Anne McClain talks about life in space: NPR



NASA astronaut Anne McClain attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow on November 14, 2018.

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NASA astronaut Anne McClain attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow on November 14, 2018.

STR / AFP / Getty Images

What do you eat in space? How do you sleep in space?

And what is it all day in space?

Children from Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, recently had the chance to ask their most burning questions to NASA astronaut Anne McClain.

They are about the same age as McClain when, on the first day of her kindergarten, she announced that she wanted to become an astronaut.

At the age of about five, McClain claimed to have written a book about flying in the Soyuz vehicle. Now, she floats on the International Space Station and shows that sometimes childhood dreams come true.

"When you are finally in space and you finally look at the Earth and realize that for the first time in your life, nothing is interposed between you and your dream, it's so much It's hard to describe the profound impact of this, "McClain, now 39, said Lulu Garcia-Navarro of NPR.

During the interview, McClain ran a quarter of the flight. Every day she travels around the world 16 times, watching the sunrise and sunset every 45 minutes. But by far, she said that she preferred to look at the moon.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain reacts as her spacesuit is tested before launching the Soyuz MS-11 space shuttle on December 3, 2018.

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NASA astronaut Anne McClain reacts as her spacesuit is tested before launching the Soyuz MS-11 space shuttle on December 3, 2018.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / Getty Images

"What I prefer is watching the moon get up and the moon games move so fast that it's like she's jumping from the horizon and rising above us" , she said.

While McClain was answering Garcia-Navarro's questions, a class full of children watched her float on NASA television. Astronauts often try to float around, McClain said, trying to see, for example, where they can fly without hitting the walls. Sometimes she likes working backwards.

"Every day is a good day when you float," she said. "All your life that you spend walking around the Earth and then suddenly, you'll fly as you dreamed."

Then it was the children's turn to interview McClain. The first question came from a 5 year old girl who asked: "What are you eating and what is your favorite food?"

McClain explained that two types of food packets were flying with astronauts. One is the stabilized food, which can simply be opened, tasted and eaten. The second type of bag is for dried foods, which are rehydrated in space, McClain said. Both types of food are packed with options – some of McClain's favorites are chicken peanut sauce, chicken fajitas, mushroom soup and turkey tetazzini.

"I think we have more than 100 different types of foods," she said. "They are trying to keep it so we do not get bored too much with the food here."

The Russian space shuttle Soyuz MS-11 carrying NASA astronaut Anne McClain takes off on December 3, 2018.

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Then, a child wanted to know how she slept.

"You're floating somehow in your sleeping bag and you're fixing it to the wall," McClain replied. "Then our arms float a bit, so we look a bit like zombies."

In total, she said that she slept six or seven hours a night, less than she usually does on Earth, but this is not due to any discomfort.

"I think it's because, when I wake up in the morning, I'm so excited to be standing up and being in the space that I just want to start my day and start , "said McClain.

In the completely different environment of the stars, McClain relies on thousands of people in different space agencies to ensure its safety. The experience is humiliating and profound.

"I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to find the right words to describe it," she said.

McClain had a message to make to his young fans back on Earth: their dreams of today, even at such a young age, could someday become a reality.

"The most important thing is not to give up," she said. "If you stay focused on that goal, you can shape your life in that direction."

At the end of his interview, McClain greeted the classroom filled with potential future astronauts and walked away, upside down.

Amanda Morris from NPR produced this story for Digital.


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