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Steven Hawley — Former NASA Astronaut, Hubble Space Telescope & Chandra X-ray Observatory Missions

December 15, 2021 @ 4:30 pm

In this episode:

We meet Dr. Steven Hawley, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas, and former NASA astronaut who’s flown on five Space Shuttle missions. In those missions, Hawley had major roles in the deployment and later upkeep of the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

 

In our conversation, Dr. Hawley discusses the first telescope he owned, the 1991 Hubble Space Telescope deployment mission, his role in its deployment, why it initially didn’t operate as intended, what it’s told us about our universe, his later role in the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and his thoughts on the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

 

In describing his first space mission deploying the bus-sized Hubble in 1991, Hawley says, “My job was to operate the arm to grasp the telescope, lift it out of the payload bay, and release it. Well, that sounds simple enough on the surface. It actually was quite complicated, and there were a lot of ‘what-ifs’ that we had to think about.”

 

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

Filed under Space, Space Foundation, Space4U, NASA, Astronaut, Telescope · Comments

Dorit Donoviel — Director, Translational Research Institute for Space Health

December 8, 2021 @ 9:07 am

In this episode:

We meet Dr. Dorit Donoviel, director of the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH). She is also director of the Biomedical Innovation Laboratory and associate professor of Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Donoviel’s work revolves around performing research and developing strategies aimed at reducing health and safety risks to astronauts in long-duration space missions. She has received numerous awards for her work, including NASA’s Group Achievement Award for work as a member of the Executive Steering Committee for “The Impact of Sex and Gender on Adaptation to Space,” a collection of six scientific articles published in The Journal of Women's Health.

In our conversation Donoviel discusses how her career in the space ecosystem began, what inspired her to do the research she does, changes that occur in the human body in space, how space health includes both physical and behavioral health, the TRISH-sponsored research conducted by the civilian crew on the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission, and her thoughts on the importance of mentorship.

Explaining the importance of racial and gender diversity in tracking the health of humans in space, Donoviel says, “You go back to the Sixties; we’ve been in space for 60 years… Roughly 530-something-odd people have been to space. That’s like 10 a year. And as a biologist — as a person who studies particularly humans — you need more than that! You need a lot more people. And you need diversity in your sample.”

To learn more about TRISH, visit https://www.bcm.edu/academic-centers/space-medicine/translational-research-institute

Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

Filed under Space, Space Foundation, Space4U, NASA · Comments

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