Skip to main content

tv   After Words Scott Kelly Endurance  CSPAN  December 24, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm EST

9:00 pm
when that interview was over, one of the things he said was i feel great. he put his arm around me and he said, you're now one of us. and i have never forgotten. >> marvin kalb, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979 it was introduced and brought to you by satellite provider. next astronaut scott kelly a year aboard air station and interviewed by former nasa administrator charles bolden.
9:01 pm
>> scott, how are you doing today? >> i'm doing great. >> i'm not a big reader but i found it to be inspiring, informative and exciting and i'm wondering if you can tell me how the way that i was touched by your book, if there's something that did a similar thick to you that got you on the track from your wayward life? >> so, you know, i guess where i will start to try to answer your question is a little bit further back and that is when i was a kid growing up i was the opposite kid to become an astronaut, i wasn't a good student, i couldn't pay attention in class, absolutely impossible for me to do that. i was the kid in the back of the room looking out of the window, looking at the clock trying to wheel it to run faster, i did that more than anything else. >> yeah. >> i went to college because it was expected of me to go to college and i still struggled
9:02 pm
there. one day i'm walking across the school campus, college campus and i just happened to go in the bookstore to buy gum or something, not a book. i wasn't a big reader. i saw a book on the shelf and had a read-white and blue cover and cool title and it made me pick it up and i looked at the back and was interested enough that i took my gum money to purchase the book. took it back to dorm room, lay there for the next three days in unmade dorm room bed and read stories of fighter pilots, the book was the right stuff by tom wolf. the way tom wrote, i think it captured my attention in creative nonfiction kind of way. i felt like it was in the moment and i also recognized like characteristics that these guys had that i felt i had too with the one exception that i was one
9:03 pm
kid that couldn't do his homework. if i can solve that problem, maybe i can be like them some day. >> good, you know, one of the things that i found exciting about the book is it incredibly candid and very personal, was that purposeful or did you -- did you start out that way? >> yes, well, first of all, i think i have a little bit of a reputation of being straight shooter, sometimes a little blunt. maybe some people think too blunt at times but i did that purposesly -- purposely, because when i found out after reading stories, even people who aren't involved in the space program, write an autobiography, that what their lives really like, you're always the straight a student, the beth athlete, the best this, there's nothing negative at all in your life and i thought, you know, i think to
9:04 pm
tell a complete story that would be believable you have to include the cringe-worthy moments of your life and that helps validate the good stuff. >> okay, i got you. you -- you know, your high school principal, i guess his name was mr. turnel. >> yes. >> he never gave up on you, just out of curiosity, i have teachers like that and one of the things that i regret is going back and thanked them. have you had an opportunity to be in touch with him since getting into the astronaut office or getting into your launching or anything else. tell us about your relationship with mr. tarnel? >> interesting enough. he never did give up on me, even though i was kind of a bad -- i was a bad student in high school. i graduated in the bottom half of my class. despite that he still, you know,
9:05 pm
nom -- nominated me to go to new jersey boy state. he has some potential, not school work but it's something. despite my bad grades let me go and do that and i kept in touch with him, even my other teachers that i was, you know, embarrassed to say, i didn't learn a whole lot from them but for whatever reason i kept -- it had nothing to do with them. had everything to do with me, i still kept a relationship with them over the years, some of them came to my shuttle launch, two shuttle launches i had. >> is he still principal? >> no, became the school superintendent and went onto retire. >> let me come back to your family, your mother, my mom and dad were teachers and sort of inspired me but your mom, you know, you say was an inspiration and role model to you and your twin brother mark, would you do me a favor and take your book
9:06 pm
there and would you share with us a little bit that you say about her decision to get on the orange new jersey police department and pick and choose if you will. >> sure, this is great because people will hear the book in my own voice so they don't have to go out and buy the audio book too. >> i told them to buy the audio book, i found it better than reading. [laughter] >> yeah, which is not easy, by the way, to record an audio book specially when you're not a professional narrater and i was about 11, my mother decided to become a cop and i will paraphrase a little bit but she was regular mom and my brother and i were, you know, getting a little older, she wanted to have a career more like my father, my father was a police officer and he was one of the very stereo typical new jersey cops that you see on tv during the day and i where, a lot of male police officers would have felt
9:07 pm
threatened by the thought of wives trying to become officers as well but not my father, to his credit, he encouraged her. my mother studied for the civil service exam which took time and effort, after she passed that, she had to take a physical fitness test and the toughest part was a wall where she would have to scale 7 feet 4-inches, knowing that, my father built a practice wall a bit higher than the real one. at first she couldn't touch the top. it took her a long time before she was able to jump up and grab the top of the wall, eventually she was able to pull herself up and get a leg over and by honing this technique in practice sessions, she got to where she could scale the wall on the first try every time. the day of the test she actually scaled the test better than most of the men. she became one of the very first women to pass this test and that made a big impression and mark and me. she decided on a goal that seemed might not be possible and achieved it through sheer force
9:08 pm
of determination and the support of people around her. i still hadn't found a goal for myself that would give me that same kind of drive, but i had at least seen what that would look like, so my mother made a huge impression on me, she was quite the lady. >> how old were you at the time? >> mark and i were 11 and she had us when she was 18 or 19. >> you learned differently from most kids, you learned that your mom wasn't a student? [laughter] >> yeah, as a matter of fact. let me asked you if you shared as you grew up and you finally decided that you we wanted to try to find a path in your life, mark had proceeded you going to the academy and i read that you decided you'd give it a shot. >> yeah. >> and you went and, i guess it was the superintendent or the dean sat with you and can you talk a little bit about your
9:09 pm
disappointment at being told no way? >> yeah, so i figured after i read the right stuff and able to figure how to do my homework i was on my way, i went to my brother's college, told them, hey, i'm here, my brother has been doing great, he's been getting straight a's, the guy sat down to me and basically said, no way, with these grades in high school, you're not getting in here and i was crushed. i don't think i started crying but i was probably pretty close and, you know, i thought that was my opportunity to get into the navy. you know, i picked myself up and brushed myself off and figured out some other options an eventually i went to a school that was really a perfect fit for me, for one it wasn't as colleging as king's point was academically but also had military environment that i needed. i needed that discipline. it was a place called the state university of new york maritime
9:10 pm
college which is in the bronx. really, i couldn't have found a better place for me to be able to grow and develop and become, you know, eventually a young in the united states navy. >> share with us, if you will, a little bit -- i know you had been impressed with the right stuff and all the astronauts and everything, but what -- what took you from new york maritime to the decision to what the hell, i'm going to apply to the astronaut program? talk about the road to that point. >> so for me it was this thing i had in my mind since reading the book, but it wasn't something that was real yet. even once i became a test pilot, i served for a few years as pilot flying the tom cat, i got pretty good at that. applied to test pilot school, surprised that i got selected on the first time i applied.
9:11 pm
i went off to become a test pilot and then i was just kind of going about my life thinking that, you know, i would do there for a few years and then go on back to the navy and fly the f-14 for a while and maybe ten years down the road i might have the, you know, qualifications and experience to be competitive to become an astronaut and then one day i'm sitting in cubicle and i asked him what it was, he said, it's my astronaut application. i asked him when it was due and he said in a few days and i thought to myself, what the hell, you know, i'm just going to fill out the opposite of his application, send it down there and hopefully i will get call but i wasn't expecting anything and actually i was quite surprised when eventually i got called for an interrue. >> during the week, can you talk a little bit about your wardrobe for interview? >> well, my brother had a much
9:12 pm
different path than i did, when we were in the eighth grade, our dad sat us down and said, hey, guys, you are not college material, we will start looking into vocational training, but, wait, i want to go to college and immediately started getting straight a's, on on the other hand, had no collection of the conversation because it was probably a squirrel running outside and i was looking at it. [laughter] >> so, yeah, he became a navy pilot too and test pilot even though i was playing catch-up for a while and he got a call to be interviewed but he didn't have a suit, he knew i had one because i had been to a friend's wedding so i loaned him my suit, he goes down to houston, interviews, has his interview, comes back, gives me my suit back and then like a month later nasa calls me and i tell my brother, i was shocked by the way that i got called, first i
9:13 pm
thought, maybe they wanted to talk to him again and they called me and i told my brother i said, you have to buy me a new suit because how ridiculous would that look showing up in the same clothes and mark was a lieutenant and said something i don't think i can say here although it is cable tv. i won't say it anyway. and ended up with me wearing the exact same suit for the interview which was exactly in some ways a bless negotiation the skies because i walk intoed the room and i'm sure you've been on the board before and certainly interviewed before, but you kind of get to tell your story and the first thing i said that this looks really familiar, you've seen the suit before. [laughter] >> so i have the only suit that's done selected to be astronaut twice. >> let's move -- you finally got selected and then go through the asking and training, astronaut training, you get assigned to your first mission and it's one
9:14 pm
that i have a fond feeling for having left orbit, not exactly the way it should have been. yours was what, the third, servicing mission. having been a part of that mission and having become an official huddle hugger, talk to me about what you believe the legacy of hubble is. it's been up 27 years. >> 27 years, get to go 30. >> doing that kind of science on a daily basis and, you know, letting not only the scientist experience the data that they get from it which is most of the stuff you don't see, but also the public engagement that is provided and let people kind of get a sense for, you know, where we are in the universe which is pretty insignificant if you consider those images, i think,
9:15 pm
it's been a great success and it was, you know, it was a great first mission for me. you know, when i was writing the book, i realized that i read the book the right stuff and almost 18 years to do day, 18 years later i was flying in space for the first time and not only that, and i don't even write about this in the book because i never really thought about it much, i was actually the first american in my class of 35 people to fly. and for a kid that probably add and couldn't do his homework, that's pretty remarkable. >> it is. >> i almost don't believe it myself. >> absolutely. well, i'm certain you probably felt okay now. i've got first flight under my belt, ready to go fly again, however, we had a big bump in the road, we lost colombia and our crew, can you talk a little bit about the role that you played in the post accident
9:16 pm
recovery and preparation for flight, for the return to flight? >> when that day happened which was february 1st, 2003 i was at home watching the landing on it- on tv and on the low- inclination flights, i'm not going to go into much detail here on what exactly means, means when the shuttle is coming home, it has a very likely possibility to fly over houston and where you could actually see it depending on the time of day you could see the shuttle reentering the earth's atmosphere and i actually looked outside and saw flash of light and thinking that was some kind of atmosphere and went back inside and quickly realized that we had had, you know, tragic accident for the second time and, three of my classmates were on the flight for, seven of our colleagues and former colleagues and, you know, within a couple of days i was along with my
9:17 pm
other coworkers, many of them in the area of the crash which was in eastern texas and how ironic it was, right, of all the places a space shuttle crashes, it crashes two-hour drive of houston where the crews live. it was a tough time, it was sad, i had to ride back with laurels, remains, yeah. i was the escort. very moving. >> yeah. >> but just out trying to recover whether it's remains -- >> what about the response from the public? you mentioned in the book just the people who came out wanting to volunteer. that must have had hopefully positive impact on your opinion about -- >> oh, absolutely. so heart warming to see the support that, you know, the
9:18 pm
people in the area but also in the nation and around the world gave us when that accident occurred and, you know, not a christmas goes by where i'm not putting money in the salvation bin, or pot, kettle, because after, you know, the colombia accident i realized the great work that they do. i mean, they just showed up immediately and taken care of feeding people and giving them coffee and places to sleep if they needed it. i mean, all kind of support, you know, not asking anything in return. >> we lost challenger ten days after i landed from my first flight and i remember what went through my mind. do you think of leading the astronaut office after the accident? if not, why not? >> i never did. i always felt -- even after challenger, i had a friend of mine that said, is this going change your mind, did you pause about this, i thought, i believe in nasa, i believe in our ability to do incredible things
9:19 pm
when we put our minds to it. i know that this is risky and it's a tragic accident, specially for the people that were directly involved and the families, but i did -- i do believe in nasa enough that i know that, you know, we can rise to the occasion and make this safer than it was when they flew. it's never going to be perfectly safe, 100% reliable but never crossed my mind once to leave. >> for anybody that may be watching saying that you have to do everything right all of the time, can you go back beyond the test pilots when you were young, pilot with 143, and you were not the ace of the base, can you share some of the things that you said, geese, how did i ever get here? >> initially, my brother tells, how good you are at something
9:20 pm
when you started is no reflection on how good you can become with hard work, per perseverance and never giving up. that's always been the case with me, i think. you know, i wasn't the best student in the beginning but i became a really good student eventually. i figured out how to deal with whatever issues i had. i wasn't the best pilot at first but in -- you know, specifically back in those days, there are a lot more close calls, maybe, because people were just maybe a little bit more careless at times and i certainly was not immune to that, so i had, you know, a number of occasions where i almost killed myself and then my -- >> wake-up call. >> a few wake-up calls. there's certainly despite the fact that i have thousands and thousands more hours of flight time now that i did then, there are things that i did then that i would never do in a million years now in an airplane now that i got older. i had the cases where almost
9:21 pm
flying into the water, flying in the ship at night and getting disoriented an distracted and having the back in the guy back, pull up, and the vertical speed indicater showing us how quickly you were descending realizing that we were less than about 15 second from crashing into the water, being one of those guys, so yeah, i was definitely not always the best of things but i was able to get pretty good at the end. >> per -- perseverance, you have flown all over the world, persian gulf, asia, your second flight actually sent you to the international space station taking your crew up where all of a sudden you are going to be working with the guys that -- i train to kill them.
9:22 pm
[laughter] >> what was some of your early thoughts about going into a station and working with the russians? >> my early exposure was even earlier than that because i was the head of nasa's office in star city for about nine months and i trained as peggy woodson's back-up and i had exposure working with the russians before. i flew to the space station. but what i always found is that, you know, first impressions are -- are often not correct, right? with working with the russians i have a few observations is, one is despite their kind of gruff exterior which i may be a victim of having a similar thing at times, they are, when you become friends with them, it's much easier to become very, very close friends with a russian person, happens much quicker than it does, i think, in our
9:23 pm
culture, even, and the friendship seems stronger and more -- you know, just more rich which is odd when you're doing this with a person that you use to consider your enemy. as i spent more time working with the russians in the space program, do you ever let any conflict like that we have now in our country on earth that is between us and russia, does that affect our ability to operate and communicate in space and the answer is absolutely not. i mean, we rely on each other as friends, as colleagues, in some cases literally rely in each other for our lives and that kind of supersedes any kind of political discourse that is going on on earth. we would talk at times but almost like if you were talking about abstract way, you know,
9:24 pm
two other countries like china and germany versus our own. >> any -- because you mention it in the book, it's pretty sensitive and people may think i'm being crude, but you mentioned your marriage to leslie and the difficulty of the entire time, it lasted. when you finally decided, okay, the right thing to do is -- you had samantha and charlotte, what was the impact on them and how did you deal with that to try to help them work their way through? >> you know, it was hard. i sort of struggled with even talking about that in the book because it's a personal thing not only between me but also with my kids and my ex-wife and, you know, i came to the conclusion, again, that i didn't want -- you know, i have this 17-year marriage and two children and you can't kind of
9:25 pm
make believe that didn't happen and you need to be fair to the truth. so the way i handled it, i hope i handled it well, i'm not sure how leslie feels about it but i hope she thinks i was fair in this description. i talked about her in the credits and hopefully a way that she might appreciate and you know, i understand it does hurt the kids the most, absolutely. >> you talk about somebody else that came in your life and seems to have made an absolutely tremendous difference not just to you but also to the girls, can you talk about amico and what effect she has had since she came after partner. >> after divorce with leslie, i'm in a relationship with amico who use today work in nasa public affairs an was there for 20 years and we started dating
9:26 pm
in 2009-10ish. we have been together ever since. now we are engaged and she was a very big part of my last two flights, which is 500 days of 520 days in space, she was there with me and she definitely made it a better experience. i think i was very lucky to have her specially because the whole social media thing was becoming such a big deal -- >> huge. >> huge. [laughter] >> and it allowed me to work on something with her that was fun in space that had like real-time feedback and i think specially for the year-long flight, it really helped my -- large part of my psychological support to have this project that i could work on with her together that
9:27 pm
had real consequences an feedback. >> let met put you back on station again now and talk about another time in your life, you're blowing along in your first mission and you get a call from the ground that breaks the news to you that hey, your sister-in-law got shot, how do you deal with it psychologically. you weren't coming home that day or the next day. what kind of challenge was that for you? >> you know, it's challenging when you hear that your brother's wife, someone that's very important to me as well was shot in such a, you know, violent, i mean, most shootings are pretty violent, i don't know that you can have a shooting without violence but to be a victim of such violence and senseless violence where six
9:28 pm
other peoples were killed including a 10-year-old girl, others injured, and she sustained significant injuries and then later i was told she had actually passed away when i was in space, you know, i immediately got on the phone with my brother, talked to him as much as i can, tried to support with him as best i could, took some time to myself, i was the commander at the space station at the time, i had a job to do. eventually i tried to just kind of compartment and at the same time take care of my brother. i wouldn't say there was anything -- i wouldn't say it was like a serendipitous but cut the cord with fellow crew mates
9:29 pm
and let them run stuff because that had been there a couple of months and i was going to leave them a couple of months later. that was, i guess, a little bit of a good thing that allowed me to set them free a little bit but it's not easy. that's the worst part about being in space for a long time, not personal risk and worrying about what can happen to you, what can happen to your family on earth with no way to come home. >> in the book you mentioned very beautiful the fact that mark was also training, was assigned to be a commander and the decision had to be made. i think i was in washington. we may have talked a little bit. mark is the person who's is going to have to make the final determination as to his fitness to continue training for this mission and whether he really wants to do that. did your experience on station absent not being able to do anything did it allow you to help him at all in making that
9:30 pm
decision or did that not even -- not even play into it? >> you know, we talked about it. we talked about a lot of things about it. in the end, i think it was up to gabi, i think gabi made the decision. >> the spouses. >> hey, despite her injury, he vehicle niced that this is his last opportunity to fly in space, it's important, it's important to his crew that he had been training with, because otherwise they would have to start over with a new commander. clearly he was on the fence on whether this was the right thing to do. in tend, it wasn't his decision. >> this was a tragedy, a national tragedy, in fact, an international tragedy and you got a call from president putin, president obama declared a day of mourning, the monday after. you got a passage in your book where you -- you actually prepared and read a message to the world. >> yeah. >> about violence. would you mind sharing that. >> i will read that -- first to
9:31 pm
mention something you said. so i did -- i wasn't a call from president putin, we had a conference scheduled the next day for all three astronauts and all three cosmonauts. >> i was moved that he spent time speaking to me, the russian people are behind you, this is a terrible tragedy and checking on me and making sure i was okay, but, yeah, i will read a little bit of what i said after she was shot and this was during a moment of silence, national moment of silence and i said this over radio to control center and whoever else was listening. i would like to thank some time this moment to recognize a moment of silence to honor victims of tucson shooting
9:32 pm
tragedy. first, i would like to say a few words, we have a unique advantage point aboard the international space station, i see a beautiful planet that seems inviting and peaceful. unfortunately it is not. these days we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions but with our irresponsible words, we are better than this, we must do better. and then i go onto just talk about the moment of silence that we had and it's interesting how this was -- i said this in 2011. >> '11. >> january 2011 and some of what i said here is so much more applicable today than it was back then. i guess we haven't learned much. >> i found the same. i keep talking about your bumps in the road. you come back from your first
9:33 pm
iss mission and do some more things and then you get word that we are going to do this -- what some people thought was crazy, one-year mission and and you're finally select today fly the mission but you've got something that you've been working with the docs, diagnosed with prostate cancer and the medical guys in their infinite wisdom, you're not medically qualified and we want to take you off the crew. what went through your mind and what -- what pushed you to fight and to appeal that decision and get yourself put back on the crew where you so admirably served? >> i had prostate cancer between my last shuttle flight in 2007 and when i started training for my first long-duration flight and as you know, nasa does tests very young in us and some might wonder, well, you're really young to have prostate cancer,
9:34 pm
really what it is is we get the test so young that there are a bunch of astronauts that have had prostate cancer at a young age because we are tested for it. so i went through, you know, the process of having my prostate removed which is, you know, not fun but very effective, it worked so well that i went onto fly in space 500 days after i had cancer, was challenging to get the russians to approve that but they finally did, what you're talking about specifically is more the case where i was assigned to this year-long flight and the very next day i was unassigned, it had to do with my vision? >> that's right. >> it had to do with my vision, i come home and say to anika, that didn't last long. she said what, they took me off the flight.
9:35 pm
she's like, why, and i said, well, you know, i had effects of my vision from the previous one and u they thought that it's too risky, we are going to assign somebody that had no affects on their eyes and anika says, well, aren't they trying to learn like more about this, isn't that one of the reasons we are doing this and i said, yeah, and she says, but why would they have someone that's immune to it then if the person is immune, you're not going to learn anything from them. i was like, that's a pretty good point and she says, i had never seen you give up so easily, you have a point. i spent the whole night that night going through all my medical records which i had a stack this high because i had retired from the navy and they -- i went through them and i looked at my eye stuff, did research online and went the next day and made my case and to my shock, nasa said you have a
9:36 pm
very good point, okay, you're back. [laughter] >> good. during the periods of time that you were on station, you talk a lot about crew members, individual crew members and two that i will pick and you can pick as many as you want but two that really seem to stand out in your respect and admiration for them were both nonamericans, one was ganati and the other samantha, can you talk about each of them, what made them so uniquely distinct and what made them stand out in your estimation? >> i had a great experience with everyone on the crew and -- which has really been my case. i've been lucky, i have flown in space for 40 people and i have gotten along with all of them. you know, every stood out in their own ways, samantha, just her technical, her technical mind combined with the ability,
9:37 pm
this incredible ability for languages, usually it seems that people that have one side of the brain or the other, they don't have both, she really stood out in that way. she also stood out in the fact that she was the only woman on the space station for the entire year i was there which, you know, when she's leaving and you realize you're not going be around a woman again for nine months it's something -- i'm not talking about in some weird way, it's just something that you recognize, hey, for the next nine months up here with a bunch of guys and ganadi, he's such a professional, so nice, such a nice guy, kind of like, he's kind of like the elder statesman -- statesman of the cosmonaut office at the time and was, you know, different than some of those -- the other guys in some
9:38 pm
ways and respectives on things and i write about in the book about how he went down to visit this memorial for this person that was killed in russia and, you know, the guy was a political enemy of putin. and i had a lot of respect for gennady, i have respect for that guy, i am going to show that by visiting this memorial, but like i said, all the people i flew with were great. that's the best thing of flying for a long time. >> a lot of vehicles come and go and generally many of those vehicles were commercial. the new breed, if you will, i hate the term new space but what
9:39 pm
they represented what people called new space. you know, what was your impression and how did you come away in terms of the future of our exploration efforts and the role that commercial space will play, private entities will play in the future exploration. >> well, i think how the companies like boeing and particularly spacex that's flying flu space now is along with the plans for commercial organizations to take over access to lower orbit some day and hopefully they'll be carrying people soon and that'll free up resources and funds for nasa to do other things, to further explore our solar system. so i think it's been great. i was originally skeptical when elon said that he was going to land the first stage on a barge. i think i said something, you're
9:40 pm
crazy, we will never say that again about him, i think maybe i might say he's ambitious, but i would never doubt him again when he says he's going to do something but i think it's very exciting. i think we are in the cusp of a, you know, a real moment in human history where access to space is going to become much more available in the coming years. i was recently at blue origin and those guys are not kidding around. that's a serious business and they are serious about flying in space and i suspect that they will have a lot of success too and, you know, as time goes on, hopefully that'll get more people in space, more people had this incredible experience, industries in space, nasa will be on the path to doing some great exploration. >> you talked about -- maybe not a lot but frequently about challenges, technical and
9:41 pm
otherwise during your time in space, can you talk a little bit about what you feel are the greatest challenges on station itself? you mentioned things like high co2 levels, we tolerated through the years, physical and mental stressors, you have top five? >> a lot of life-support systems. i think the life-support systems we have to focus on some more because if you are going to mars and the toilet breaks an you can't fix it, you can no longer process your urine into water, you're not going to survive. we need to start using the space station as a platform to test this kind of philosophy, how long can we make that go with just this volume of spare parts. i think the co2 needs to be -- when it's as low as we can get it, i think that's acceptable but the problem is it fluctuates greatly and gets pretty high. i think nasa is looking at new
9:42 pm
technologies to -- and how to improve that but i think the life-support system equation of going to mars is something that we need focus on and think about more specially while we have the space station to practice it. i think the psychological, the human side of it, i think we got a lot of the stuff figured out, certainly radiation is going to be a challenging and we need to solve that problem. from a psychological perspective and we were talking about this one day at dinner in the russian segment if we were on our way to mars, you would not be able to look out the window and see earth and it would be daylight all of the time for months and months and that's going to be a whole different psychological experience for the people that do that. >> your girls are now larger an older but when you talk about
9:43 pm
that particular psychological stressor, you leave the planet and you look back and every day becomes a smaller and smaller dot. and your ability to talk to people back home becomes increasingly difficult and longer. >> yeah. >> and eventually kind of goes away. >> how do you think we are going to -- how do we train ourselves to deal with that? how do we condition ourselves to be ready for this? are we doing anything on station today? >> we have done that, talked about it. i've never done an experiment like that but we have discussed it. they talked about putting one module that the russians got their second laboratory module and closing the hatch on us for a whole year, i wasn't too keen on doing that. [laughter] but i think it's going to come down to picking the right people, you know, people that can deal with stress and
9:44 pm
adversity. i think, you know, having flown in space with a lot of people on the space station, certainly personalities that are good for a shuttle flight. everything has to be perfect all of the time. you can't make everything perfect all of the time on the space station flight that's six months or a year long, so, you know, a little bit different personality you you're able to -- you know, prioritize a little differently, focus on the stuff that's really important when it has to be and the stuff that's not as important, maybe let it be able to let it go. i think that trait is going to be very helpful to people that spend a lot of time in space. >> you have a pilot? shuttle program. when you came out like i did, pilots did not go -- but now everybody does ea's, you did a number of them. can you talk a little bit about what surprised you, what were
9:45 pm
the difficult parts of eva that maybe you assumed would be a piece of cake and all of a sudden, boy, this is really hard? >> yeah, so you do all this training in the pool and the pool is not exactly like space because gravity still affects you and in the pool you're neutrally, makes things harder, the friction with the water makes the suit harder to move but makes it easier to stop. in space, you clearly don't have gravity affecting news the same way, floating within the suit. that makes easier, but the magnitude and of what you're doing and the attention that every action requires for that length of time and the physical aspect of it, i thought it was harder than the training you do in the pool and i would say that they need to bump up the pool training a notch because at
9:46 pm
least the first two eva's, the first two were really, really challenging and, you know, i was surprised how easy and kind of get lost in the outside of the space station when it's dark, it's pretty big. i was surprised at how incredible the earth looks from the suit, much more impressive than when you're looking through the bullet proof glass of the windows of the space station or shuttle. how hot it is outside or cold, when you're touching things, even through gloves you feel the heat of the sun on metal or you feel the deep cold of it, and the contrast of that as the sun goes down or comes up is just shocking. >> yeah. >> damage on the outside of space station, all the holes and things and even like bullet holes and handrails, gets hit all of the time. yeah, it was just kind of like almost an overwhelming
9:47 pm
experience. >> did you between space walks, was there sufficient time, you know, like finger tips, toes that bruised a lot, sufficient time to get healed up and they seemed that they were perpetually sore. >> definitely between first and second eva, only about a week, you know, you're still a little bit sore in places. i'm fortunate that i don't have where some guys have where fingernails fall off and never grow back because of difficulty working in the gloves which is quite a challenge. >> you mentioned some lessoned -- lessons learned. never say never, but now that you don't have any immediate intention of going back to space, here are some things that i learned or here are some things, whether things i missed or things i have learned to
9:48 pm
appreciate, can you run through a short list of some of those things you learned and you can use the book if you want. >> i was trying to think of the really important ones but i will cover because i know we don't have that much time but the importance of diversity in a team. i came from a navy that was a bunch of basically a bunch of white guys like me and i wasn't until i went to nasa that i started working with people from other ethnicities, other genders, other countries and just having a group, a team with all these different backgrounds and different experiences and different perspectives, whether the perspectives were cultural perspectives or from the fact that they had a different major in college, whatever, it just provided us a different way to look at things as a group and made us stronger at solving problems, coming up with
9:49 pm
solutions and that is something that i, you know, learned over 20 years at nasa. the international partnership of the space station program is so important. and valuable at the same time. i mean, it gives us something that is important for us to work on as a group rather than something negative to be arguing about all of the time which seems like we often do. >> yeah. >> i appreciate earth more and the environment being able to look at earth for a really long time from space, makes you think about how fragile the atmosphere looks, how some parts are polluted. this is the only planet we have. i'm not a believer that mars is our lifeboat. i think for our civilization to grow and develop and expand, yeah, we will have people living in other places but that's not because we are going to destroy this place and run there, we have to take care of this
9:50 pm
planet. i learned about who the experts are and if you want to know something about, you know, rocket science, you ask a rocket scientist. if you want to know something about climate science, you don't ask a lawyer. you ask a climate scientist. those kinds of things and you don't appreciate people and just be more empathetic to the planet because we are in this together. >> before we run out of time, i am sort of a mars fanatic but let's pretend that i'm not. if we want to go to mars, i'm going to put my biases away because i am a mars fan gnattic like -- fanatic like i said, what things -- what will it take for us to go to mars especially in the times, you know, schedule that we have layed out for
9:51 pm
ourselves, talking about getting there in the 2030's? >> when i was in the space station a reporter said to me, now that -- nasa has determined there's liquid water during some time of the year, is that going to help us get there any sooner? i was like, i don't know, maybe. now if we need money, we will get there very fast. that's what we need. we need to have better understanding of some of the physical stuff with our vision, maybe, radiation effects, we kneeled -- need to shield the crew with radiation, magnetic field or water or get there really fast. that's something we need to think about. but i think the biggest challenge to us going to mars is not use what my brother often says, it's not about the rocket science, it's about the
9:52 pm
political science. it's about having, you know, voters elect members of congress that are science-minded people that see the value in doing something like this and put the resources behind it and, you know, whether we change the laws or maybe we just get an administration that recognizes that nasa can't be changing direction or plans every time we get a new president, that will be very helpful to us going to mars some day. >> any place else after mars? i'm asking for my granddaughter. >> like saturn? we are not going to venus. why not venus? venus would be too hard because of the acid, rain clouds and the crushing pressure. but maybe one of -- titan, one of those places. >> water places. >> a place with water.
9:53 pm
>> you mentioned in your book, definitely in the log when you talk about your realization of how awesome water was and nothing like being e-commerced in water. what did you mean when you said that? >> when you don't take a shower for a whole year it becomes very important. as soon as we got in, jumped in pool. >> no change of clothes. >> even though the pool was heated, when i got out, my body went into shock a little bit. i've just not had that experience in so long. really cold. but a lot of things on earth we take for granted. >> would you like to go back again? >> i'd go back, yeah. >> you know, what would you -- if you had an opportunity to pick your crew, not names but
9:54 pm
what kind of crew would you like to put together, what types of talents? >> i would pick them from the group of people i spent a year in space with. people that are, you know, helpful but not too helpful, you know, you can't have someone up there that you think is always going to help -- be there to help you do your work, someone -- you have to be technically competent because it's a complicated thing working in space and has a lot of risks. after those things i will just say that people that are easy to get along with and don't get too stressed out over things and that you can trust. on the space station, i mean, you have to be able to trust the people that you're up there because there's so many things that can go wrong.
9:55 pm
trust worthiness, technical competence, stability, someone who is emotionally very stable. a lot of the traits that we often don't see in government today -- [laughter] >> you said it, i didn't. [laughter] >> you can say it. [laughter] >> we both can say it as a matter of fact. what can they do to us? send us back to space. [laughter] >> and you don't have to do it quickly, we have time. you talked to a lot of kids and you're as passionate about them as i am. hopefully there's going to be several thousand students who will see this at some point in their academic life. give them a few words of wisdom, go all the way back to scott kelly, the kid who would never do the right thing who didn't
9:56 pm
know how to study, who didn't really see the need to study up to scott kelly today, you know, the people that many of us admire and consider a hero. >> so i was to talk to myself back then what i would say is you need to find some inspiration. you could have beaten me over the head with a 2 by 4 and i wasn't going to be able to do my homework. inspiration is the key. kids get inspirations from different places and for me i know it was absolutely impossible for me to be a good student without inspiration. and the inspiration i found was from a book, hey, if you want to do this, you have to do this and this and this requires homework and that's what helped me. for kids that want to work at nasa, pick something that's qualifying, but something that you're interested in. don't become a pilot because we were pilots, become a pilot
9:57 pm
because you want to fly airplanes and if that helps you become an astronaut, great, if you rather be a chemist, be a chemist because you'll be a better chemist, good to have a job that you like, you'll do better. i'm working on the young reader version of this one and a picture book, actually. >> great. scott, it's been incredible pleasure for me to have the opportunity to sit and talk to you today and for anybody who is looking and wonders whether to take the book or audio, get both. i did both and they give you as you said, they give a different perspective when you're reading and when you're hearing it in your voice, but you've been absolutely incredible today and thanks for your service to the nation and to nasa and best of luck from here on out. >> thank you, thank you, sir, appreciate it. >> c-span, where history unfolds
9:58 pm
daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> here is a look at some of the best nonfiction books of 2017 according to the los angeles times. atlanta national correspondent franklin reports on the trade-off between technology and personal privacy in world without mind. in the great quake, new york times science reporter henry reports on the largest earthquake ever recorded in north america which happened in 1964 in alaska. biographer ruth franklin recalls writing of author shirley jackson. and in we were eight years in
9:59 pm
power, examines race relations in america and the legacy of president obama. >> when i came into journalism i wanted a big admonishing from all the black writers and even well-meaning white writers, don't get boxed off as a black writer, don't allow them to -- and i understood what they were saying, you want your freedom to pursue yourself wherever your curiosity goes. my curiosity led me actually back to my people, back to my community, and it was only really when i started doing the report under the presidency, under the obama presidency that i came to understand that as i say in the book, i was never boxed in, everybody else was boxed out because african-american history doesn't exist over here. it is the thread running right through the country itself, so if you --
10:00 pm
[applause] >> in the rainbow. >> many of these authors have appeared on book tv, you can watch them online on our website booktv.org. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. up next on after words,, the career of her grandfather, president of harvard university

24 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on