Tim Peake describes the Soyuz journey
ESA astronaut reveals his song choices too!
Ask an astronaut with Tim Peak for Living Paintings. This question is from Patricia in Suffolk. Uh, Patricia is a massive fan of yours, Tim and followed your time in space. What is the picture in your mind when traveling to and from the international space station and how would you describe it to someone who has never seen this process?
Well, the journey to the ISS is absolutely incredible, of course, for a rookie Astronaut myself, it's, it's our first view of planet earth. So when you look out of the Soyuz window and you see earth beneath you, it's absolutely mesmerizing. We actually got launched into the night part of the orbit. And so all I could see was the blackness below me and then brilliant twinkles of lights as the city started to come out. And then of course, as you're traveling towards the space station, the space station itself starts to come out of the gloom, this massive 400 ton, piece of hardware, but you also get this feeling inside the Soyuz that you are very vulnerable. I mean, it's a tiny, tiny spacecraft, and you're looking out the window at earth and at the sun and the stars, and you suddenly realized how tiny you are in this big black vastness of space. So it's quite comforting when you do finally see the space station and you get to actually see something that's bigger than you are.
Tim Peake on aliens
Did the ESA astronaut really have an alien encounter
Ask an astronauts with Tim Peake for Living Paintings. This question is from Finn aged three and a half. Did you see any aliens in space?
Did I see any aliens in space no I wish I had, uh, but uh, I didn't see any aliens in space. Um, uh, we spend a lot of time looking out of the coupla windows and we're always interested in anything unusual that we might see. And, um, of course, a lot of these have explanations, just, just looking at the weather systems on earth, the thunderstorms, the Aurora Borealis, Aurora Australis and things like red sprites, which are these unusual streaks of red light that you get near thunderstorms. And so we quite often see some unusual things. One day I looked out and it was daylight and I saw three bright lights flying in formation. Now in the daytime, we normally don't see any bright lights outside, uh, because the, the light from the sun and the reflected off the earth is so bright that you don't see any stars.
You just see complete blackness of space. So if you see a light in space in the daytime, it's normally another spacecraft coming towards you. And we certainly didn't have any cargo vehicles coming towards us that day. So I called one of my crew mates over and said, Hey, Jeff, you know, take a look at this. What do you make of that? And he was as bemused as I was about these three lights in formation, there's suddenly a fourth light, joined them as well information. Uh, and then I realized that the lights, which I thought were a long, long way away, we're actually very, very close and they were tiny, tiny lights, and it was droplets of liquid. And the light was reflecting off the liquid and it was actually leaking out of a progress resupply vehicle. So, uh, what we first thought might be a, you know, sort of alien ships coming towards us actually ended up being leaking liquid out of a progress vehicle.
The International Space Station with Maggie Philbin
Science broadcaster Maggie describes the ISS
Feel across the International Space Station. (Pause) It’s not the first space station, the Russians have had several and the Americans had an earlier one, but the great thing about this one is that it is the International Space Station. Sixteen different countries – Brazil, Canada, Japan, Russia, the USA and eleven European countries including Britain – began building it in 2000. All the equipment needed to build the International Space Station was transported in a spacecraft from Earth. The Space Station is built from modules, which are fitted together, a bit like a giant jigsaw puzzle the size of a football pitch.
Astronauts and cosmonauts come and go to the International Space Station all the time, conducting hundreds of experiments on the effects of microgravity on humans and plants, to push the boundaries of our knowledge. It’s a home from home for the astronauts onboard, with a kitchen, sleeping cabins, toilets and bathrooms plus work areas, laboratories and control rooms.
Dallas Campbell on Space Technology
Dallas Campbell talks about 3D printing, virtual reality and how technology may evolve
Hello, my name is Dallas Campbell. Now I'm a television science presenter, and I'm lucky enough to be able to explore the world first-hand. And a week or so ago, I was at the astronaut training centre in Cologne and for the European Space Agency, looking at where astronauts train and, and some of the technologies surrounding that. And there's a couple of things there. First of all, the way that we are, or the way that scientists use the dust on the moon, lunar material and Martian material, Martian material as well to actually use it as a building material. So we can actually go to places like the moon, for example. Create a, perhaps an inflatable dome or structure, which we can then cover in a concrete light substance made from lunar material in a way similar to 3D printing, it's an extension of 3D printing. And so that I think is very interesting. 3D printing in itself is very interesting rather than I think to take tools with us as we explore, we can actually make our own as we go. Very, very exciting. The other thing they had that, which just enthralled me was the next level of virtual reality. I put on very, very sophisticated virtual reality goggles and using software that was developed through information from satellites around the moon, was able to physically stand on the moon and look around in as if it was there. And it was absolutely mind blowing. And I think virtual reality where we are now is extraordinary where we you're going to be in 10 years, time is going to change everything.