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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Going to space is hard, but a panel of astronauts say communication, community and art can make it a little bit easier.
At the Beyond the Cradle 2019 conference on March 14, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, an astronaut and cosmonaut discussion concluded a day full of tech, science fiction, and optimism about the future of space travel and life in space.
NASA - Cady - Coleman - Leland - Melvin
NASA astronauts Cady Coleman, Leland Melvin, Nicole Stott and Tony Antonelli and Russian cosmonaut Nikolay Chub represent a wide range of experience levels, from retired veterans all the way to newly minted astronauts. In a panel discussion, the astronauts explored the wonders and never-before-told trials of spaceflight in front of a packed room.
Related: Before They Go to Space, Astronauts Go to Geology Camp
Mission - Afternoons - Bit - Time - Antonelli
"On my first mission I had one of those afternoons where you needed just a little bit of alone time," Antonelli, a retired astronaut and former commander in the U.S. Navy, said during the panel. "[I thought], 'OK, I've gotta get somewhere quiet and close my eyes for just a couple of minutes.' Of course, I didn't think to tell everybody that that was the case. There were big rectangle boxes or bags and they were all bungeed … so I slid under the bungee cord in between these big bags and close[d] my eyes. I don't think I was there very long [before] one of my shuttle crewmates floats up upon me, [as I lay there] bungeed, with my eyes closed. I don't know what he thought he found, but he screamed."
Using Antonelli's story as an example of what not to do, the astronauts stressed the importance of building bonds with their crewmates and maintaining an open dialogue about one another's needs while aboard the International Space...
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