Space, Astronaut, NASA First Black NASA Astronaut to Live on International Space Station Talks Time in Space
Victor glover is his name, the first black astronaut to live aboard the international space station for an extended mission. Yep uh, the brother was in space for a long time, six months and he’s back on earth. Right now he joins us, live probably still feeling a little weightless thanks for joining us here and welcome to start your day. Mr glover, we appreciate it uh richard branson, the billionaire good morning, um technically, he just came back from space. Uh what’d, you think about his trip because not exactly like yours, you know it’s not like mine, but it’s that’s, not what this is about. You know all space is good and so i’m excited for he, but especially i’m excited for him, but especially the rest of the crew, the folks who had not been uh on a mission like that that were able to receive astronaut wings uh. My colleague chris hadfield pinned astronaut wings on a few of the folks that were in the crew, and so it was an exciting day and now congratulations to all of the folks that made that possible right. Well, you did a lot more preparation than they did to prepare for your mission, so talk to me a little about what went into your preparation to spend half a year, that’s unthinkable in space, and was it everything you thought it was going to be. You know it was it was. It was all that and then some it was everything i wanted and a few things more, and so i got everything i wanted out of the mission.
Training is about three years before the mission, and you know we prepare for the spacewalks training in our large pool the neutral buoyancy lab uh. We fly our high performance aircraft to work on teamwork and decision making. We practice our robotics to uh. Our mission had a robotic capture of a cargo spacecraft, uh and then there’s tons of science and maintenance that we do on board as a crew, keeping the space station, which has been up there for over 20 years, keeping it flying and operating at the highest levels Of efficiency running hundreds of experiments at any one time, and so the training leading up to it was actually the only thing more fun. That training was actually flying in space wow and we were just looking at some some of the pictures and the images. The video from up there and you all really depend on one another, the teamwork, but i want to know what a typical day is like for you up there. When you get up uh when you sleep the food, is it seasoned properly? You know, okay, all right. So, yes, food is very important. We’Ll start with food. Okay, the food was actually really great and i was a part of a research experiment called food physiology that looked at how we can increase this certain macronutrients to improve uh immune function, as well as just the crew’s overall well being, and so i was able to Have really great food and we have a.
We have a seafood gumbo up there that i will have to say for for living in space. It was actually really good gumbo um a typical day, it’s hard to to summarize one day, because really you have to look at a week almost even two weeks to see you know typical operations, but if you’re not doing space walks, you know a typical day. We start the day at 7, 30 in the morning with a morning conference, and we end the day with an evening conference at 7 30.. The 12 hours in between is scheduled to a five minute block. So in you know, the fidelity is down to five minute increments, where they schedule your maintenance, your midday meal, your exercise, uh and so every day, we’re, given two and a half hours a day, two and a half hours where we can exercise and then perform the Hygiene to clean up afterward, uh that’s, one of the things i enjoyed the most uh, but you may be, you may be turning wrenches and fixing a machine. You know pulling a piece out of one box and putting in a replacement to fix it. You may be studying for another experiment or or working on another experiment or working with a crewmate uh with your hands on the glovebox to you know, change out the fluids in some cell culture, and you could be doing any number of things on any given day And that’s why an average day doesn’t really exist, but over two weeks you can really see what the crew, the the hum the the drum, beat guys we’re doing amazing work up there.
It was exciting to see it as well when it was happening. But can you describe the sensation of weightlessness when you’re walking in space and then how long did it take you to get your footing again once you were on earth to just feel back to normal, yes, great question so being in in low earth orbit and experiencing Microgravity i haven’t found a really good way to describe it, but i i said this to people. I think this. This resonates with folks. Imagine your your best dream about flying. I think most people have those flying dreams or at least used to when we were kids and imagine if you could actually live that. I woke up in the morning and i was weightless and i was floating around. I went to bed at night still weightless, and so it was like living a dream of flying uh it’s hard to describe other than that, because it’s not like swimming in a pool, even in a pool. If you turn upside down the blood still rushes to your head and so being in in microgravity, i could spin in every direction. If i close my eyes, i wouldn’t know which way is up. It was truly an amazing feeling and and and next to the crew and the great times that we had up there working together, it’s one of the things that i miss the most about the space station, um and and so uh, the yeah, the being weightless uh, Is is was truly an amazing experience and no matter how much you ate, you were still weightless.
I mean that’s a girl’s dream, but we do. We got ta. Ask you this because you got a special call from the vice president and you know here on earth. We sometimes have these annoying delays right, we’re hearing one another talking over in all seriousness. Did you have that? But how much did the call from vice president harris mean to you wow? That was a really profound day for a lot of reasons, so i got to speak to her and, and some of my crewmates also were able to speak to her, and i was just off camera while, while shannon and kate rubins were speaking with her and the The overwhelming feeling that i got was just mutual appreciation. We were so excited for the this administration and what they were doing and their support for what we were doing uh, but it was really amazing to see to to hear in in vice president matt, the madam vice president’s voice, how much he was excited about the Science and the technology development that we were uh conducting in space, and it was just really neat to see that mutual respect and uh and – and you know we talked about this mission and the importance of this mission, and it was really amazing to i said to Her something that i read uh in her bio, that you know, while being the first that something can seem special, it’s, more important to not be the last, and so i think again that mutual sense of understanding uh what we’re doing and why uh.
It was just really great to feel i think the whole crew experienced that well, you have millions of kids looking up to you and all the work you do, but before you go, we don’t have a few seconds left. I want to know what did you miss the most about earth and now that you’re back? What do you miss the most about space? I was gon na, say food, but you had gumbo there, so maybe not yeah. The food was actually great. You know i missed my family, the most that was the most, so it was great to be back and now that i’m on earth um, you know i i don’t really have a lot of longings now. I’M with my family, i feel great again: i’m back to i’ve got my land legs back. It took about a good two weeks to to feel really solid, wow and i’m. Really content i’m happy where things are and i’m really happy that people are are getting healthy and and the world is getting back to some sense of normalcy. So i am, i am exactly where i need to be. I love that you’re exactly where you need to be here and in history. Thank you so much for all the work. You continue to do victor glover, the first black astronaut to live on board the iss.