Last Thursday night as we drove home in the rain I turned on the radio and caught an interview with a Swedish man – Christer Fuglesang. He worked for the European Space Agency (ESA) and he had been on board The Shuttle twice and worked on the International Space Agency as well.
My son, Charlie is 8, and has in the last few months gotten into space. He was captivated by this astronaut – turned up the volume and told his sister to keep quiet.
We learned that Christer was giving a free talk at a college in Dublin on 17th November. As we arrived at the venue I was worried it would be over his head (sorry!) or that he would be bored, or best yet – that he would tell me at the top of his voice (inability to whisper) that he was bored.
I need not have worried. Christer was warm, engaging and explained everything in a very down to earth (sorry!) manner. He had lots of personal photos and video’s which he shared with us, and even talked about the challenges of drinking water in space and how to use the bathroom – Charlie was delighted!
As soon as it was time to ask questions, Charlie’s was first to raise his hand. He asked was Christer was he worried about his first space walk? Christer said he was excited and nervous as he had been practising for years.
He told us simply about the experiments they had completed in their space lab Columbus, that the temperature could range from -150C to +150C in a single day, and that it was hard to sleep in space as you couldn’t ‘lie down’ as there was no gravity.
It was a once in a lifetime evening. This morning driving to school I said it was hard to imagine Christer was right up there in the sky – Charlie said he will be up there one day as he wants to be an astronaut too 🙂
This image is the one Christer showed us of his first space walk (he’s on left) and that is the South Island of New Zealand in the background amazing!!