November 30, 2022

In ‘Back to Earth,’ NASA astronaut brings the space station mindset home

By necessity, traveling to area implies leaving Earth– but that round-trip journey likewise implies returning to Earth, and for retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, that piece of the experience was crucial.Stott outlines how living and dealing with the International Space Station changed the method she thinks about living on Earth in her brand-new book, “Back to Earth: What Life in Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet– and Our Mission to Protect It” (Seal Press, 2021). (Read an excerpt from “Back to Earth.”) Stott opens “Back to Earth” by telling the story of Apollo 8s well-known Earthrise image and motivating readers to discover their own moment of such planetary reflection (without needing to take a trip quite as far as the lunar orbit that objectives crew reached.)Space.com called Stott to speak about the book, her time in space and what shes been doing given that returning to Earth. This interview has been modified for length and clarity.Related: Best space and sci-fi books for 2021Space. com: Why did you desire to write this book?Nicole Stott: This is not a memoir. Truly what I desired it to be was the story of how we have done such fantastic work as this global neighborhood on the International Space Station. If I needed to summarize the message in the book in the simplest way it would be that I think the greatest skill we could find out as Earthlings is how to be crewmates and not guests. Theres a huge, huge difference.Space.com: It appears noteworthy to me that you waited a while after retiring from the astronaut corps to write this, how did that time impact you?Stott: I think if I had actually composed this book not long after retiring, it would have been an extremely various book. It might have been more the narrative, the how did Nicole become an astronaut. A great deal of individuals like hearing those stories, and I enjoy reading the books that my colleagues have blogged about those experiences, and I believe that is engaging in one way.What Ive found intriguing, however, is that theres little tidbits in all of those stories that speak in some way or another to what Im trying to get at in “Back to Earth.” And as time went on, I discovered that for me, wow, those little bits were definitely the more effective thing.I hope everybody who reads it finds their own call to action from it, how they can discover this path to being crewmembers, and that can come to life for them through something they read in this book. What thing can they do in their lives that will allow them to handle that function more strongly? What else can they be doing? I dont suggest it to be prescriptive in any way. However I want it to be something that they can check out and maybe acquire in some way that motivates them to find their own course, find their own role.Space.com: How did you set about the procedure of integrating your memories from space with the Earth-related styles and topics you wished to cover?Stott: Each chapter is a call to action by itself based upon an experience I had in area, whether thats the training that we do or how we wind up working together or the philosophies that we need to create a successful mission.The first chapter is “act like everything is local.” Theres this sense of, “Whats going on the other side of the planet?” or, “Oh, that does not affect me, due to the fact that I do not live there.” However when you go to area and you look back at Earth, its like, “Holy moly, we reside on a world.” Its one place that, no matter how you take a look at it, is connected– adjoined– and we are, since of that, interdependent. So anything I perform in one location is, in one method or another, whether we understand it or not, impacting every place else and everyone else.An official portrait of NASA astronaut Nicole Stott. (Image credit: NASA)I try to use this experience of seeing Earth from area to bring together the crucial aspects of how we experience that down here in the world. What I tried to do in each chapter is share some aspect of what its like to live in area, what brought this way of being to light for me, and how that impacted the method we could successfully work as a crew onboard the area station. Then, I display work thats occurring in area that remains in line with that, and then likewise showcase somebody who is already working in not just a really passionate way however in a really effective method to bring that way of being to life, doing things here on Earth that are enhancing life for all of us.Space.com: Your astronaut class is nicknamed the “Bugs” and you have this charming sad story of viewing damselflies as a kid and after that recognizing you hadnt seen them in years and years. When did you make the connection between those 2 bits of your life?Stott: It was while I was composing the book, I was starting to believe about experiences Ive had. Part of what I share in that chapter is theres been a lot in the news with regard to extinction-level events– like the “insect armageddon”– and you check out a heading like that, and youre like, “What the heck?”I tried to figure out “how can I relate what Im checking out about something thats happening on a planetary scale to something Ive experienced in my own life?” And I recognized that wow, I cant remember the last time I saw among these little gorgeous bugs that I had actually been surrounded by as a kid. The good news is, thanks to a few of individuals I talked to, I discovered that they have actually not disappeared, they are still with us, while not in mass like they were and how I remember as a kid. I simply remember crying and being so thankful that they werent gone.Astronaut and author Nicole Stott. (Image credit: Courtesy Nicole Stott)Since then, I keep my eye out for them and I, extremely luckily, have actually encountered them again. A few days ago, there was this one lone blue damselfly at the glass, and I took a photo of it, since it just shocked me. It was like this little gift from God or something to remind me that its essential for us to pay attention to these animals and the function they have with us, however also that they havent left us. It just reminded me– and this is something I attempted to share in the book too– that we just need to be open and searching for the wonder and question around us all the time.And that bit damselfly comes back– I dont know if its the very same one or not. I believe theres things like that in all of our lives? Where weve just in some way moved along in our life and we forget about things, and after that they come back for whatever reason to remind us of something special or to help make us aware of other things that are going on around us and to assist us open our heart– not just our eyes, however our hearts and our minds– to what these things are showing us.Space.com: You write favorably about watching spaceflyer Guy Lalibertés space station go to in 2009. Im curious what your thoughts are on personal spaceflight now with the Inspiration4 mission back from orbit and Axioms very first flight bound for the spaceport station set up to release next year?Stott: Im so ecstatic about all of this. I believe its raising awareness in people. Some people are not so pleased with it. Others, like me, Im actually, truly excited about it. And Im truly hopeful that individuals that arent pleased or do not understand the goodness in this, that maybe they havent been privy to or have not been excited about area expedition in basic. If you take note of whats going on in the area market, actually all thats occurring in space is ultimately about enhancing life on Earth. I truthfully believe that. Person concerning the station– somebody could look at that like, “Oh, heres this billionaire who got to fly to space, spent 10 days, 12 days on the space station, checked that off his container list, and then proceeded.” What I saw in Guy and [other private visitors to the area station], every single one of them, for sure, had their personal motivation of wishing to fly in area one day, to experience that on every level that you can, and after that fortunately had the chance to do that. But I also can say that for each single among them, in one method or another, that mission was a mission. It was bigger than just them and their desire to fly in area. Person was an ideal example of that: He used that entire flight in such a way to extend on his mission on Earth to make individuals more aware of access to clean water.Astronaut Nicole Stott seen in the space stations cupola. (Image credit: NASA)I think that in one method or another, that is occurring with all of individuals that are going to find their method to area. Its certainly real for astronauts that are part of NASA or the government programs. I do not believe all of us do it due to the fact that its this experience. There certainly is the daring part of it– Im going to drift, Im going to fly, Im going to ride a rocket– but I would not have done any of that if I didnt believe that the work was beneficial and that I was going to be part of something that was reviving something great to Earth. I definitely would not strap myself to a rocket with my seven-year-old in your home watching me do that if I didnt think that what I was going to do was going to have some positive effect on his life, on his future.Space.com: Is there anything else you d like to highlight about the book?Stott: The call to action thing is a big offer to me. I truly want individuals to read this and definitely be motivated by what were doing in space to discover more about that and how these things are enhancing life in the world. But [ also] I desire them to discover their own personal call to action as Earthlings, as crewmates.I cant oversimplify it any more than I do with what I discovered from all the intricacy of space, which is: Oh my gosh, we survive on a planet.We are all Earthlings.The only border that matters is that thin blue line of atmosphere.Those are absolutely the three things that interconnect all of us on our mission as crewmates here on Spaceship Earth.I will confess, I did not myself actively believe of all of those things, those basic things in my day-to-day life before flying to area. And I desire individuals to understand them, to bring them into their own lives and recognize that you do not need to fly to space to understand these things. And it really, actually must motivate us to want to live like a crew, to respect and look after each other and all life we share the planet with– and the planet itself.You can purchase “Back to Earth” at Amazon or Bookshop.org.Email Meghan Bartels at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

By necessity, traveling to area suggests leaving Earth– however that round-trip journey also implies coming back to Earth, and for retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, that piece of the experience was crucial.Stott describes how living and working on the International Space Station changed the way she believes about living on Earth in her new book, “Back to Earth: What Life in Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet– and Our Mission to Protect It” (Seal Press, 2021). (Image credit: NASA)I try to utilize this experience of seeing Earth from space to bring together the crucial components of how we experience that down here on Earth. What I attempted to do in each chapter is share some aspect of what its like to live in area, what brought this way of being to light for me, and how that affected the method we might effectively work as a team onboard the area station. If you pay attention to whats going on in the area market, really all thats taking place in area is ultimately about improving life on Earth. I desire them to discover their own personal call to action as Earthlings, as crewmates.I cant oversimplify it any more than I do with what I found out from all the complexity of space, which is: Oh my gosh, we live on a planet.We are all Earthlings.The just border that matters is that thin blue line of atmosphere.Those are definitely the three things that interconnect all of us on our objective as crewmates here on Spaceship Earth.I will confess, I did not myself actively think of all of those things, those easy things in my day-to-day life prior to flying to space.

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