taking off and
3:18 pm
more like a confident ballet move. it was very beautiful in a way that was unexpected. a .5 minutes later, you burn all the fuel. for most people, the first thought is, i made it. look at the beautiful earth. that was not my first thought. my first thought when we saw a view like this is, wow, we are not as away from the earth as i would have expected. i hope we are in a circular orbit because if not, we will be reentering in a few minutes.
3:19 pm
that was the first thing that went through my mind. the vehicle tumbles into space for a few tumbles. that was what i did each time we went around. the vehicle is tumbling. after a couple of tumbles, i thought, everything is perfectly fine. i could sit back and begin to take in the view. as you can see, i was pretty happy. we spent two days living on the soyuz. we docked at the space station. i was surprised about the combination of familiar and alien looking out the windows. if you look out at what you can see on the vehicle you are in, the space station is made out of two components. one is highly machined industrial, gear work and solar panels and materials.
3:20 pm
those things look technical. unlike an airplane that needs a sleek body around it, these are exposed mechanics. on top of that, in many areas, there are these thermal protections and shields that are blankets of materials that are handstitched around all of the parts. it looks like grandma was invited over to make a quilt. those things in juxtaposition i found fascinating. unlike earth -- even in this room, the way i can see you is the reflections of the bright lights on me and i get that backscatter. on earth, there is scattering lights all over the place.
3:21 pm
if you want dramatic wedding you have to create contrast -- magic lighting -- dramatic lighting, you have to create contrast. if you look at an aluminum pole, one side is lit, and the other side is pitch black because there is nothing scattering light to the other side. you look at it like there is something not quite right. there is something unfamiliar with that lighting. everybody uses every work surface.
3:22 pm
this green area was my workstation and the other pile of junk. my office was about the size of this podium on the space station where i did most all of my work. the galley on board, there is not room around the table for six people. some people were on the ceiling, on the floor. of course, when i flew, there were only three sleeping quarters. others have to camp out. we pitched our sleeping bags somewhere. if you do not tether your stuff to the floor, there are no convection currents. when you breathe hot air out of your mouth, if you do not have a fan near you, you will bring -- breathe in the same pocket of air and have a heavy dose of carbon dioxide. if you do not tether yourself to
3:23 pm
something, you wake up in the morning on the air vents. i used a bungee cord to try to simulate gravity. there are a lot of great reasons to go to space. going to the bathroom is not one of them. i love to tell the story of how to go to the bathroom in space. i will not do it until the end. i think it is a good one. though i do not call myself a space tourist, there is a heavy load of marshall and volunteer nonprofit -- of volunteer nonprofit work. my father helped me schedule everything everyday, ran my
3:24 pm
mission control team. he is part of the reason i end up with such a heavy workload. my schedule timed out per day was as busy as the professionals on board with me. my contributions put me in the category of private national astronaut. it was interesting to see katie talk about crystals. crystal growth is one of the best businesses and most likely ways that many millions of dollars go to space. what i did was crystallize proteins.
3:25 pm
for every function of your body, there is a protein involved. that is a good function or a disease function. one way to -- drugs are created to stop disease is to take a chemical that is a good match for the protein that would otherwise cause damage and prevent the protein from doing damage. all aids drugs that exist are that kind of molecule. one of the best ways to make it is to image the protein. the problem is, proteins are very complicated. the way you often get these images is slowly grow a crystal of complex molecules that do not like to become crystallized and then use x-ray to fraction an image. on earth, when you change the face of something -- phase of
3:26 pm
something, it gives off heat which disturbs the crystal so they do not grow very purely. if you take the same substances into space with no conduction currents, you get much better crystals. you can see down to the hydrogen atoms, which is good for where the bonding takes place. i took the first experiment on my flight. we constantly take more difficult proteins under more difficult circumstances and more valuable proteins involved in more disease functions.
3:27 pm
these are some crystals we brought back. my father on skylab was one of the first people to take pictures from space. as my father's son and flying almost 35 years to the day, i thought, i will take pictures of the same places my dad did to show how the earth changed. one of the things i did was develop a piece of software called windows on earth. most astronauts taking earth observation photographs get a printout that say when you fly over tokyo, line the picture up to the same direction the iss is traveling. when you see mount fuji, take a picture. they have no idea which time will come out of the window and the image they have is not particularly good-looking. a lot of the times, they miss it. i had a piece of software
3:28 pm
developed that shows you the targets, which lends size you want -- lens size you want, had a scrollback primer -- timer and would show the track of your orbits. you could hopefully photograph them with higher reliability. this was a far superior system then was on the space station at the time. i did take some pictures of the coast of miami, florida. there was much more urban sprawl, decrease in the wetlands. i tried to show how the earth had gotten better. sadly, i found zero of those cases. one more thing to talk about about this program.
3:29 pm
this program was so successful that even while i was in orbit my teammates became reliant on it. all of their targets were in my program. whenever their targets would come into view, they would say sorry, we outrank you and we need the window. i would be set aside to take pictures of them using my software. this is now the standard on the international space station.
3:30 pm
was this up there when you were there, katie? not yet? i did not write the software, i just helped with the interface. it is an exceptional piece of software. it is online now. you cannot only see this tool but all of the pictures that have been taken with it by all last not including myself. you can see them as they take them. you can see each shot and how the lens changes. it is tracked digitally. i flew on the 25th anniversary of the first ham contact. one of the first things i did on board was, i set out to do something unique. i took up a slow scan television device. i could be broadcasting images from my pc. i did things like, this one says richards the attorney of the iss.
3:31 pm
-- mutiny on the i.s.s. a variety of test patterns. with the camera, i would stick it out the window so i was rebroadcasting what was out the window. in my flight data file, this was my log sheet. katie, did you operate the ham radio? so you are familiar. i would be flying overall still -- over australia at 3:00 in the morning and it is nighttime. people would be waiting for you to be on ham radio. my dad made many contacts on his light.
3:32 pm
-- flight. there were hundreds of people at any moment that wanted to speak to the international space station. i started using the back of a sheet of paper and these were all of my ham contacts. i got 600 or 700 in a few days. i did work for seiko. i did educational outreach at the british national space center. here were kids questions that i thought were really great. who was it that showed the flame in space?
3:33 pm
katie? striking a match in the space. this is an audience participation moment. let's say you are out on a spacewalk and you take a box of matches with you. matches start to float out and you snag one and you strike it on the side of the box. what do you think would happen? nothing? it would not burn because of the vacuum of space? anyone else? [inaudible] you are correct. the tip of a match is fuel and oxidizer and so it should burn. has anyone done this experiment? i believe the tip would burn. let's repeat that experiment.
3:34 pm
let's go back inside. another box of matches. you set a candle down on the table and get another match will stop you strike the match -- another match. you strike the match. what happens? anybody? will it burn? will the tip burn? will the wooden match burn? the same reason it is dangerous -- why you need a fan to breathe in and out when you sleep, the same thing is true for a fire. i don't know if in katie's experiment, it was oxidized but i think it would go out. if it is out in space or in the vehicle, it should be something
3:35 pm
similar. it would be a little bit of a smolder. that is one of the reasons of the fire alarm goes off, the first thing that happens is, turn off the fans. any fire that does not have an oxidizer, that will extinguish the fire. we did have the fire alarm go off. i was involved in a number of medical studies. one of the most interesting ones was an eye study. i have had laser corrective eye surgery.
3:36 pm
up until just before i flew, nasa had a rule where people who had corrective eye surgery were disqualified as applicants. they were in the process of reviewing that role -- rule. they had never had a test case loan to prove it would not be a problem. -- flown to prove it would not be a problem. when they heard that i was going to fly, they asked if i would be willing to volunteer as a test subject. there was a stylus that they rubbed on your cornea back and forth to identify the number of -- the center and the number of cells and record the pattern of cells.
3:37 pm
if you blinked, they had to start over. you did it for a few hours. there is a blue-chip -- fluidship that happens. if you have laser surgery, it is reasonable to resume that might change the curvature of the cornea of your eye. that would be important if your vision had changed significantly. my eye pressure did go up like most people. that was a piece of data that corroborated the rest of the decision. now it is ok for astronaut candidates to have had these are eye surgery. -- laser eye surgery.
3:38 pm
these are videos of my mother that you could watch in space. i played -- i had a sheet i could click on where my mother could respond correctly to a script my team had on the ground. suddenly, my mother was answering all of the checklist questions. i am a bit of an amateur magician so i did some tricks and star we were doing things like juggling and magic in our spare time. there were two substantial malfunctions on the two had that -- on the two that went before me. they both had ballistic reentries. it was caused they believe by
3:39 pm
the failure of a bolt and reentry. >> i mentioned the fire alarms were going off. the water processor, as you fill up bags with water, little drips of water get constantly on it and around it. after being in space for 10 years, it actually shorted out. that electrical short didn't really cause a fire, but the heat melted a lot of the insulation and chemicals in the air set off the fire alarms which was obviously a big deal around the whole station, it shut down the fans, it shut down power on experiments.
3:40 pm
the issue was minor and they fortunately had a second one of these machines they could extract and replace, but a little bit of excitement for one day. finally, it was time to go and when you undock with a space station, it's four or five hours before you go back to the ground. the four or five hours that i spent slowly getting away from the space station, you don't fire up the thrusters and blow debris on the station itself. one thing i was really shocked by again how silent and smooth and comfortable re-entry was. when we started having contact with the upper atmosphere and began to see this plasma, this hotter than the surface of sun envelope the vehicle and see the heat shield and other debris melting around you while you still don't feel any pressure yet and you definitely don't hear any sound yet, i found it again as one of these really beautiful moments and it wasn't until we got much deeper in the atmosphere and the parachutes opened that at that point it's like being at the end of a whip getting cracked. it's also when we began to have some malfunctions. the first malfunction which was
3:41 pm
a malfunction for me which was there was a big, there was a big metal bottle, this black object you see here is a large aluminum bottle that is supposed to be attached on the ceiling right here where during launch it would have been camera mounted. that whip crack dislodged that bottle and came down and hit me between my mask and my -- my facemask and shoulder and got pinned between my shoulder and a little box where we keep the flight data files. it happened to dislodge right before there is a pyrotechnic that goes off underneath your seat to raise your seat to protect you to give you some shock absorbing distance before you impact the ground. everybody else's seat raised, mine tried to raise but really
3:42 pm
just drove this canister into my shoulder and my mask and that was pinned very hard. so now i'm concerned for a couple reasons. one is my mask, i don't know if it has broken a seal. i can't turn my head to look at it, it's so warped. i'm wanting to get this bottle out because i want it out before we hit the ground. i eventually do get it out right away, i was obviously a little bit excited about it. and then also, once there is an air pressure equalization valve on the outside. we heard reports that people had seen smoke coming through in the control panel so nobody knew what it was, don't be alarm if it does. sure enough here comes the smoke. i think it's actually just condensation. this is a frozen o-2 line, i think it's just warm moist air coming in through the control panel and turning into condensation. we actually never did determine what it was. then finally it might be some of your pictures, too, bill, if you shot any re-entry. what i found really funny about landing is, well, first of all you're landing in a six-ton vehicle that bounces and rolls just the way boulders shouldn't and i didn't find it uncomfortable at all.
3:43 pm
it's bone jarring but not journeyous. -- injurious. the soft landing thrusters and the seat compression does i think work very well. the seat is formed to your body, it does a very good job. what i was shocked by is how far you weren't out of civilization. out of frame was a road and close to that was a train track. while we were there getting out of the capsule, a train goes by on the train attack. if our parachute had gone across that track and the train went by, that would have been a bad day. you're out in farmland, but you're not really, it's not like being out in the middle of the ocean. one of these, one of these is going to drop on somebody's house or car. it's a matter of probability eventually. it does take, it takes about three days to adapt to zero g, it takes three days to readapt to one g environment. one story that i didn't hear anybody else tell, your inner ear is a gravity protector.
3:44 pm
it tells me i'm standing up when my eyes are closed, if i turn this way, the crystals go this way, that is down. in space, if i move my head forward to go down the hall, the fluid goes to the back which makes me feel like i'm falling down. so you get this disagreement between what you see and what you feel which is the best theory for why some people get motion sickness. after three days, your body goes, i get it. your brain goes i get it. when you get from space you have an accelerometer in your head. when you go to sleep at night and close your eyes, the fluid goes back to your head and you feel like you have had too much to drink and the bed spins for about three days. then there is my dad with me on the landing and now i see, i have a little bit of time left
3:45 pm
i'm going to quickly go through this, do i need to stop right at 4:30? >> no, no. >> i'm ok. let me tell you a little bit about this thing called the overview effect. this is the word that i had never heard of prior to my open flight. it was sort of this physical reaction, this epiphany i had, not immediately upon looking out my window but only days after looking out my window. this is the number one advice my father gave me. richard, during daylight hours when you're over continents schedule time to look over the window. when you're over the pacific or at night in countries and overwater, we'll do all of your experiments. that was the best piece of work my dad did for me was knowing to set this up. here is sort of the way it went for me. i have only heard a couple
3:46 pm
people talk about their overview effect stories. i didn't hear anybody else describe it today. the few others i have heard are very similar but often have different moments and different conclusions. for me, one of the things i noticed right away was how intimately close you feel to the earth. you're only 10 or 20 times higher than airplanes fly. when you look straight down, you still see the clouds and airplane con trails and all of the things people are seeing. you're not so much further away it look alien. that's a familiar view. in fact, i was shocked at how well you can see some things. here is a shot down in san francisco. there is the golden gate bridge. there is golden gate park. you can see a ship coming into the harbor, its trails, the major bridges and highways are all easy to see. i was shocked with how familiar this looked. you're traveling 17,000 miles an hour. you better look now because it's scrolling by at a good clip.
3:47 pm
if you're 30 seconds late to see something out the window, it's long gone so you have missed it. again, i was just pleased by how intimate it felt. on the other hand, if you looked horizontally towards the edge of the earth, you then had some other things you picked up. for example, i was again shocked at just how thin the atmosphere is. if you start on the ground and go to where airplanes fly, you go five times further, 10 or 20 times where the space station is, this amount of air on top of our earth is just not that much. to go along with that, i begin to notice that when i would see a forest fire, just the plume from that forest fire would cover whole states and when you saw them sideways, you could see they were filling most of the air column above the earth. i was just shocked of how quickly we can fill our atmosphere with particulate matter and our ability to pollute our own atmosphere, my conception of how easy that would be to do went way up.
3:48 pm
then i noticed the large scale systems like clouds and weather, about half the earth is always colored in clouds at any one time. you see a lot of clouds when you're looking out from space. the first land masses you see, a lot of them are deserts because they're not usually covered with cloud. that's where you pick up the geomore following of the earth you see the scars from the tonic plate movement. -- tectonic plate movement. from that vantage, you get a great layout of the natural processes of the earth that even if you're not a geologist or meteorologist, you believe that
3:49 pm
your passive knowledge of these subjects just goes up very, very quickly. you see the results of endless eons of erosion by water. you can literally look at the land masses and feel how this erosion has been happening. similarly and what i had not expected was to see the erosion by wind. there were these images i took pictures of called grant fans on my target list. i had no idea what a great fan was until i looked out the window. this is obviously a great fan. the wind has sculpted these beautiful multithousands of miles formations that you could only see from space. you begin to notice that all of the fertile land, any part there is rain on the surface and the surface of the earth is green, it is also full of people. i saw no untouched wilderness. again, there could be some further north or south, and north in particular that we could have seen up in canada or northern parts of russia, but no part that i ever traveled over
3:50 pm
that was green did i not see it fully, fully utilized by humanity. even it was shocking to even notice that all of the alpine regions had dams and roads and things going through it and over it and dams on the rivers and traversing all the way through. the people terra forming the earth became much more obvious. this wasn't on my photo list. look, dubai. probably the most shocking was to see these ancient river beds where when you take a coast to coast trip in the united states, you see the deserts you but every desert on earth looks like this now. they're pumping up fossil water from the deep river beds. some of these are still active by the way, there are farms all through here that have already failed because they dug down to the fossil water. they grew farms here. they shipped it -- the city this was associated with is somewhere off the image. as that fossil water ran dry they went further away from the city, deeper down in the aquifer to grow new farms and part of it. those farms are farther and farther away from the cities they serve and they're going to run out of fossil water.
3:51 pm
that was a shock to see. aha, i was shocked by a number of things including that sound. [laughter] that was a test. my father had told me stories from sky lab about he had always seen the fires in the amazon and people were clear-cutting it. i hadn't thought about it for 35 years. i remember when i was a kid, there were a lot of tv things about it about save the rainforest, shockingly you don't see much these day. boy, is it still burning and so was big areas of the green belt through central africa, but for me, the great epiphany came on this day. this was probably day eightish. it was the first time i had after having that information about the earth pour into your mind, i finally saw a place i knew personally very well. there is my house off a lake in austin, texas, i could also see houston where i grew up around nasa.
3:52 pm
i could see the gulf coast where i played on beaches as a kid, up in dallas where i had driven many times, i had driven and walked and biked those areas intimately. i knew the size of it. i knew how big it was. at the time, i could see the whole earth and suddenly that moment i went i now know the true scale of the earth by direct observation. at that moment i had this very very physical reaction where it felt a lot like, you know how in the movies they will have an actor in a hallway and the camera might dolly backwards and the lens will zoom in so the hallway appears to collapse around him even though the actor was the same size. it was the same way. the earth didn't change size out the window. it literally was my conception of the scale of the universe kind of collapsed and suddenly the earth to me became finite and small.
3:53 pm
and for me, one of the first people i compared this story was was charles who describes all of the same series of events except the punch line. to him, his punch line was at that point he said the earth is unimagineably huge, so he had literally the precise opposite final conclusion, but otherwise the same, very similar buildup. maybe some of the other folks who have thrown have had a similar one, i would love to hear it before you all leave what yours were. to me, this caused me upon my return, i always would have described myself as an environmentalistist. it caused me to go back and my impression of being in space is that we are using fully all of the fresh water that falls on the surface of the earth and we are extracting fossil water at a rate that is not sustainable and while you could desal nate -- desalinate water, and we do that, of course, takes energy and as we know, energy is probably the only other problem on earth that's bigger than
3:54 pm
fresh water and all it does is throw problem number two into problem number one. i'm going that seems to me like a formula that's not good. i thought that's my impression, but i want to see if objective data matches my subjective impression and there are websites now you can go on and look at the natural productivity of the surface of the earth that are now very well monitored by satellites and the things that appears to be true is in fact true, that we are already now using at about 1-1 the maximum natural capacity of vegetable growth, vegetation growth on the surface of the earth which i think is kind of a shocking statistic that really was inspired by looking outed -- out the window. it really has kind of redoubled my interest in becoming a good steward of the earth and participating in and being involved in environmental activities. i think that is where i will stop for today. so thank you. [applause]
3:55 pm
up. richard, did you show a shot of your kid? >> no, i didn't. >> is there a way to do that? >> on my iphone. >> when you guys come up to get him to sign something, it's beautiful, the baby. second question, did you say anything about when you first saw the earth and you didn't think you were in orbit? >> i didn't tell that story, my first view was not the he fifth any, i finally made it, nobody stopped me this time to gee, i hope we're in a perfectly circular orbit, yeah, i did tell them. >> questions, guys, yes, back there. >> hi, you were mentioning -- there i am. charles had asked me a question
3:56 pm
a while back and i said i don't know. you might be a good one to answer for this kid. when you're up in space and the sun is shining but you're looking away from the sun, can you see the stars while you're orbitting around the earth? >> what is interesting is you can see the stars looking away looking like in space because again there is nothing, as long as you don't have light in your eyes or in your field of view, which is hard to do on the space station by the way, there is lights on all the time. i had to go to an air lock where there is a window to get dark time. there is enough other parts of the space station to reflect light that would also mean you couldn't see the stars. on the occasion you can get light out of your front field of view, yes, you can see the stars. it's interesting to note, there is about 100ish windows on the i.s.s. and 90 of those aim straight down at the earth. 10 aim horizontally in one direction or another and zero of them aim up into space. i thought it was odd there was literally zero, at least at the time that i flew.
3:57 pm
>> another question? is that it? stacy has a question. >> richard -- >> i'll repeat her question while we're waiting for the microphone. stacy was asking she understands there was a geocatch on the space station. first of all, how many have even heard of a geocache? quite a few. i have been in geocaching since it was invented, somebody put a geocash by my house. why are people coming by my house? >> i put a geocache on hydrothermal vents under the ocean, the deepest and made the highest which is on the international space station, locker number, service module locker number 182 i believe is the geocatch. and when i put it up there, i sort of did it on the sly. i didn't really ask for permission.
3:58 pm
do you mind if i put a log and a travel bug here on the outside of this locker. i'm going to use it as a geocache that people would have added and sub tracked things from, the answer would have been nyet, nyet, nyet. a lot are geocachers. there are two or three others that pick up from that geocache in space. no one has visited my undersea one yet. >> one more question, who hasn't asked a question today, have you not answered a question? ok, your question. >> have your experiences impacted your convictions about environmental issues, pollution, global warming?
3:59 pm
>> absolutely, i would actually say that the -- my understanding of the science hasn't changed much. i was already a believer, you could say. my personal lifestyle was, the one charity i give to, it's called the nature conservancy. it's a great a apolitical way to get land put into good stewardship. in my personal life, i have four or five acres of st. augustine grass that i irrigate from a deep well. these are all things i used to have. i used to have probably six cars, none of them were energy efficient. i had a pond out of my house, a pool, irrigation and stuff going on, large house, not particularly efficient, my electric bill was scary large every cycle and i still am a
4:00 pm
huge user of amazon done.com, so the amount of cardboard boxes that come to the front of my house is enormous much to my wife's chagrin. i said as opposed to being the poster child, i can afford to take the time and money to find out why -- how it is possibly become -- to become zero impact. i don't think people will choose environmental causes strategies, unless they are not sacrificing lifestyle. i can help go across that buttress first. i found lots of ways to improve things, all the little stuff biodegradable trash bags.
4:01 pm
i would like to use biodegradable trash bags, but it's about 50 bags stacked on top of one another, they don't have a drawstring, they are rolled. i won't use them. they are inconvenient. i have been consulting with the city of austin. i'm now on their environmental strategies board. there are things that are easy to adopt and nobody can adopt until we figure out the form factor of these solutions. >> we will take a break now. then we will come back with charlie duke. i want a big round of applause. [applause] >> the funeral for the nypd
4:02 pm
officer was held today in new york city. he was one of two police officers fatally shot last month. the man was seeking retribution for the death of eric brown and michael gardner. officers lined up for blocks outside the funeral home in brooklyn. a similar scene was held last week in for his partner. those who attended today's ceremony included new york cod mayor. >> tonight on q&a president and ceo of the national council, the nations largest hispanic and civil rights and advocacy group. she talks about her compelling personal story. >> i had the great privilege of experiencing the american dream in this country. i was born in kansas.
4:03 pm
my parents came to this country in the 1950's. my parents came from mexico. with no money and very little education. yet, they believed in the promise of this country. they were seeking better opportunities for their children. they worked hard and sacrificed as so many latinos and hispanics have done in this country because they wanted that better future for their children and they believed in the promise of this country. they tried to instill important values that have been a guide for our lives, me and my siblings. they taught us the importance of family, of faith, of community
4:04 pm
hard work, sacrifice, honesty, integrity, all of those were important values that they shared with us. >> tonight at eight eastern and pacific. >> a new congress meets for the first time tuesday. you will have the house live here on c-span. you can watch the swearing in and of members. >> we are in the speakers lobby off the house floor. what can you tell us about the history of this area. >> the speakers lobby is one of these great places that most people don't get a chance to see. it's not on any tour. you have to be staffed or a member or uninvited guest to come into the speakers lobby.
4:05 pm
it is a lot of overstuffed chairs and tables. it used to have a teletype machine. members would come in and read the news as it was coming off the wire services, before the internet and twitter accounts. a lot of the members pay great attention to the teletype machines in the speakers lobby. it's an also also a place to get hometown news. they can sit and read a newspaper for a little while, if they want to do that. this is where members talk to one another. often times, you will hear the speaker bang the gavel at the end of a vote. everybody is in an uproar and talking. he will say, members will retire if they want to continue to
4:06 pm
talk, or take their conversations into the lobby. they would swing the door open and be in this lobby. then they could carry on the conversations. it used to be that it was a much more smoky place than it is in modern times, with people smoking cigars. there are cloaked rooms on either side of the house chambers where members can also retire, use the telephones. they can get a hot dog, soft drink, coffee. they can smoke if they care to. there are cloaked rooms for each party. the speakers lobby is for both parties. it is for anybody coming off the floor. it also has these great portraits of the speakers of the house going back to the first speaker, frederick augustus muhlenberg. all of them up to fairly recent
4:07 pm
times. they don't have every one of the speakers but most of the modern era speakers are in the lobby or somewhere near here. >> who generally has access to the space? do lobbyists come here? >> it's called the speakers lobby, but the only lobbyists in this space are people who have been invited to accompany members for some reason. most of the lobbying that goes on in the offices of the members and in the house and senate office buildings, that's where most of the lobbying occurs. if there lobbying the speaker, they might in the speaker's office. if anyone comes to congress with the business, there are either lobbyists with a certain mission, cause, corporate entity
4:08 pm
that wants to have influenced. or they are advocates, people who come here for various issues and are not here to be politically -- change the laws, but to advocate nonprofit organizations, humanities groups. virtually every kind of group you can imagine comes to the hill, veterans groups, everybody. it's a big procession of all kinds of americans. they use all the corridors and all the offices to do there lobbying. >> let's talk about the portrait collection. other any significant portraits in the lobby? >> there are some very good portraits they go back to the first speaker. the one that is here -- he was speaker in 1789. i think this is a copy of a
4:09 pm
painting that was made in the 1820's. after the speaker leaves office some of them are a little bit more interpretive, depending on what the artist who did it was like. most of them are realistic lifelike. several of them were done by howard chandler christy, who was a painter in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's. his most famous picture was of the signing of the constitution, which hangs in the house between the first and second floor. it is magnificent, a huge painting. he did several of the portraits, including brady, and what other speaker, i can't remember.
4:10 pm
there are some famous portrait painters who have done some of these. others are simply less known as portrait painters, perhaps his artist. he also has a silver inkstand. i have a particular fondness for that inkstand because it had to be repaired. the clerk and i had to come up with some coin silver. we took some old, worn down silver coins, which was close to the silver that was used. every time i see a portrait or a picture or see that inkstand, i feel a nice connection to it.

38 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on