Question asked by Bethany:
Have you been in outer space? What's it like?
I have not been in outer space on the Space Shuttle or up to the International Space Station myself, but I have flown four of my spaceflight experiments into outer space. I train astronauts and cosmonauts on how to operate my experiments and then they perform the experiments in space.
Astronauts performed my first and second experiments on the Space Shuttle, cosmonauts (Russian astronauts) and astronauts from the US performed my third experiment on the Russian Mir Space Station. Now I have a spaceflight experiment for the International Space Station.
I have flown hundreds of “microgravity parabolas” onboard NASA aircraft to personally experience microgravity, and in this weightless environment we test our experiments before they actually are coducted in space. I'm attaching a photo from one of these flights in weightlessness.
Photo: from left to right: Dava Newman, Guillermo Trotti, Guido Baroni, my student Matt, and Italian astronaut Paulo Nespoli floating above my MICR0-G spaceflight experiment. MICR0-G stands for Microgravity Investigation of Crew Reactions in 0-gravity.
Professor Dava Newman