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3/5/2019 Alexa- Ask an Astronaut by Tim Peake - Google Docs

Alexa Wells
Ask an Astronaut by Tim Peake

Chapter 1 Launch pages 1-9


1. Using evidence from the text, explain 3 ways how Tim's body is protected
during the launch.
1. Tim had to wear a “medical harness” next to his chest to measure his heart
and breathing rate
2. He had two hoses connected to him, one for “air (for cooling and ventilation)”
and the other for “100 per cent oxygen (used only in the case of an emergency
depressurisation)”
3. Tim also had to connect some knee braces, “which would prevent injury” to his
legs and “to secure my [his] five-point harness”.

2. In your opinion, what is the most dangerous part of the launch? Explain your
answer using 2 quotes.
There’s a lot of risks for astronauts. But, from this reading, I think that the most
dangerous part of the launch would be emergency situations. This is because I don’t
think training can prepare people for this type of unknown danger. Anything can happen
or go wrong in space. I know they’re prepared and are supposed to know what to do in
those situations, but I still feel that actually living those situations is much more different
than training for it in case it happens. For example, when Tim was describing the first
occasion where an emergency situation happened he states that “one of the crew’s first
actions following the event was to deactivate the cockpit voice recorder, due to the
excessive amount of swearing that had occurred!”. This shows astronauts are also
human (obviously) and as such they’ll all react to these situations like swearing. I think
emergency situations are also the most dangerous part because the higher the altitude
of the spacecraft, the higher risk of injury or maybe even surviving the way back down
to Earth. For example, the second ocasion Tim described, he stated that during the
abort from such high altitude the crew had a steep reentry with very high deceleration
forces where a crew member, Lazarev, “suffered internal injuries and never flew again”.

3. Choose a question in this section that surprised/interested you the most and
explain why.
“Q Is it true that astronauts pee on the bus tyre, prior to launch?’ was interesting to me
because, just how Tim Peake had explained, it’s weird how this tradition came from Yuri
Gagarin needing to go, or urinate, on his way to the launch pad. It’s also weird because
astronauts still do this ritual even though they struggle to take off their space suit, that

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3/5/2019 Alexa- Ask an Astronaut by Tim Peake - Google Docs

took a while to be put on by others. I also found this answer interesting because of the
other rituals Tim Peake mentions in the “Did you know?” section. Some of those rituals
seem somewhat random (like “Watching the 1969 film White Sun of the Desert on the
night before launch.”), while others make sense (like “A visit to Red Square to lay
flowers at the graves of Yuri Gagarin and Sergey Korolev”).

Chapter 2 Training pages 10-49


1. Using evidence from the text, explain how Tim Peake and astronauts train
mentally and physically in order to prepare for a mission.

Physical Training: Psychological Training:

● At least 4 hours of structured ● Being tested to see if you have the


physical training each week (“in “psychological right stuff” to deal
addition to any personal sports”) with “the confinement, isolation
● Parabolic flights: Astronauts use and remoteness of spaceflight”
those 25 seconds of ● “Theoretical training learning about
weightlessness on Earth to human behaviour and
practice tasks like “handling performance” (survival training),
objects, controlling the body and consisting of sleep deprivation,
even running on a treadmill or lack of food for a few days and
exercising” strenuous efforts.
● NEEMO: NASA’s Extreme ● Caving course: Spending several
Environments Mission Operation days and nights living with a group
consists of a 12-day mission of astronauts in a cave network
underwater as a simulation of a consisting of cave research and
space mission and a simulation of vertical ascent/descent, and “a
weightlessness high degree of teamwork and
communication skills”.

2. Why is it so important for your body's health to train before and while you are
in Space?
As Tim stated, going to space is “very demanding physically” due to the adaptation to
weightlessness that astronauts have to go through. It’s also important to stay fit before
and while you’re in space so you can “readjust to gravity on returning to Earth”, to be
“fully prepared for the physical challenges of spaceflight”, and “to make a full recovery in
the months after landing”. Your body is “greatly affected by microgravity”, so all this
physical training is just to protect it from the medical effects that may affect your chance
of a full recovery.

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3. In your opinion, what is the biggest sacrifice astronauts have to make when
going to space? Would you make that sacrifice, why or why not?
I think the biggest sacrifice astronauts make when going to space is leaving their family.
Of course there is the risk of sacrificing their own life, but I think both of these sacrifices
are worth it if they come back alive. But, in my opinion, leaving their family is the biggest
sacrifice because they won’t have as much communication with you, vice versa, and
they’ll have to live with that fear of not knowing whether you’re safe for six months (or
how ever long the mission is, but family can still experience this fear during some
training like NEEMO). It’s especially hard if the astronauts have kids, like Tim had
mentioned in “Launch”, how do you explain to your kids why you’re quarantined (a few
weeks before launch) and can’t talk to them face to face for that long of a time. At this
age and mentality, I can say that I would make this sacrifice because like I said it’ll all
be worth it if/when I come back alive to remember and tell about my adventures in
space.

4. Explain with evidence how working on the International Space Station


promotes unity between feuding nations such as Russia, United States, China,
and the UK.
Astronauts have to know how to speak Russian and English to communicate with the
Control Centre and each other (pages 62-64). The ISS was built and is maintained by
these “feuding nations” working together (pages 70-71). Finally the most unity is shown
throughout training and during the mission when these international astronauts bond
without bringing in/being affected by the feuds their nations have (pages 68-69).

5. Choose a question in this section that surprised/interested you the most and
explain why.
“Q What was the best part of training?” was interesting for me because of Tim’s
description of the SAFER and the training astronauts go through to learn how to
maneuver it. This description of how to use the SAFER in case an astronaut gets
detached during a spacewalk sounds like a terrifying situation. I can’t imagine how’d I’d
react/feel if I was floating in space without being attached to the space station, and if I
wasn’t able to see the ISS or other reference points while drifting away.

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