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Ask the Crew: STS-100

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Question #1 Chris Hadfield's Reply

From: Faron Zaytsoff from Edmonton, Alberta
To: Mission Specialist Chris Hadfield

Question: When the Canadarm2 is operational, what will happen to the Canada arm of the space shuttles? I would also like to ask what it feels like to walk above Earth? Congratulations go out to the Canadian Space Agency and Chris Hadfield.

Hadfield: Both of the arms are going to fly for a long time to come. The shuttle arm, Canadarm1 on the shuttle, is needed for all of the shuttle flights, pretty well, to manipulate the space walkers around so they can do their work and to lift some things out of the bay and even hand them off to the 'big arm', or the Canadarm2 on the station. Canadarm2 will stay permanently on the station, of course, to maneuver all of the payloads around the whole length of the station and minimize the amount of time that we have to do space walks on the station. So, it's going to be a two-armed operation from now on.

And to answer the question what it feels like to walk above the Earth it's an amazing experience to float weightless around the world over and over again. To have the sensation of holding on to the side of the space station with one hand and put your face into the wind as it were, and watch the world roll by under your feet is just spectacular. To be doing it while you're working outside to build something that is vital to the future of this whole project, to give it that type of intrinsic purpose, makes it just an overwhelming experience. It's spectacular and I was really honored to have a chance to do it.

Image: Mission Specialist Chris Hadfield
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Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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