Space is a desert unlike anything encountered on Earth. The humanbody is not configured to be able to survive in the cold, dark vacuum ofthis unearthly realm; creatures of this planet were never meant to gointo space. We can only go there if we make machines to take and provideus with all the necessary things our bodies need to stay alive.
To survive and thrive in this machine-dominated environment, we needto know how those machines work and how to maintain them. This takes astrong background in technical subjects—mathematics, science, andengineering. These subjects are interesting, and for many people, mostlyfun. But they can be difficult to master.
The theoretical basis for our machines must be understood, but wemust also have the practical hands-on mechanical-electrical skillsneeded to keep them running and fix them when they break down. Crewmembers who work on their cars and do their own home repairs are wellprepared for what is required when they venture into space. Whensomething breaks on a spacecraft, you have to get your hands dirty.
If you want to fly into space and be a part of this new frontier, youmust study and absorb the fundamentals of these subjects, and developthe hands-on repair skills needed to keep things running smoothly. As inany wilderness, be it on Earth or in space, if you should find yourselfwithout the necessary technical knowledge and skills, you will be atthe mercy of the elements. You will have compromised your ability tocomplete the mission, and perhaps even decreased your chances ofsurvival.
Don’s blog also appears at airspacemag.com.
20 thoughts on “Hit the Books and Work on Your Car!”
Nice and a worthy piece of news and advice for guys like me, who always dream of becoming an astronaut…
By the way.. I am currently studying.. or perhaps ‘mastering’.. 😉 an UG in ‘Electronics and Communication’.. can I still aim for an astronaut career.. with this subject..?? or should I have been a Mechanical or Electrical engineer??
I apreciate your job in the space I’ hope to meet you next time on hearts, sorry for my american but I’m Italian.
Excellent advice; engineering is problem solving. Mentally challenging, but fun.
Is fifty-nine years old too old for space? Looks like you are having lots of fun in the surreality of an orbiting air bottle. Hope all is well with the alpha magnetic spectrometer. Too bad that it wasn’t made with supercons like it was supposed to have been but I have hopes that it will show some cool particles. Some TeV stuff has been seen…very cool.
greetings from Singapore! I saw your team on a live broadcast to an elementary school in the US, via the NASA website. I’m a law student so I definitely lack any sort of skill to survive in space!
Just wanted to say hello and encourage all of you on the ISS! You guys are heroes, and the work that you’re doing is important and valued by the rest of us!! (Even the legal folks like us)
Good evening, and thank you for sharing your experiences. Tonight, we watched as the Space Station orbited over us, here in the San Diego area. Usually we watch from our home in Galveston, Texas, but this week we are here for Olympic archery trials (our granddaughter made the cut.) I brought the “sighting” schedule with me for this area. We’ll try to see you tomorrow night from Las Cruces/ElPaso area as we journey home. I just wanted you to know that many of us down here watch for you; and we are so proud of you and your work. Thanks again.
I HAVE SO ADMIRATION FOR YOUR WORK AND YOUR COMPLETE MISSIONS SO DIFFICULTS TO DO AND SINCE I SEE ALL YOU MADE ON I.S.S. I AM SCOTCHED I APRECIATE YOUR HUMOUR TO ALL SO I IMAGINE HOW STRONG YOU MUST BE EACH SECONDS SO YOU ARE FOR ME HEROS I ALREADY SAID WHEN MIKE WAS THANK YOU FOR THE PEMS TO ALL THE CREW NOW 3 FOR THE MOMENT SO MORE DIFFICULT TECHNIC AND MORAL THAN WHEN YOU WERE 6 BUT SOON YOU WILL BE AGAIN 6 AND WHAT YOU SEE IS SO MAGNIFIC NO WORD THANK YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFULL VIDEOS you are the best CREW+++++……….
Dear. Astro_Pettit https://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/letters/posts/post_1335556475510.html
“..it Is the crystal of wisdom of mankind;” twitpic.com/9dxx1d
Apr. 28, 2012 02:08:57 JST
Despite the harshness of the environment in space, it is a ”cant do without” i said this because, in order for us to clearly understand our existence and how long we(earth) have been around, it means we have to look into the mirror, i.e space. So i say kudos to those who have the opportunity of doing us this great privilege of going to look into the mirror(space). I wish i could be one of them.
I am a 23 yers old engineer , and I will do in one year also the pilot school but the main goal/dream is to be an astronaut!
You have some advices for me? I would really appreciate it!
Don, I am a mother of three preschool boys who just LOVE space. I always have too. Never could watch the space shuttle launches & returns or frankly, any news from NASA without tears in my eyes! When I was a girl, they wheeled in TVs to our classrooms to see the shuttle. It just means so much to me. So I thank you for writing this blog and sharing your amazing journey with us. And that of the Zucchini as well :). Thank you, and everyone you work with. My boys want to go to or help with space exploration and I couldn’t be prouder.
Mama in SC
Absolutely right ! To be a “Mike Giver” helps. I’ve also have been working on my motorbikes.
I agree. Working on our cars not only helps save money now, but yes, prepares us for our survival of the fittest. Trying is all it takes. Knowing how to build a structure has helped me tremendously as well. Being the handy person around my house, the first mechanic we all go to, and the Mom and Grandma that can rock Bisquits and Gravy homemade, I find it daunting that more is not being taught on this subject of expansion and living abroad, like in our schools. Alas, that is what I am here for….teach my Grandbabies all about his life that is to come in the Universe. I smile at the thought of them zooming between several universes in what will be his supped up Lamborghini of a spacecraft. hahaa Truly no joke there, but so fun to think about!!
Keep up the great work!!
Thank you soo much for the article loved it truly amazing what you guys and girls do up there thanks so much for the insight
Kind Regards from Australia
I apreciate very much and I would like to congradulate you on the way you explain in a simple manner all these scientific and physic laws to all internet people listining to your video.
Like you, I am convinced that apart from scientific knowledge, you have to develop certain practical habilities. To put in practice this believe, and to applied this around here, I like to repair about everything in the home and for my gran-childrens.
I am a retired Electronic and Computer science professor.
BRAVO Don Petit.
Don: When I first read the headline, I thought it said “work on your Carl”, which made me wonder why your post said nothing about Dr. Sagan…!
I enjoy your thoughts from the ISS. Back in the 1980s I played a very small part in arranging funding for Canada’s Remote Manipulating System (as it was then known), when I worked as an advisor to Canada’s Minister of Science. Glad to know it worked/works.
Space doesn’t exist cause there is a time uniquely for many spaces
Time is not open
Always nice to read your blog.
Different view and an own opinion about . Thanks for suggestions.
Many people have been discussing what the object is in your picture.
We have come up with 2 main theories.
1. It is mercury.
2. It is a ball bearing.
Can you confirm either of these or tell us what the sphere is made of?
I read your post. Really it’s an interesting post by you.Thanks a lot.
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