Return to Human Space Flight home page

ISS Crew Answers: Expedition Six

Send a question to MCC or the CrewPettit's answers 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Bowersox's answers
Don Pettit's Answers 
Image: Expedition Six NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit
*Expedition Six NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit answered these questions via e-mail.

No. 41
From: Brenda Waters, M.D., Burlington, Vt., Age: 52

Question: What differences, if any, do you see in the communication style between the cosmonauts and the astronauts and their respective flight controllers?

Pettit: Not a whole lot. We both treat the ground with respect and professionalism, and they in turn do the same for us. The folks on the ground are an important part of the team.

No. 42
From: Alona Fromberg, Plano, Texas, Age: 17

Question: I was wondering how do you keep a constant pressure inside of your space station?

Pettit: Space station is like a large pressure tank, and we supply small amounts of air to make up for small losses due to leakage.

No. 43
From: Melissa, Adelanto, Calif., Age: 15

Question: What do you think about most while you are up there during your spare time?

Pettit: Science. I think about science all the time.

No. 44
From: Melissa, Tucson, Ariz., Age: 20

Question: From looking at your experiments, I am interested in possibly becoming an astronaut with an electrical engineering degree. How did you decide that you wanted to become an astronaut with a chemical engineering degree?

Pettit: It does not matter what your degree is in to become an astronaut. The important thing is to apply yourself in whatever field you choose.

No. 45
From: Chester Zablocki, River Grove, Ill., Age: 52

Question: I see pictures that you gentlemen have taken of the stars from space. Yet, why is it that when we see moving film of a spacewalk or other exterior shots, we don't see the stars in the background?

Pettit: Contrast; the stars are there but scattering and reflections from sunlight either direct or indirect off of the lens surfaces or windows prevent the stars from being seen. As soon as the sun sets, all the stars come out.

No. 46
From: Ritchie Kelly, Bellingham, Wash., Age: 51

Question: Sometimes you wear long pants and sometimes shorts. Do you save air conditioning energy by dressing lightly? What is the range of internal temperatures? What percentage of internal heat derives from equipment vs. external sunlight?

Pettit: We wear shorts because we like too. The temperatures run around 22 degrees Celsius so it is nice and comfortable. Nearly all the heat load is generated from equipment or people inside and not sunlight.

No. 47
From: Cheryl, Milford, Mass., Age: N/A

Question: If you have a cup of water, will the water float out of the cup? Aren't the cup and the water both in free-fall?

Pettit: The water will not float out of the cup for two reasons. Both are in free float and the water surface tension forces will hold it in even if subjected to small external forces.

No. 48
From: Carmen Braden, Sandy Lake, Pa., Age: 46

Question: How do you guide the station? Is it preset by a computer, or are there adjustments made up there? If adjustments are made, who makes them?

Pettit: We can change the station attitude using rocket thrusters either from control via onboard computers or from radio commands from the ground.

No. 49
From: Richard Victor, Escondido, Calif., Age: 48

Question: Even with your many years of training and education, what aspect of space travel surprised you the most? If, after returning, you were given a chance to return to the space station, would you?

Pettit: I was surprised how much fun it is to fly. I would come back to space station in a heart beat.

No. 50
From: Mike Morgan, Malvern, Pa., Age: 34

Question: A question for Science Officer Don Pettit: Do the thin films of water stay intact if they are frozen?

Pettit: I do not know the answer to this since I have no way to freeze the water. It would be fun to try.

Send a question to MCC or the CrewPettit's answers 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Bowersox's answers

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 05/13/2003
Web Accessibility and Policy Notices