Retired colonel and astronaut Paul Lockhart told Elon students on Thursday to appreciate space because of the large impact it has on humans’ daily lives.
Lockhart said, “Much of what we do here [in space]…has direct application to what we do here on Earth.” Lockhart told his audience how he spent his weeks on the International Space station.
The station does basic research, such as taking pictures of Earth from space, studying a jumping spider, and performing fire experiments. Lockhart showed a slideshow of pictures he has taken from Space. He said they have found that when a fire is put out in space, another fire sparks underneath at a lower temperature.
Lockhart told the audience about the effects space travel has on human physiology. He said, “After about an hour on orbit, this system [sensorimotor function] went haywire on me…my whole head felt like I was tumbling.” He also said it is common to have tense muscles and puffy eyes.
Lockhart talked about the different technological advances they are making in space, such as finding a cure for cancer and other diseases. They have been able to build, “perfect examples of proteins that’ll allow us to develop the drugs that are being used for targeting things such as muscular dystrophy,” Lockhart said. He also said that space flight is one of the greenest things one can do for the planet, because water recycling, oxygen generation and carbon dioxide removal are occurring.
Lockhart told his audience how important space is, and how much of an impact it can have on Earth and humans’ lives.