English transcript: Internet chat Frank De Winne

On 15 January 2003 an internet chat was held with Belgian ESA astronaut Frank De Winne. The chat was held in English, French and Dutch, the following is a transcript of the English questions and answers.

Moderator 1
Hi guys, we'll shortly be talking with Frank about his Odissea mission, get your questions ready!

Moderator 1
We're now joined by Frank, this is a moderated chat, so your questions will be selected.

Frank De Winne
Hi everybody...

Jacqueline
Hello Frank! My congratulations to you concerning your successful flight! Very brave!

Frank De Winne
thanks Jacqueline

m000sh
Hi Frank. When you were on the ISS, what was the most interesting thing you could see on the Earth?

Frank De Winne
M000sh; the most interesting was the thin layer of the atmosphere... It really impressed me how thin it is and still it protects us and provides for all the life on earth

Chloe Hoey
What do you think about India and China's plans to put a man on the Moon?

Frank De Winne
Chloe: that would be great. The more people travel to space, the more we can work together for peaceful space exploration

m000sh
What was it like being weightless?

Frank De Winne
m000sh: It was great being in weightlessness... very pleasant but also somewhat diificult in the beginning to fly accurately

m000sh
has going into space changed your outlook on life? If so, how?

Frank De Winne
m000sh: no it did not change my outlook to life. I still think it is wonderfull!!!!

Space girl
Hey Frank! How long time did you have to train before the mission to ISS??

Frank De Winne
Space girl: my training took 1.5 year. But I had some training before already

m000sh
what selection process did you go through to become an astronaut?

Frank De Winne
m000sh: I first did a selection in Belgium, then in ESA. You can read about it on the ESA site: http://www.esa.int/odissea

Space girl
When you think of all the problems connected by human space flight, do you still think that it is worth being an astronaut??

Frank De Winne
Space girl: yes, absolutely... it is worth becoming an astronaut

hello
can girls come too in space?

Moderator 3
hello: the answer on your question was given in Dutch, yes girls go into space too!

Zimmer
what  about the future of manned mission to outer planets? Are you for or against them?

Frank De Winne
Zimmer: we absolutely have to go to other planets!

Zimmer
Ok, but how can we do if you aren't able to send a single probe to Mars? I've been working for Mars Mission Sample Return and I was astonished of the confidence we had on our means... remember that only 4 out of 11 missions to Mars were successful... what about the moon?

Frank De Winne
Zimmer: we still have a long way to go, but we don't go to space because it is easy!

URie
please let us know what were your specific tasks during your mission?

Frank De Winne
Urie: I had to help commanding the Soyuz module as a board engineer and on the Space Station I conducted more then 20 experiments

Xantip
I am curious what you do during the time after launch and before docking to the Station? There is quite some time to cross. Are you continuously on the controls? Do you have time for other things, i.e. non-flight related activities.

Frank De Winne
Xantip: you prepare the module for the docking and you try to get some sleep to be well rested for the docking

Alessandro
How is life in ISS? I mean: did you find any difficulties?

Frank De Winne
Alessandro: yes I did, in the beginning. But my crew mates helped me a lot and after a few days it was just great

Amstrong
Dear Frank, first of all congratulations (yes I am Belgian), we are organizing an International Space University gathering in March, will you be around (bxl) and would you care to be our special guest ?

Frank De Winne
Armstrong: you have to contact EAC for that (the European Astronaut Centre) via the ESA web site

Xantip
Can you take 'memorabilities from the Station? and what happens to your space suit? Is that Russian or ESA property or your own?

Frank De Winne
Xantip: no, you can't take memorabilities and the space suit is Russian property

m000sh
what would you say to people who think space exploration is a waste of money when we have so many problems to solve on Earth?

Frank De Winne
m000sh: no space exploration is not a waste of money, it is an investment in the future!

Space girl
What did you do at ISS in you spare time?

Frank De Winne
space girl: I send some e-mails to friends, looked outside the window and had fun with the other crew

Zimmer
do you think that a concurrential aerospace sector would boost current space progress and development (I mean china and japan...)?

Frank De Winne
Zimmer: yes I think it will...

Xantip
Was it disappointing to feel the gravity again tugging on you (oops this is almost the end of my trip) or a back home (pheew!) feeling?

Frank De Winne
Xantip: it was a very exciting moment going again through the atmosphere... but yes, i would have liked to stay a bit longer

Chloe
Does it matter that countries are 'racing' to the Moon - could it mean that safety or other factors are compromised?

Frank De Winne
Chloe: I hope not... we are not racing anymore; we are doing most of our flights in cooperation

Bentium
Are you still working on your mission or did you begin anything else?

Frank De Winne

Bentium: I'm still working on the mission but started already something else as well... working on our European laboratory Columbus

m000sh
what advice would you give anyone who wanted to become an astronaut

Frank De Winne
m000sh: get a good education in technology or science and then stay motivated and try to get there step by step

Space girl
Hey Frank, do you have a family? If yes, isn't hard being away from them?

Frank De Winne
Space girl, yes and yes... I have 3 kids and I missed them a lot

ArisTekelenburg
Currently, young Europeans see that on average, one person per nationality travels to space every ten years - by hitchhiking a ride from the Americans and Russians. This does not encourage them in choosing a space-oriented career, and neither does it send them the right message about the EU as a space-faring group of nations. How can this situation be remedied in the future?

Frank De Winne
Aris: i think we need to develop our own access to space. It will mean some more investment but technology-wise we can for sure do it

class 8
hello we are a class of 6 year olds from England and we are studying space. Can you tell us what its like to live in space?

Frank De Winne
class 8: it very nice to live in space, to float around and to work for all the people here on the earth. But in the beginning it is also somewhat difficult

class 8
what does space food taste like?

Frank De Winne
Class 8: we have all kind of tastes, like here on earth. Eggs, vegetables, potatoes etc...

m000sh
how do you go to the toilet in space?

Frank De Winne
m000sh: just like on earth, only the toilet is different with a kind of suction system

Chloe Hoey
If you could take one person to the ISS and show them what the Earth looked from space, who would it be?

Frank De Winne
Chloe: Someone very important to show how vulnerable our planet is... so he/she can take the necessary decision to preserve it as much as possible

m000sh
Hi Frank. When you were on the ISS, what was the most interesting thing you could see on the Earth?

Frank De Winne
M000sh; the most interesting was the thin layer of the atmosphere... It really impressed me how thin it is and still it protects us and provides for all the life on earth

Faye
Hi Frank what are stars made of?

Frank De Winne
Faye: they are mostly made of helium and hydrogen

IK1SLD
What do you think of Amateur Radio in Space? With my friend Valery Korzun we had way to give a great impulse of use of radio in Space. We hope next Crew with Sasha Kaleri will return to operate on voice the Station :)

Frank De Winne
IK1SLD: i think it is a great means to support the group psychologically

IK1SLD
Yes Frank, I think too that amateur radio is very useful psychologically.

Jacqueline
What are you going to do this year?

Frank De Winne
Jacqueline: I'm working on the preparation to launch our Columbus Module (European lab) to the ISS

class 8
can you tell us what you can hear when you are in space. is it really noisy or quiet?

Frank De Winne
class 8: it is really noisy in space because of all the ventilators that circulate the air in the space station

wind**
how are you going up there...i hope you feel good....am i correct?

Frank De Winne
wind: yes, you feel very good

IK1SLD
On Earth you have possibility to use your callsign ON1DWN or this call was only for Space Operations ?

Frank De Winne
IK1SLD: it is my personal callsign here on Earth

sms
who would be the 3rd crew member for the next Soyuz TMA-2 in your opinion? Thanks and a lot of happy in new year to you and your family

Frank De Winne
sms: we don't know yet. It might still take a while before we know

andrew
How many G max did you experience on your launch have heard people say that the G can feel like v heavy weight on your chest

Frank De Winne
andrew: that is correct. we experienced 4 g's

Space girl
Did you always get good marks in school?

Frank De Winne
Space girl: no I did not. I had good marks for math and physics, but bad marks for languages

jeffs
how long did it take to adapt to zero g

Frank De Winne
jeffs: it took about 4 to 5 days

Espuniman
Hello Mr.De Winne, I wanted to ask you what is the most rare experiment on board? Thank You

Frank De Winne
Espuniman: we had an experiment with growth of salad which was very good

carol
now, as you are back from flight, is life as interesting as it was in anticipation of the mission?

Frank De Winne
carol: it is even more interesting, with plenty of new challenges

Space girl
How is it to cooperate with people from other nations?

Frank De Winne
space girl: it is one of the most interesting parts of being an astronaut

IK1SLD
Commander Korzun sent me a beautiful photo by e-mail about the Vulcan Etna in Italy while onboard ISS. Have you seen this eruption from Space ?

Frank De Winne
IK1SLD: yes I did! It was beautiful

IK1SLD
Thanks Frank for this QSO :))

Espuniman
Thanks you Mr. De Winne!!! I am trying to make a space-related toppics association into my university, but we don´ know how we call it. Would you like to take the Honor of became a Honorable President of it, and put the name? I am form the Basque Country, in the North of Spain.

Frank De Winne
Espuniman: you will have to ask ESA!

andrew
Frank, I saw the Apollo CSM return to earth land in water as a child. How would you describe landing on the ground when returning to the earth

Frank De Winne
andrew: the most impressive thing I saw was the thin layer of the atmosphere

Alberto V. Leal
Hallo Frank I am interested on the effect of the lack of gravity on the direction of root growth in plant.

Frank De Winne
Alberto, you can contact ESA for this, they will help you (via www.esa.int)

wannabe
Frank, please answer 3 B's questions, they have been waiting patiently.What does a storm look like from space? And what questionsmost common from children?

Frank De Winne
wannabe: 3b. A storm from space is one of the most beautiful things... it's like a very big firework that is never-ending and most common questions... how does it feel like in space

wannabe
Thank you Frank.

Space girl
Is the selection process stiff?

Frank De Winne
Space girl: yes it was, and also very long... you have to be very motivated

Zimmer
Hi Frank what's the salary of an astronaut? Maybe a too much direct question...

Frank De Winne
Zimmer: it is the same salary as an engineer that works for ESA

Leonudio
what will u do in this trip??

Moderator 1
Leonudio, Frank came back from his trip to the iss in November. See www.esa.int/odissea

mary
hi frank, what was it like to come back to earth?

Frank De Winne
mary: it was spectacular! especially the reentry in the atmosphere

SpaceWithoutSmoke
Hello Mr De Winne !!! Is the zero gravity on a Space Station to diferent from Microgravity on a parabolic flight.

Frank De Winne
SpaceWithoutSmoke: yes it is because you have permanent zero gravity and it is completely different

andrew
Frank, Nice to be able to ask questions.. thank you for your answers. best wishes on your future voyages Andrew

IK1SLD
We wait you on the www.issfanclub.com website where you can greet all Space Fans about ISS. Commander Korzun was the first member of the official ISS FanClub ;) Ciao from Italy... was a pleasure talk with you.. Claudio IK1SLD

Frank De Winne
IK1SLD: thank you

Zimmer
Do you like life in Noordwijk?

Frank De Winne
Zimmer: yes I do, although the family is still living in Belgium

Zimmer
I thank you for answering all my questions, have a nice space!  See you in the future... bye bye bye! Ciao!!!

Frank De Winne
Ciao Zimmer

Space girl
Have you always known that you wanted to become an astronaut? Thanks for answering my other quistions! And a big regard from Denmark!

Frank De Winne
Thank you for joining Space Girl I wanted to become an astronaut since I was a young student pilot and engineer (as was about 20) and i saw the first shuttle flight

SpaceWithoutSmoke
Did you training on the A300 zero G plane before u went in ISS ??

Frank De Winne
Spacewithoutsmoke: no, but in the Russian zero-g plane

andrea
Bye bye Mr Frank

Jicéhem
Frank: Good luck !!

sms
Maybe Frank will fly again, good luck from Poland ;)

Space girl
Wish you the best!! Bye:-)

andrea
i'm very happy speak you, and see you later. Best Regards, sincerely Andrea

I LOVE SPACE
FRANK YOU ARE THE BEST OFF ALL THE PEOPLE I EVER MET

Frank De Winne
Sorry, but I have to go now. Thanks all for joining the chat sessions, it was really fun... Thanks for all the nice questions, and I hope you enjoyed is as much as I did Bye All

Last update: 21 January 2003

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