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Hear from Record-Breaking NASA Astronaut Christina Koch

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>>> GOOD AFTERNOON WELCOME TO NASA'S JOHNSON SPACE CENTER

WE'RE SO EXCITED YOU'RE HERE TODAY AND SO EXCITED TO BE JOINED BY NASA ASTRONAUT CHRISTINA KOCH CHRISTINA JUST RETURNED FROM A 328-DAY MISSION ABOARD THE INATIONAL SPACE STATIO THE LONGEST MISSION EVER BY A WOMAN FOR A SINGLE SPACE FLIGHT AND SHE JUST GOT BACK TO EARTH LAST THURSDAY SHE'S HERE WITH US TODAY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS FIRST OFF, CHRISTINA, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? >> FIRST OFF, THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO IS HERE

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN TETHE STORY IT'S BEE HONOR TO BE A PART OF IT I CAN TELL YOU THAT AFTER 328 DAYS IN SPACE, THE FIRST SIX DAYS BACK ON EARTH WERE FULL OF JUST AS MUCH WONDER AND EXCITEMENT SO WE ALL LIVE ON A GREAT PLANET, AND IT'S GREAT TO BE BACK NICE TO BE WITH YOU TODAY

>> THANK YOU I KNOW YOU HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTINA, SO WE'LL GET RIGHT TO IT WE'LL TAKE QUESTIONS HERE IN THE ROOM, ON THE PHONE, AND THEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA SO IF YOU'RE ON THE PHONE AND YOU HAVE A QUESTION, PLEASE PRESS STAR-1 TO ASK YOUR QUESTION AND STAR-2 TO WITHDRAW YOUR QUESTION IF IT'S ALREADY BEEN ANSWERED ON SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS USING #ASKNASA

ALL RIGHT WE'LL START HERE IN THE ROOM PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION WHEN I CALL ON YOU, STATE YOUR NAME AND AFFILIATE AND WAIT FOR THE MIC TO GET TO YOU ALL RIGHT

WE HAVE ONE RIGHT HERE >> HI SO WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU DID ONCE YOU WERE FREE TO DO SOMETHING OUTSIDE OF NASA CONSTRAINTS, AND WHAT'S YOUR MOST VIVID MEMORY THAT YOU TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR TIME ON THE ISS? >> WELL, THE FIRST THING THAT I DID AFTER I WENT HOME WAS TO REUNITE WITH MY DOG, WHICH WAS WONDERFUL SHE WAS VERY EXCITED THEN WE TOOK A FAMILY TRIP TO THE BEACH

SO GOT TO TAKE IN SOME OF THE SIGHTS, SOUNDS, AND FEELINGS OF JUST BEINGK NEAR T OCEAN AND SOME OF THOSE THINGS I MISSED SO MUCH WHILE IN SPACE, IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO PICK JUST ONE MOMENT THERE WERE SO MANY OVERWHELMING MOMENTS, BUT THE ONE THAT REALLY COMES TO MIND IS THE FIRST MOMENT THAT I ARRIVED AT THE SPACE STATION HAVING LEARNED ABOUT THE SPACE STATION FOR SO MANY YEARS, REGARDING IT AS THIS AMAZING PLACE WHERE WE'RE DOING AWESOME SCIENCE TO BENEFIT THE EARTH, A ONE OF A KIND LABORATORY, AND TO SEE IT WAS REALLY REAL, TO SORT OF MEET MY NEW HOME FOR THE NEXT YEAR WAS AN INCREDIBLE FEELING IT WAS LIKE SOMETHING THAT HAD BEEN DISCUSSED AND TRAINED ON FOR SO MANY YEARS WAS ACTUALLY COME TO LIFE

NOT ONLY THAT, BUT I GOT TO FLOAT AROUND IN THAT PLACE THAT'LL BE SOMETHING I'LL NEVER FORGET >> ALL RIGHT MARK? >> THANK YOU MARK ROW WITH AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY

I'M WONDERING WHAT ADVICE YOU MIGHT OFFER TO SOMEONE PREPARING FOR THEIR FIRST LONG DURATION MISSION, BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE, TO HELP THEM PREPARE MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, WHATEVER YOU THINK WOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST THANK YOU >> YOU KNOW, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING I HAVEN'T REALLY THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT I'VE THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT WHAT I WOULD TELL FUTURE SPACE EXPLORERS IN GENERAL, BUT THE LONG-DURATION ASPECTS OF THE MISSION, I WAS FORTUNATE I HAD SOME PEOPLE THAT MENTORED ME AND GOT IN TOUCH WITH ME AND GAVE ME ADVICE

A LOT OF THEIR ADVICE WAS PACE YOURSELF, DO THE THINGS THAT YOU LOVE, MAKE SURE YOU'RE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL WE HAVE A SAYING HERE WE SAY IT'S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT WE USED TO SAY IT'S AN ULTRA MARATHON, NOT A MARATHON, FOR MY TIME UP THERE THAT'S REALLY TRUE

TAKING IT ONE DAY AT A TIME, MAKING SURE YOU RECOGNIZE THAT EVEN THOUGH THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN IT FEELS LIKE TIME IS SSING OWLY, YOUR TIME UP THERE IS SPECIAL ONE THING THAT I LEARNED DURING BOTH DEPLOYMENTS IN ANTARCTICA AND ON THE SPACE STATION WAS TO CONSTANTLY FOCUS ON THE THINGS YOU HAVE THAT YOU'LL NEVER HAVE AGAIN RATHER THAN THE THINGS YOU DON'T HAVE I THINK THAT'S A LESSON IN LIFE THAT CAN BE HELPFUL, AND IT DEFINITELY HE UP THERE LONG DURATION AND IT HELPS YOU TO RECOGNIZE EVERY DAY HOW SPECIAL WHAT YOU HAVE IS, WHICH THEN IN TURN MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO BRING YOUR BEST TO SORT OF MEET THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY THAT'S REALLY WHAT IT'S ABOUT, THINKING ABOUT HOW YOU CAN GIVE BACK EVERY DAY RATHER THAN WHAT YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON

>> ALLT ROBERT,EN OVER HERE >> HI, ROBERT WITH COLLECTSPACECOM AND SPACECOM

WONDERING IF THERE WAS A POINT INTO THE MISSION THAT THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION STOPPED FEELING LIKE A PLACE THAT YOU WERE WORKING WITH A COT SET UP IN THE CORNER OR THAT WERE ONN EXPEDITION BUT THAT IT ACTUALLY FELT LIKE HOME THEN ON THE FLIP SIDE, COMING HOME AND YOU HAVING TO PACK TO COME HOME, I KNOW YOU CAN'T TAKE A LOT OF STUFF ON THE SOYUZ, BUT AS YOU WERE EMPTYING YOUR LIVING SPACE, DID YOU FIND THAT YOU HAD SQUIRRELLED AWAY THINGS OVER THAT 328 DAYS? AND WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU PARTICULARLY DID WANT TO BRING BACK TO EARTH? >> WELL, THERE DEFINITELY WAS A POINT AT WHICH IT STARTED TO FEEL LIKE HOME THAT ACTUALLY CAME PRETTY QUICKLY INTO THE MISSION I WOULD SAY ONLY ABOUT THREE MONTHS IN IS WHERE I STARTED TO SORT OF FEEL AT HOME THERE THE DIFFERENT THINGS WE DO THROUGHOUT OUR DAILY SEEM NORMAL TO ME

NOT USING A CUP TO HAVE A DRINK OF WATER AND FILLING UP FOOD PACKETS AND THINGS LIKE THAT SO ALL OF THAT REALLY STARTED TO FEEL NORMAL, EVEN FLOATING I JOKINGLY SAY THAT I KIND OF FORGOT I WAS FLOATING UNTIL A NEW CREW WOULD COME AND THEY WOULD BE SO EXCITED ABOUT TING I WOULD BE LIKE, I GUESS WE ARE FLOATING, AREN'T WE? SO IT WAS REALLY NEAT TO SEE THAT TRANSITION IN TERMS OF PACKING, IT'S TRUE

WHEN YOU LIVE SOMEWHERE FOR A YEAR, YOU FIND YOU HAVE THINGS IN EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY SO ABOUT A MONTH BEFORE I STARTED TO COME BACK, I STARTED TO DRAW IN MY FOOTPRINT ON THE SPACE STATION AND THINGS I HAD SQUIRRELLED AWAY IN THE GALLEY FOR MY FAVORITE TIDBITS FOR A MEAL, I STARTED GETTING RID OF THOSE AND RECOGNIZING, OKAY, I MAY NOT NEED THAT FOR THE NEXT MONTH PRETTY SOON TOWARDS THE END OF THE TIME I WAS READY TO GO, I HAD EVERYTHING PACKED UP WE TAKE VERY, VERY LITTLE ON THE SOYUZ, LIKE YOU MENTIONED EVERYTHID OF BACK IN WHAT WOULD BE THE EQUIVALENT OF A SHOE BOX SIZE

THAT WAS REALLY ENOUGH TO KIND OF CARRY IT ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO ME THAT I BROUGHT TO SPACE WERE THINGS FROM MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY, MEMENTOS THAT THEY CAN TAKE WITH THEM AND REMEMBER THAT I CARRIED THEM WITH ME AND THAT THEY LIVED WITHOUT THEM FOR YEAR WHILE THEY WERE SORT OF, YOU KNOW, IN MY CARE AND ORBITING EARTH SO BRINGING THOSE THINGS BACK WAS PROBABLY MY NUMBER ONE MOST IMPORTANT THING >> ALL RIGHT OVER HERE

>> ERICA SIMON WITH ABC 13 FIRST AND FOREMOST, HOW ARE YOU FEELING? JUST MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY THEN I HAVE A FUN QUESTION YOU MENTIONED CHIPS AND SALSA FROM GALVESTON CAN YOU LET US IN ON WHERE THIS LOVELY PLACE IS THAT YOU LIKE CHIPS AND SALSA FROM? >> WELL, FOR THE FIRST QUESTION, I FEEL GREAT

I'M REALLY FORTUNATE A LOT OF PEOPLE, BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENT CHANGES THAT GO ON FOR MICROGRAVITY, WHEN YOU'RE READAPTING TO EARTH, YOU MIGHT EXPERIENCE MOTION SICKNESS AND THINGS LIKE THAT I'M REALLY FORTUNATE IN THAT I HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED T WHAT IVE NOTICED IS MY BALANCE HAS TAKEN A WHILE TO GET USED TO THE PHYSICAL ACT OF WALKING WAS SOMETHING TO GET USED TO, BUT I'M FEELING GREAT I THINK ALL OF THE NEW THINGS THAT I'M EXPERIENCING, YOU SEE YOUR MIND WAKE UP TO THE SENSORY EXPERIENCES THAT DEFINE EARTH AND THE THINGS THAT ARE HERE

YOU KNOW, WITHIN THE FIRST TWO MINUTES OF BEING BACK ON EARTH, I SAW MORE PEOPLE'S FACES THAN I HAD SEEN IN A YEAR SO THAT WAS REALLY EXCITING IT'S JUST FUN TO INTERACT WITH PEOPLE AGAIN CHIPS AND SALSA, NO PARTICULAR BRAND OR PLACE I WAS REALLY LUCKY BECAUSE I HAD A COUPLE PEOPLE PROVIDE GIFTS

SO I CAME HOME TO A KITCHEN FULL OF CHIPS AND SALSA, WHICH WAS REALLY EXCITING, EVEN SOME HOMEMADE SALSA FROM SOME OF MY NEIGHBOR'S FRIENDS IT WAS REALLY NEAT TO SEE THAT PEOPLE HAD KIND OF HONED IN ON THAT THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE ON EARTH THAE ALL THEE FOR GRANTED WERE THE SPECIAL THINGS I GOT TO COME HOME TO >> ANDY WITH KPRC THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT MOMENT IN HISTORY, IN ALL SERIOUSNESS

THERE ARE GOING TO BE A LOT OF YOUNG LADIEST THERE WHO WILL LOOK UP TO YOU FROM THIS POINT FORWARD AND SAY, I WANT TO BE YOU SOME DAY I WANT TO GO FURTHER SOME DAY WHAT DO TO YOU SAY TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF FEMALE SPACE EXPLORERS? >> WELL, IT IS A GREAT HONOR TO KNOW THAT MAY BE THE CASE I'VE ALWAYS SAID ABOUT ANY RECORD THAT YOU SET THAT MY EST EXCEEDED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE THAT MEANS WE'RE PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES, MORE PEOPLE ARE LIVING UP TO THEIR DREAMS AND THEIR POTENTIAL

SO MY MAIN MESSAGE TO ANYONE WHO HAS A DREAM IS TO FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS, BE TRUE TO YOURSELF, DO WHAT YOU LOVE, AND LIVE THE LIFE THAT YOU'VE IMAGINED FOR YOURSELF THEN A COUPLE THINGS I'D LIKE TO THROW IN ON THAT IS DO WHAT SCARES YOU DO THE THINGS THAT MIGHT FEEL LIKE THEY'RE JUST OUT OF YOUR REACH, THEY'RE INTRIGUING YOU, DRAWING YOU N BUT YOU DON'T KNOW FOR SURE IF YOU CAN DO IT GO AFTER THAT THING NOT ONLY WILL YOU MAXIMALLY IMPACT TWORLD, BUT YOU'LL GET THE MOST PERSONAL FULFILLMENT AND USE THAT AS A PERSONAL SPRING BOARD

I ALSO SAY SUPPORT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU WHEN WE ALL CARE ABOUT EVERYONE'S WELL-BEING, THAT EVERYONE IS PURSUING DREAMS IMPORTANT TO THEM, WE RISE TO WHATEVER OCCASION IS BEFORE US AND DO SO AS A GROUP AGAIN, IT'S THE WAY CAN GIVE BACK TO THE WORLD AND RELIVE OUR OWN POTENTIAL TO THE MAX SO THAT'S MY MESSAGE TO EVERYONE AND I JUST FEEL LIKE I ALSO OWE SO MUCH TO THE PEOPLE THAT INSPIRED ME BACK IN THE DAY TO GET TO WHERE I AM

F THERE'S ANY WAY I CAN FEED THAT FORWARD TO THE NEXT GENERATION, IT'S REALLY AN HONOR TO DO THAT >> GREAT QUESTION OKAY WE'LL TAKE A FEW ON THE PHONE >> HELLO? >> YES, GO AHEAD

>> I SAW YOUR FLAG UP THERE CAN YOU TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE EXPERIENCES YOU HAD AT THE SPACE STATION THAT MIGHT HAVE MADE YOU THINK BACK TO NC STATE, BACK TO THE FEARS YOU MIGHT HAVE HAD AS A STUDENT, EXPERIMENTS, ANYTHING LIKE THAT? >> DEFINITELY SO MANY THINGS I THINK WE RELATE BACK TO THAT SPECIAL PERIOD IN OUR LIVE, GOING AWAY TO COLLEGE FINDING NEW DISCOVERIES, LEARNING THINGS ABOUT OURSELVES, LEARNING THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND US AS ALMOST A CONSTANT EXPERIENCE OF RELIVING SOME OF THOSE THINGS

IN PARTICULAR, ONE THING THAT COMES TO MIND IS NC STATE IS THE PLACE WHERE I LEARNED TO ROCK CLIMB AND WHERE I STARTED PURSUING THAT AS A HOBBY THAT PARTICULAR HOBBY HAS JUST LENT ITSELF SO WELL TO SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT I FACED IN ASTRONAUT AND MAINLY JUST THAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE THINGS THAT SEEM UNACHIEVABLE AT FIRST AND THAT YOU CAN BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND THE TEAMWORK ASPECTS OF THAT SO I CONSTANTLY RELIED ON THAT THERE ARE SOME NEAT PARALLELS AS WELL TO SPACE WALKING AND ROCK CLIMBING NC STATE IS WHERE I DISCOVERED THAT GREAT HOBBY OF MINE

AND THE TEAMWORK IT TOOK TAKING ON THE PROJECTS AND WORKING TO ACHIEVE A COMMON PURPOSE AND COMMON GOAL WAS SOMETHING I RELIED ON A LOT SO A LOT OF LIFE LESSONS THERE >> DID YOU DO YOUR FIRST ROCK CLIMBING AT THE CARMICHAEL GYM? WHERE ELSE DID YOU GO FOR THAT? >> OF COURSE, I DID AND WE HAD OUR FIELD TRIP AT STONE MOUNTAIN LOTS OF NORTH CAROLINA REFERENCES THERE

>> ALLIGHT GRIMMER? >> SARAH GRIMMER FROM GRAND RAPIDS CHRISTINA, KIDS ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE LOOKING UP TO YOU RIGHT NOW, OBVIOUSLY, ESPECIALLY KIDS IN YOUR HOMETOWN OF GRAND RAPIDS IN WEST MICHIGAN COULD YOU SPEAK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR UPBRINGING I WEST MICHIGAN AND SOME ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THOSE KIDS? >> ABSOLUTELY I FOUND THAT THE SPIRIT OF HARD WORK AND TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER AND CARING ABOUT EACH OTHER THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME FROM THE TIME I WAS VERY YOUNG FROM THE PEOPLE OF WEST MICHIGAN AND MY FAMILY THERE THAT ARE FARMERS WAS COLY INSTRUME IN ME GETTING TO WHERE I A TODAY

I WORKED IN THE FIELDS WITH MY GRANDPARENTS AND UNCLES SOME OF THE LIFE LESSONS THEY TAUGHT ME, THE GRIT I LEARNED FROM HOW HARD THEY WORKED, AND THE IDEA OF CONSTANTLY GIVING, LOOKING AT EACH DAY AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO AS MUCH AS YOU COR THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU AND FOR THE COMMUNITY AROUND YOU I THINK SOME OF THOSE KIND OF MORAL LIGHTHOUSES THAT I LEARNED FROM THE TIME I WAS YOUNG IN GRAND RAPIDS AND NORTH OF GRAND RAPIDS IN SOME OF THE FARMING AREAS THERE WILL STAY WITH ME FOREVER I CONSTANTLY RELY ON >> AWESOME THANK YOU SO MUCH

>> ALL RIGHT MARSHA DUNN >> SCOTT KELLY TOLD US AFTER HIS ONE-YEAR MISSION THAT HE HAD ACHING MUSCLES AND JOINTS, BURNING SKIN, SORE FEET I'M WONDER IF YOU EXPERIENCED ANY OF THAT, EVEN FLEETINGLY, AFTER TOUCHDOWN? THEN I HAD A FOLLOW-UP >> WELL, I HAVE BEEN LUCKY IN THAT I HAVEN'T EXPERIENCED ALL OF THOSE THINGS

A LITTLE BIT OF MUSCLE ACHING IS DEFINITELY GOING TO BE ACROSS THE BOARD SOMETHING YOU EXPERIENCE WHEN YOU HAVEO USE N TO USE IN HOWEVER LONG YOU'VE BEEN IN MICROGRAVITY WEATHER IN SOME WAYS, EVEN JUST A NORMAL DURATION ISS MISSION WE HAVE GREAT COUNTERMEASURES SO THAT WE DON'T LOSE A LOT OF OUR BONE AND MUSCLE MASS LIKE WE MAY HAVE DONE IN DECADES PAST WHEN WE DO LONG DURATION BUT SOME OF THOSE FINE STABILIZATION MUSCLES THAT YOU USE JUST TO DO SIMPLE THINGS LIKE WALKING WE HAVE LOST SO I NOTICE LITTLE DISCOVERY MUSCLES I HAVEN'T FELT IN A WHILE AND THINGS LIKE THAT

HAVEN'T REALLY HAD THE SORE FEET, BUT I DID NOTICE FOR A DAY MY NECK WAS SORE I FELT LIKE A 2-WEEK-OLD, WORKING HARD TO HOLD UP MY HEAD BUT IT'S BEEN FORTUNATE IT'S BEEN A PRETTY EASY TRANSITION BACK I HAVE GREAT TEAMS THAT MAKE SURE THAT HAPPENS

>> AND I'M WONDERING, WHAT DAY DID YOU FINALLY GET TO THE BEACH? DID YOU MANAGE TO TAKE A SWIM, OR IS THAT NOT ALLOWED? AND I'D L TO HEAR MORE ABOUT YOUR DOG WHAT KIND OF DOG DO YOU HAVE, AND WHAT'S HER NAME? SHE MUST HAVE BEEN REALLY EXCITED TO SEE YOU >> I WAS ABLE TO MAKE IT TO THE BEACH ON SUNDAY I THINK MY ATHLETIC TRAINER KNEW THAT WAS A BIG GOAL OF MINE BECAUSE SHE KIND OF KEPT PUSHING ME, SAYING, I THINK IF YOU CAN GET THIS DONE, I'LL CLEAR YOU TO WAN THE BEA SHE KNEW THAT WAS A BIG MOTIVATION FOR ME MY DOG IS LBD, LITTLE BROWN DOG

SHE'S FROM THE HUMANE SOCIETY SHE COULDN'T BE SWEETER YES, SHE WAS VERY EXCITED I WAS VERY EXCITED I'M NOT SURE WHO WAS MORE EXCITED TO SEE THE LUCKILY, AVE FOOTAGE OF THE WHO

SO I'M REALLY HAPPY THAT — YOU KNOW, IT'S JUST A SYMBOL OF COMING BACK TO THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT YOU LOVE, TO SEE YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL >> ALL RIGHT JOHN KROFT >> JIM BRIDENSTINE HAS SAID THE FIRST WOMAN ON THE MOON IS ALREADY IN THE OFFICE AND WILL HAVE SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE ABOARD THE ISS YOU SPENT MORE TIME THERE THAN ANY OTHER FEMALE ASTRONAUT

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT ARTEMIS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF WALKING ON THE MOON OR THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING THE FIRST WOMAN ON THE MOON? >> WELL, IT IS CERTAINLY A VERY EXCITING TIME TO BE PART OF THE NASA FAMILY, WHEN WE ARE LOOKING TO GO BACK TO THE MOON, TO GO IN A DIFFERENT WAY, TO GO TO STAY, TO GO FOR ALL AND BY ALL IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO BE HERE AT THIS TIME OF COURSE, ME OR ANYONE IN MY OFFICE WOULD BE HONORED TO BE A PART OF THAT MISSION AND AGAIN CARRY PEOPLE'S DREAMS EVEN FARTHER INTO SPACE EXPLORATION, TO CONTRIBUTE TO FUTURE MISSIONS, TO GO EVEN DEEPER SO I LIKE TO SAY THAT I'M JUST EXCITED THAT I'LL PROBABLY KNO THE FIRST WOMAN AND THE NEXT MAN TO WALK ON THE SURFACE OF THE MOON, BUT ANY OF US WOULD BE READY AND HONORED TO ACCEPT THAT MISSION IF IT WERE OFFERED TO US >> ALL RIGHT

ELIZABETH HOWELL >> CHRISTINA, CONGRATULATIONS I'M INTERESTING IN LEARNING ABOUT HOW YOU MANAGED YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING YOUR MISSION AS FAR AS YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE SPEAKING ABOUT IT, HOW DID YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, AND WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE? >> WELL, FOR ME, IT WAS REALLY JUST ABOUT THE MENTAL CHEERLEADING THAT YOU DO TO YOURSELF I ALWAYS SAY, LIKE, PUT SOMETHING ON REPEAT IN YOUR HEAD THAT'S GOING TO BE CONSTRUCTIVE

SO DON'T EVER THINK OVER AND OVER AGAIN ABOUT SOMETHING THAT BRINGS YOU DOWN MAKE SURE TO PUT SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, IN YOUR MENTAL SPACE THAT BRINGS YOU UP FOR ME, THAT WAS ALWAYS FOCUSING ON WHAT I HAD AND NOT THE THINGS I DIDN'T HAVE, FOCUSING ON THE UNIQUE ASPECTSF MY LIFE THAT ONE DAY I WOULD JUST WISH I COULD HAVE BACK FOR A SECOND EVERY TIME YOU THINK ABOUT IT FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE, YOU'RE DONE FEELING, YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU MISS HOME YOU'RE JUST READY TO TAKE ON THE DAY

YOU'RE READY TO REMEMBER THAT BECAUSE THIS IS SO SPECIAL, YOU HAVE TO KIND OF MEET THAT WITH AN EQUALLY HIGH LEVEL ENGAGEMENT AND YOUR OWN PERSONAL BEST SO REALLY JUST THINKING ABOUT IT IN THAT LIGHT I DIDN'T HAVE TOO MANY STRUGGLES THINKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THE MONTHS DRAGGING ON OR ANYTHING I JUST MADE SURE TO APPRECIATE EV DAY >> ALL RIGHT

RUSSELL TOWNS >> HI, I'M WITH PACIFIC RIM MEDIA IN ALASKA HELLO, CHRISTINA >> HELLO GREAT TO BE WITH YOU

>> GREAT WHAT EXPERIMENT DO YOU THINK THOSE OF US B ON EARTH WOU BE MOSTPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT? AND THE FOLLOW-UP, IF YOU WERE TO DESIGN YOUR OWN, WHAT WOULD YOU EXPLORE? >> BOTH GREAT QUESTIONS I THINK THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED TO LEARN ONE OF THE THINGS WE STUDY IN SPACE IS ACTUALLY SOMETHING THAT'S SO APABLE ON EARTH THAT YOU ALMOST WOULDN'T IMAGINE IT THAT IS PHARMACEUTICAL DEVELOPMENT THERE ARE, YOU KNOW — HOW I LIKE TO THINK ABOUT IS TO UNLOCK SOME OF THESE DISEASES THAT WE ALL ARE LOOKING FOR A CURE FOR HERE ON EARTH

OFTEN WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE STRUCTURE OF THE PROTEINS THAT ACTUALLY E THOSE DISEASES SOMETIMES THOSE PROTEIN CRYSTALS DON'T GROW AS WELL IN EARTH IF WE GROW THEM IN MICROGRAVITY, WE HAVE A LEG UP ON UNDERSTANDING THEIR STRUCTURE AND A LEG UP ON LEARNING ABOUT THE MEDICATIONS WE CAN DEVELOP TO FIGHT THOSE THINGS SOMETHING THAT'S SO APPLICABLE, SO TANGIBLE IN OUR LIVES CAN BE BEST LOOKED AT AND STUDIED IN MICROGRAVITY HONESTLY, ALL THE EXPERIMENTS THAT THEY'RE DOING UP THERE ARE KIND OF THE THINGS THAT I AM NATURALLY DRAWN TO AS WELL

I'M AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER AND PHYSICIST, SO I LOVE THERE'S A T OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE THINGS I ALSO LOVE COMPUTER PROGRAMMING I LIKE THE IDEA THAT IN MICROGRAVITY, WE CAN STUDY THINGS WITHOUT WHAT WE MIGHT CONSIDER THE BOUNDARY CONDITIONS OF 1G YOU KNOW, THINGS LIKE CAPILLARY ACTION THINGS THAT REALLY ALLOW US AND THE PEOPLE INVESTIGATING THOSE THINGS TO KIND O G AN EDGE IN THE INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE'RE REALLY PUSHING THE LIMITS OF HOW WE CAN BE EFFICIENT IN MANUFACTURING AND THINGS LIKE THAT

I KIND OF LOVE THOSE EXPERIMENTS AS WELL >> THAT'S GREAT YOU LOOK GOOD WITH THE COOKIES TOO >> CAN'T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE COOKIES >> ALL RIGHT

NEXT, WILLIAM HANEY >> HI, CHRISTINA I'M CALLING FROM KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN ANOTHER WEST MICHIGAN NATIVE HERE I'M ACTUALLY A METEOROLOGIST AT ONE OF THE LOCAL STATIONS HERE

YOU KNOW, I JUST WAS BLOWN AWAY BY SO MANY OF THE COOL WEATHER PHOTOS THAT YOU SHARED THINGS THAT COME TO MIND, HURRICANE DORIAN OR THE WILDFIRES IN AUSTRALIA I WAS WONDERING IF THERE WAS ONE SPECIFIC TYPE OF WEATHER THAT WAS THE MOST JAW DROPPING TO VIEW FROM SPACE >>S DOWN IT'S GOT TO BE THE CLOUDS I ALWAYS HAD SEEN CLOUDS FROM THE VANTAGE OF AN AIRPLANE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND HAD NO IDEA THAT ON A PLANETARY SCALE, THERE COULD BE SO MANY PATTERNS, SO MANY THINGS THAT YOU CAN SEE ON LITERALLY A PLANE SCALE

ONE REALLY NEAT THING WAS VORTICES THAT FORM YOU CAN SEE A WAVE PATTERN IN SOME OF THE CLOUDS WHEN THE WINDS GO OVER CERTAIN ISLANDS AND THINGS LIKE THAT SO RECOGNIZING THE LITTLE THINGS WE MIGHT BE FAMILIAR WITH FROM, SAY, STUDYING A WINDEL OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT ALSO TAKE PLACE ON THESE GIGANTIC SCALES THEN THAT, IN TURN, HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND THAT SOME OF THESE PLANETARY PROCESSES THAT WE'RE LEARNING TO UNDERSTAND, TO TRY AND UNDERSTAND AND DEVELOP POLICIES FOR THINGS LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE ARE SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE THERE REALLY IS A WHOLE OTHER SCALE WE DON'T SEE FROM OUR PECTIVE DOWN HERE THAT YOU DO SEE FROM UP THERE THAT WAS REALLY PHENOMENAL

>> AWESOME THANK YOU SO MUCH >> ALL RIGHT NEXT IS LINDSEY >> HI, CHRISTINA

THIS IS LINDSEY, ALSO IN WEST MICHIG BASED GRAND RAPIDS IN FOLLOWING YOUR JOURNEY, I SAW THIS IS SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO ACCOMPLISH SINCE YOU WERE 5 YEARS OLD SO ONE THING I'D LOVE TO KNOW IS IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO YOURSELF AS THAT 5-YEAR-OLD WHO WAS SO CONFIDENT IN BECOMING AN ASTRONAUT, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE TO SAY TO HER? >> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE 5-YEAR-OLD ME WAS NOT NECESSARILY CONFIDENT THAT I WOULD BECOME AN ASTRONAUT BUT CONFIDENT I WANTED TO BE AN ASTRONAUT SO KNOWING THAT WAS WHAT I WAS PASSIONATE ABOUT WAS WHAT I WAS SURE OF I ALSO KNEW THE CHANCES WERE REALLY, REALLY LOW

YOU KNOW, I PURSUED IT AS A SINGLE-MINDED GOAL MANY YEARS THEN SOMETHING INTERESTING HAPPENED I WENT AWAY TO SPACE CAMP PART OF OUR SPACE CAMP CLASS, WE LEARNED HOW TO BE AN ASTRONAUT IT WAS THE NAME OF ONE OF THE CLASSES WE ATTENDED

THE INSTRUCTOR ACTUALLY WROTE A LIST UP ON THE BOARD OF THE THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD DO YOU KNOW,ONE WAS FLYING, WRITING NOTES I THOUGHT IN THAT MOMENT THAT I WASN'T GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE ACCORDING TO A CHECKLIST I WAS GOING TO LIVE ACCORDING TO MY OWN PASSIONS IF LATER IN LIFE I LOOKED BACK AND I REFLECTED UPON THE FACT THAT THE EXPERIENCES I HAD GAINED, THE SKILLS I HAD GAINED WOLLOW ME TO CONTRIBUTE IN A GREAT WAY TO THE SPACE PROGRAM THAT I HELD IN SUCH A HIGH REGARD, ONLY THEN WOULD I EVER APPLY TO BE AN ASTRONAUT

SO I MIGHT TELL MYSELF A LITTLE EARLIER TO LOOK AT IT THAT WAY BECAUSE I THINK THAT BREAKING AWAY FROM THE SINGLEINDEDNESS OF ONLY ASTRONAUT ALLOWED ME TO EXCEL AND FIND THE THINGS I LOVE INTERESTINGLY, THOSE THINGS WERE THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT THE MOST IN MY ASTRONAUT INTERVIEWS, THINGS LIKE ROCK CLIMBING AND GOING TO ANTARCTICA I LIKE TO TELL THE STORY THAT I ACTUALLY QUIT A PERFECTLY GOOD ENGINEERING JOB AT NASA TO PURSUE WORK IN THE ANTARCTIC THAT TURNED OUT TO BE ONE OF THE GREATEST EXPERIENCES THAT I CONTINUE TO DRAW FROM SO I WOULD SAY LIVE ACCORDING TO YOUR PASSIONS AND LET THOSE GUIDE YOU AND REFLECT BACK AND SEE WHERE YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE THE MOST

>> AMAZING YOU EMBED ON THIS, DID YOU KNOW YOU'D BE MAKING HISTORY? OR DID IT HAVE TO BE POINTED OUT? AND WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU REALIZED THAT? >> DEFINITELY HAD TO BE POINTED OUT I'M NOT — YOU KNOW, I DON'T KEEP THE STATS ON THAT STUFF LUCKILY, OTHER PEOPLE DO I THINK PING OUT THOSE MILESTONES, AS MUCH AS I MIGHT NOT LIKE TO BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION, I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT SPREADS THE WORD ON WHERE WE'RE AT IF OUR HUMAN SPACE EXPLORATION

I THINK MILESTONES PROVIDE MOTIVATION FOR PEOPLE SO I THINK IT'S A GOOD THING TO RECOGNIZE THAT I'LL NEVER FORGET THE MOMENT THAT SOMEONE MENTIONED THAT THERE HAD NOT YET BEEN AN ALL-FEMALE SPACE WALK IT WAS MY VERY LAST SPACE WALK TRAINING EVENT WHERE I WAS GETTING QUALIFIED TO DO A SPACE WALK AFTER ALL THE DEBRIEFS AND BEING TOLD EVERYTHING, YOU KNOW, I SHOULD DO BETTER AND THE THINGS I DID OKAY, THINGS LIKE THAT, SOMEONE E WERE KIND OF ALL WALKING OUT AND SOMEONE SAID, HAS THERE EVER BEEN AN ALL-FEMALE SPACE WALK? THERE PERSON KNEW THERE HAD NOT, BUT THEY WERE BRINGING IT UP

THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME IT HAD OCCURRED TO ME THAT THERE WAS A CHANCE OF THAT HAPPENING IT'S REALLY JUST THE DIRECTION WE'RE MOVING, BY CLASS OF ASTRONAUTS BEING HMEN, HALF WOMEN HAVING THE POPULATION ON BOARD, IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME I THOUGHT ABOUT IT DIDN'T REALLY THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN BECAUSE OUR JOB IS TO DO THE MISSION IN FRONT OF US

I'M JUST FORTUNATE THAT THAT WAS PART OF THE MISSION, MAINLY JUST BECAUSE I LIKE THAT WE'RE NOW BEYOND THAT POINT WE CAN KEEP PUSHING >>LL RIGHT WE'LL WRAP UP HERE WITH ONE QUESTION FROM SOCIAL MEDIA FROM BILLY HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU FIRST LOOKED BACK AT OUR PLANET? >> WELL, I'LL NEVER FORGET THAT MOMENT

I HADN'T EVEN REACHED THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION YET I WAS STILL ON THE SOYUZ SPACECRAFT, AND WE HAVE LITTLE COVERS OVER OUR WINDOWS WE ALSO GO IN AND OUT OF DAYLIGHT AND NIGHT, DEPENDING ON WHAT SIDE OF THE EARTH WE'RE ON SO WE'RE ON OUR WAY TO THE SPACE STATION IT'S ABOUT A SIX-HOUR RENDEZVOUS

IT FIRST OCCURRED TO ME I SHOULD LOOK OUT MY WINDOW I OPEN IT UP, AND WOULDN'T YOU KNOW, THERE WAS EAR IT JUST LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE YOU MIGHT SEE IN THE PICTURES EXCEPT WAY MORE BRIGHTER, WAY MORE REAL, AND I LITERALLY EXCLAIMED I JUST SAID, OH, MY GOODNESS OF COURSE, THAT'S NOT THE RIGHT THING TO SAY IN A SPACECRAFT WHEN YOU COULD BE NOTICING ANYTHING NOT GOING WELL SO THE NEXT THING OUT OF MY MOUTH TO NICK WAS,VERYTHING IS OKAY

IT'S JUST EARTH BUT IT WAS PHENOMENAL IT WAS THAT MOMENT WHERE I REALIZED THAT, YOU KNOW, THIS WAS REAL AND THAT I HAD LEFT OUR PLANET >> THAT'S AMAZING THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH US T THAT'S THE TIME WE HAVE, UNFORTUNATELY

I THINK WE COULD LISTEN TO YOU FOR HOURS BUT YOU CAN LEARN MUCH MORE ABOUT CHRISTINA'S MISSION ON NASAGOV/STATION THANK YOU FOR JOINING US [MUSIC]

Source: Youtube

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