Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


American astronaut to speak at UC next week

American astronaut to speak at UC next week

September 30, 2013

An American astronaut will be the key speaker at the first New Zealand Starlight Festival in Tekapo and at the University of Canterbury (UC) next week.

Marsha Ivins, who has travelled almost 27 million miles in space and spent more than 55 days in space, has orbited the Earth 990 times. She was a veteran of five shuttle missions, including one to the International Space Station.

She will give a public talk at UC’s C1 lecture theatre on October 9 at 7.30pm.

On her first NASA mission in early 1990, Ivins says the thought crossed her mind that she was, in fact, off the planet.

``When you talk to someone about flying in a plane, it’s really no big deal. We accept flying in planes as part of daily life. But flying in space is still a `wow’ moment, even if you’ve worked in the space programme, supported other space flights, and spoken to everyone who has flown before you. So I had to take a pause to realise I was off the planet.

``The acceleration of launch on the shuttle was only 3G (three times your body weight). The Soyuz rocket and the Apollo rockets accelerated to 5Gs.

``The direction of this force is what they call `eyeballs in’, meaning, as you are lying on your back facing the top of the rocket, it feels like a gorilla is sitting on your chest. This 3G force only sustains for a few minutes at the end of the ascent portion of the flight but it’s noticeable.

``Many folks do not feel well for the first day or so in space with no gravity. It’s hard to predict who will feel sick and who will not but everyone adapts after a few days and is fine in orbit.’’

Ivins, who recently retired, will visit the University of Canterbury (UC) and give a talk about space at the October 11 to 13 festival which is being organised by the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Board in partnership with UC.

Her talk next month will provide an opportunity for UC students to learn about space travel, UC astronomy professor John Hearnshaw says.

``This is a fantastic opportunity for physics and astronomy students to meet such an experienced astronaut. With enrolment for 2014 starting next week this shows some exciting things that happen for students here at UC.’’

The event has been staged to celebrate the creation of the International Dark Sky Reserve in the Mackenzie Basin and at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.  See video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkFrPA6e2Pc
The Dark Sky Reserve has been approved by the International Dark Sky Association which is the international body giving accreditation for Dark Sky Reserves and Dark Sky Places world-wide.

Its formation is recognition of the pristine skies of the Mackenzie which are free of light pollution. UC is part of the Dark Sky Reserve, being the operator of the observatory at Mt John above Tekapo.

 
Marsha Ivins

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news