Sunday, May 17, 2009

Astronaut Message

Hey, remember Dr. Michael R. Barratt from yesterday's post? He's a flight surgeon who became an astronaut and is currently on his second Expedition to the International Space Station, where he's part of the team priming the place for larger crews.

Turns out this same chap recorded a video message for all the subjects on the study ward, which we watched on DVD.

AstronautsMichael Barratt, Gennady Padalka & Koichi Wakata

I have no way to format or replay the film here -- but I watched it three times, and noted a few of his wonderful comments.

"Being a physician who's interested in space medicine, I've always followed studies in flight and on the ground -- some of the most important experiments we do... are bedrest studies like the one you're in."

"You feel the same facial fullness, and over time you start to lose the muscle mass, bone mass and aerobic capacity just like we do on orbit. It's a good venue for us to try new techniques or counter-measures to fight some of these problems."

"It's difficult for us to study any one particular parameter or factor in space long-term, but you can do that in bedrest... kinda to your detriment, because it may make your diet or your exercise regime monotonous, but to us it's like gold! We can seek out each of these areas and learn more about it."

"We thank you so much... without you, we could not effectively fly in space without a lot of open questions. Thanks for making it less of a black box for us, and thanks for the sacrifice you're making."

Hey Mike, you're welcome. But I'm still jealous that you are not even on planet Earth and you still got to see Star Trek before I did :p