Launch Into Space with an Astronaut: Q & A with Jon McBride

Are you a space fanatic? Have you ever wanted to ask an astronaut weird questions like what is the time in space? We asked Jon McBride, a retired astronaut, questions that you want to know the answers to. He talks about his work, his life and even some of his missions.

It’s not every day that you get to ask an astronaut what they do about their experience in space. Discover something new and get an exclusive insight into the life of an astronaut from his very own eyes!

When was your first mission?

My very first mission was STS 41-G, which launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on October 5, 1984 and landed back at KSC on October 13, 1984.

How did you feel before travelling into space for the first time?

I was excited to do something I dreamt about as a child!

What inspired you to become an astronaut?

The early launches of Russian and American spacecraft, the first astronauts and John F. Kennedy as in 1961 he began a dramatic expansion to the U.S space program and committed the nation to the ambitious goals of landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

How does zero gravity affect your body?

You lose a sense of balance because microgravity causes the vestibular functions of the body, which is the balance and coordination controlled in the inner ear or brain, to not easily align with information received by the other senses. I also grew two inches in height because there’s no gravity to keep your bone structure, which also causes you to lose bone density.

What daily tasks are required on-board a space shuttle?

It depends on the mission. Besides the usual housekeeping and personal hygiene, the tasks are driven by the CAP – Crew Activity Plan. It tells you what to do every moment of the flight.

Does being in space change the taste of food?

Some people think so but I didn’t. My favorite food to eat in space was shrimp cocktail. The first thing I wanted when I got back was pizza.

Does space have its own time zone? If not, how do you keep track of time?

Most spacecraft keep three time zones. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), Central Standard Time (Houston – the home of mission control, NASA’s lead for International Space Station operations and missions) and MET (mission elapsed time).

What home comforts do you miss most when you are on a mission?

You don’t miss the comforts of home because you’re so excited about what you’re doing.

What was the hardest part of the pre-mission training?

I wouldn’t say anything was particularly hard. You do spend a lot of time training and perfecting procedures.

If you had to choose a song to sum up your experience of space, what would it be and why?

Zip-a-DeeDooDah” – what a wonderful day!

What is your favourite thing about space travel?

Having the opportunity to look out the window and see our planet from such an extreme point of view.

How did you feel about Elon Musk launching his Tesla into space?

Genius! The picture of the Tesla with starman ranks right up there with earthrise over the moon, taken during Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon.

If reading this has not made you want to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and find out more about space then we don’t know what will. Call our travel experts to book your Orlando holiday today and see what else you can discover on your family holiday to the Sunshine State, or if you have booked already why not add Kennedy Space Center tickets to your package holiday to find out more.

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