Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Pillownaut Muse

After my follow-up DEXA Bone Scan last winter, and the nice article NASA's Human Research Program published about me and other past pillownauts in preparation for the new simulation protocols, I didn't expect much more to happen. It's been many years since my studies, and my blog is now only rarely updated.

I pondered perhaps "over-hauling" this site to be a #SciComm hub -- but honestly, I think there are so many great existing Science Communication sites, and I will work to amplify those. I figured I'd had my 15 minutes of fame, and decided to leave my old blog "as-is" as a historical record of how I lived through the unique experiences of Space Flight Simulations projects at NASA.

But. Every time I think I'll never hear about it again, another author or press outlet comes knocking. Last time it was Charles Wohlforth, and you should definitely still read his great book, "Beyond Earth: Our Path To a New Home in the Planet." My father was very impressed they devoted more space to me than to Neil Armstrong, so we may have to put that on my tombstone.

Along came Minute Number 16...

Muse Magazine asked to feature my studies and chose the same title, just spelled a bit differently! In "Beyawned Earth," writer Jen Mason compiled many of my past blog excerpts, a few older press turns, and many of my personal photographs from quarantine into an exceptional article designed to teach students about space flight and how it affects the "biological packages" that travel in spacecrafts.

Reading the finished product, I was definitely the happiest I've ever been with an interview. I've had TV and radio stations ask me exhaustingly inappropriate questions; sometimes even reputable outlets go for the sensationalist spin by giving the study clever little [incorrect] nicknames or dwelling on incidental details, like how we manage to shower during simulations, or that we cannot have sugar or caffeine or salt in quarantine. Sure, those things are challenging, but not life-threatening. They pale in the quest for good data.

However, MUSE Magazine hired a skilled and serious writer who truly nailed the science. After literally a decade of interviews in varied formats, and even being featured on the NASA website itself, this was really the first full-length article that revolved around MY OWN WORDS REGARDING MY OWN EXPERIENCES. This is the closest article to what I would have written myself. Maybe someday, some outlet will invite me to do so. Hope springs eternal.

I was gratified that this particular entity put the science in detailed and accurate terms, because it's directed at students and young adults potentially getting started in scholastic concentrations, and beginning to think about choosing majors.

Issue came out in March, and I was thrilled to receive copies by May, after I returned from my 6-week trek in Europe. You can order back issues of Muse Magazine yourself, or subscribe your teens, at Cricket Media.

My entire list of articles has been updated to include the last 2 years.