A new series called Among the Stars follows astronaut Chris Cassidy on his last mission to the International Space Station (ISS). TFK Kid Reporter Creedence Peterson spoke with him.
1. What’s the scariest moment you’ve had on a space mission?
It has to be a spacewalk with Luca Parmitano. Water started coming into his helmet.
2. Civilians have now gone to space on privately funded missions. How common do you think it’ll be for kids in my generation to go to space?
I think it’s going to become much more common for nonprofessional astronauts to go to space. Certainly, in your lifetime, a family could decide to take a space vacation.
3. Have you ever been scared you’ll float away while walking in space?
Becoming untethered is something that we train hard to not do. If you do, there’s a mini jet pack. We train on how to use that to get back to the space station. It’s still scary when you go outside the spacecraft your first time, or even your 10th time, like I have.
4. You were responsible for fixing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). What is it?
The AMS is a device that studies the origins of the universe. It’s a piece of equipment that gives scientists around the globe so much data to learn from.
5. Did COVID-19 have an impact on your mission?
In terms of our day-to-day life on board the space station, nothing really changed for us. It was largely life as normal.
6. Have you ever gotten spacesick?
Space sickness can happen to anyone. It happens soon after the rocket engines cut off. You go from Earth gravity to g-force through the acceleration of launch, and then boom: You’re floating. Many of us take motion-sickness medication on the launchpad. But it happens to all of us eventually.
7. Is it hard to sleep in space?
It’s a little hard when you’re not used to it. You have no pillow up there. You’re just floating.
8. Does food taste different in space?
No. Tastes the same.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Among the Stars is available on Disney+.