BHUBANESWAR: Space is apparently more hostile to human life than the sea as it escapes earth’s gravity. But, US space scientist and NASA astronaut Jack D Fischer finds it mesmerising.
The Colorado native was here on Wednesday to attend the SAI-TED, a Tech Fair of SAI International School. Stressing on the need for collaborative missions to explore space, he said it is too expensive for any country to explore Moon or Mars on its own.
“We really need to work together or we won’t get there. Hopefully its not a race, its a big marathon,” the young astronaut said denying that the US is facing any competition from India as far as space exploration is concerned.“I don’t see any competition from India as we consider the country a friend. We have been working together. It’s a wonderful country which is rich in heritage and culture besides its ancient,” said Jack who has served as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station of the Expedition 51/52.
Having logged 136 days in space with two other spacewalkers and landed on earth on September 3, the astronaut said spacewalking is so much fun. A day in space is only 45 minutes as it gets 90 minutes to go around the earth. In 24 hours you can see 16 sunrises and sunsets, he said while interacting with students and replied to their questions on his space journey. “I loved playing with foods. Though eating in microgravity can be challenging, it can also be a lot of fun,” he reminisced.
The US space scientist fell in love with the idea of going to space after visiting NASA headquarters in Houston. At six, he had visited Johnson Space Centre in Texas where his grandfather was working. “I would love to live in space if my wife is around,” he said.Among others Sai International Chairman Bijoy Kumar Sahoo and SAI TED chairman Priyanshu Mishra also spoke.
Minister for ST and SC Development Ramesh Chandra Majhi and Joint Director and Regional Officer of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Manoj Kumar Srivastava graced the closing ceremony. As many as 14 start up companies showcased their products in the t ech fair.
Later, he met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. “It was pleasure meeting @NASA astronaut Dr @Astro2fish and gain insights into the wonderful world of space. He recently returned from a 136-day mission aboard @Space_Station. Looking forward to his association with us in promoting science, astronomy & space-tech in #Odisha,” Naveen tweeted.