Return to Human Space Flight home page

Ask the Crew: STS-102

Send a question to MCC or the CrewPAGE: 1    2
Question #11Andrew Thomas' Reply

From: J.D. Lenzen from Tonkawa, Okla., age: 35
To:
Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas

Question: I have noticed that you use your hands a lot to move around during the mission. Does your wrist or the related muscles hurt the next day? Do you strengthen those muscles before your flight?

Thomas: No, not really because you actually don't need a lot of force to move around in zero gravity. You do have mass even though you have no weight. But, the amount of force you need to move is actually quite small, so you don't notice any effect on your muscles or hands.

Image: STS-102 Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas.
Audio Format
1.28 Mb .wav file
Netshow Audio
RealAudio
Question #12Andrew Thomas' Reply

From: William Luhn from Chicago, Ill., Age: 41
To:
Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas

Question: When docking a small watercraft, it is important for all occupants to not move so they do not affect the path of the vessel. Is this true when docking the shuttle to the ISS? Are there special "movement restrictions" on the crews during the final stages of docking?

Thomas: Well, you wouldn't want the center of gravity of the shuttle to move around too much during a docking, just like in a boat, but of course the shuttle has got so much mass and [is] so much larger that people moving around won't affect it terribly much. Of course, if masses will move substantially, then the center of gravity would be thrown off, and if you fire jets to move in a certain direction, it might change how much reaction you would get from those. And that could have an effect, but certainly people moving around inside doesn't.

Image: STS-102 Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas.
Audio Format
1.98 Mb .wav file
Netshow Audio
RealAudio
Question #13Andrew Thomas' Reply

From: Gary Skinner from Normal, Ill., Age: 46
To:
Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas

Question: What kind of view do you have from the cockpit of the booster separation and of the external tank separation?

Thomas: Booster separation you see a big flash as the pyrotechnics explode and the separation rockets fire to move the boosters out of the way. It lights up the whole front of the vehicle. It is very spectacular. For external tank separation you don't see very much of that but you feel it and hear it as a sort of a "clunk" as the pyrotechnic bolts fire and release it. You don't see anything because it is underneath you.

Image: STS-102 Mission Specialists Andrew Thomas and Paul Richards.
Audio Format
1.54 Mb .wav file
Netshow Audio
RealAudio
Send a question to MCC or the CrewPAGE: 1    2

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 03/04/2004
Web Accessibility and Policy Notices