Everything About Astronauts Vol. 2 Resources
All Things Astronauts
Videos, Podcasts, Astronaut Books, and other links
Here are all the resources found in volume 1 of Everything About Astronauts, plus a few extra fun tidbits and links.
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Chapter 1 - Astronaut Traditions & Superstitions
Here’s a link to the 1969 film White Sun of the Desert that is traditionally watched the night before a cosmonaut launches into space.
Official Cosmonaut Anthem
The Grass by the Home by Zemlyane
Crew Starring in Sci-Fi Movie Posters
You can see some of the posters from the space shuttle era here: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/ posters.html
You can check out the posters from the International Space Station Expeditions at: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/sfa/sp/ expedition-posters-1-9
Leaving Mission Stickers
Space missions each have their own unique sticker and patch. ISS astronauts leave their mark by putting their mission stickers in Node 1 and in the Airlock. These stickers can be seen on Google Earth view of the International Space Station, which means you can use Google Earth to see them for yourself here: http://bit.ly/google-earth-iss
Chapter 3: Spacesuits vs Pressure Suits
Look for the Red Stripe
Back when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic visit to the moon, the folks sifting through the photos once they got back realized that they couldn’t tell who was who. The suits were exactly the same and there was no way to differentiate between the two. They learned this the hard way when they were trying to find a photograph of Neil Armstrong. It turns out there is only one photograph of him, since Armstrong was taking most of the photos and wasn’t really into selfies!
Since then, red or yellow stripes have been added to the EVA suits so it’s obvious who is who. NASA astronauts will have a lead spacewalker who is in charge of the spacewalk. To distinguish which astronaut is the lead spacewalker, look for the color of the stripes that are found on the arms and legs of the suit and on the back of the backpack.
The astronaut wearing the red stripe is normally the lead EVA astronaut.
NASA Approved EVA Watches
Tracking time during an EVA is critical. Having a reliable watch, or more specifically a chronograph that works in the vacuum of space, is important. The watch needs to be waterproof, shockproof, anti- magnetic, have loud alarms that can be heard over background noise and be able to withstand intense temperatures. Only the Omega Speedmaster chronograph met all of those requirements. Omega Speedmaster watches were worn for all of the Gemini and Apollo EVAs.
Today, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) still work with Omega to design a watch for living and working in space. The Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker watch was developed for astronauts living and working on the ISS. One of the key features is multiple alarms that can be heard over the ever-present background noise of the ISS.
Official Space Agency Websites
The official NASA website is at: https://www.nasa.gov/
CANADA SPACE AGENCY
The Canadian Space Agency website has a wealth of video and information about their astronauts and what it’s like to live in space. Visit their website at: https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronauts/default.asp
EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
Want to learn about the European Space Agency? Want to see who becomes the next ESA astronauts? They just recently opened up applications. Find out the latest on their website: https://www.esa.int/
ROSCOSMOS – RUSSIAN SPACE AGENCY
Learn about the Russian space program and the cosmonauts who have made history on the English version of their official website here: http://en.roscosmos.ru/
JAXA – JAPAN AEROSPACE EXPLORATION AGENCY
Learn more about Japan’s Space Agency, the research they are doing on the ISS, their launch vehicles and so much more. Visit their official website here: https://global.jaxa.jp/
How to Prepare to Become an Astronaut
NASA answers this here: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/10-ways-students-can-prepare-to-beanastronaut
The CSA has lots of useful information about what it takes to be a CSA astronaut found here: https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronauts/how-to-become-an-astronaut/default.asp
ESA recently opened up applications to become an ESA astronaut. Find out what qualities they look for:
The Japanese Space Agency answers this question here: https://global.jaxa.jp/article/special/astronaut/yanagawa_e.htm
Get all the information you could ever want about NASA astronauts here: https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts
Find out the latest on the ESA astronauts here:
Learn about the active and former CSA astronauts here:
NASA LIVE YouTube Streams
NASA has two different livestreams on YouTube, plus a host of other playlists and videos to see what the astronauts are up to, the Perseverance Rover on Mars and so much more. Find their official YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLA_DiR1FfKNvjuUpBHmylQ
Have a question for NASA? Use the hashtag #AskNASA on Twitter or Instagram to ask your question and NASA will answer.
ARTEMIS – SENDING HUMANS TO THE MOON AGAIN
Learn about what NASA is doing to send humans to the Moon again here: https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis/
Want the latest information on what NASA is doing on Mars with the Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter? Get all the latest info here: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
HOW SPACE EXPLORATION BENEFITS US
Want to learn about all the benefits space exploration has had on our lives here on Earth? Learn more here: https://homeandcity.nasa.gov/
VIEW ALL OF THE EXPERIMENTS PERFORMED ON THE ISS
To see and search for all of the experiments that have happened and are happening onboard the space station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/index.html
Quora is a great place to ask questions and find answers about a variety of things, but especially about astronauts and space exploration. There are even a few astronauts and folks who work at NASA who have answered several astronaut-related questions for others that you can read.
SPACE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
Some of the best and most complete collection of photographs taken of the Earth since 1961 can be found and searched for here:
LIVE VIDEO FROM THE ISS
The live video from the International Space Station that includes views of the crew when they’re on-duty, audio conversations between the crew and Mission Control and views of the earth from space at other times can be viewed here: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/iss_ustream.html
VIEW EARTH LIVE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
A camera mounted on the ISS streams live video footage and shows the earth below as it flies by at 5 miles per second or 8 km per second.
Here’s where you can see the view of the Earth as seen from the International Space Station: https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/iss/watch-live.asp
Communicating with the ISS via Ham Radio
AMATEUR RADIO ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION PROGRAM
Learn how it all started, how you can apply to have your group speak to the crew onboard the ISS and what frequencies and call signs to use. Find that all here: https://www.ariss.org/
ASTRONAUTS AND THEIR CALL SIGNS
Get the full list of call signs for astronauts who are, or were at one time, licensed ham radio operators. See it here: https://www.ariss.org/hams-in-space.html
HOW TO HEAR THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
Find out what equipment you need to hear the ISS, how you can listen online, when to listen and what you can expect to hear at https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-hear-the-iss/
Recommended Astronaut Books
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Books Written By Astronauts:
Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space by Tim Peake
Diary of an Apprentice Astronaut by Samantha Cristoforetti
Endurance: My Year in Space. A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly
Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut’s Story of Invention by Kathryn Sullivan
How to Astronaut: An Insider’s Guide to Leaving Planet Earth by Terry Virts
Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission by Col. Eileen M. Collins
Books Written About Astronauts:
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaikin
Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching for the Moon by Colin Burgess and Kate Doolan
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science Of Life In Space by Mary Roach
Recommended Astronaut Websites
First British Astronaut, Helen Sharman
Read her fascinating FAQs and learn how you can book Helen to come and speak to your group. Details at https://www.helensharman.uk/frequently-asked-questions/
First Canadian to Walk in Space, Chris Hadfield
Learn about Colonel Hadfield, find out about his latest book, learn about events in your area and sign up to get the latest at: https://chrishadfield.ca/
First Female Pilot and Female Commander of a space shuttle, Eileen M. Collins
Find out more about former astronaut and retired U.S. Air Force colonel, Eileen Collins. Learn more about her new book and read what she says about what it takes to become an astronaut. Details found on her official website: http://marklarson.com/eileencollins/one.html
First American Woman to Walk in Space, Kathy Sullivan
Sullivan has been to space and the bottom of the ocean. Read her blog and learn about her podcast where she talks about her historic experiences: http://kathysullivanastronaut.com/
Recommended Astronaut-Related Podcasts
The official podcast of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where the host talks about all things space and how it works to get humans there. Lots of interviews with guests that talk spacesuits, artificial gravity and what it will take to get humans back to the Moon and to Mars.
Astronaut Kathy Sullivan is the only person to have both walked in space and visited the deepest point in the ocean. In her new podcast she shares unique insights and perspectives about her experiences in space and in the ocean. She is also joined by a variety of guests which always leads to fascinating discussions.
A weekly podcast that explores all things about space. Learn about spacesuits, top tips for visiting Space Center Houston, how to talk to someone in space via Ham Radio and so much more. It’s presented by historian Emily Carney and space nerd Dave Giles. More details at: https://www.spaceandthingspodcast.com
Listen to a collection of radio documentary programs that talk about all things space. Episodes cover what happen the day the Skylab space station fell to Earth, what it will take to get a woman on the Moon and the future of space flight. Get all of the episodes here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03bv899/episodes/player
If you loved Vol. 2, make sure you check out Vol. 1
Everything About Astronauts
Have you ever asked?
- What were the 106 items the Apollo 11 crew left on the Moon?
- What does moon dust smell like?
- What kind of crazy tests do space agencies put astronaut applicants through?
- How much do astronauts get paid?
Volume 1 covers entertaining topics about what it takes to become an astronaut, how astronauts trained to go to the Moon, little-known facts about famous astronauts and so much more.