SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell has a Q&A session with NASA Crew-1 Astronauts at the Space Station [VIDEO]

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell has a Q&A session with NASA Crew-1 Astronauts at the Space Station [VIDEO]

SpaceX's Crew-1 mission launched NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi on a long duration voyage to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, November 15, at 7:27 p.m. EST. Crew-1 lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was SpaceX's second crewed flight and the first operational mission under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Crew-1 astronauts docked to the orbiting laboratory on Monday, November 16th after a historic ~27 hour voyage. "I could not be more proud of the work we've done here today. Falcon 9 looked great, Dragon was dropped off into a beautiful orbit [...]," said SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell after the successful mission, "This mission represents the initiation of a Dragon in orbit continuously, knocking on wood and certainly is really the beginning of a new era in human spaceflight," she proudly stated.

Today, December 4th, Shotwell had the opportunity to chat with Crew-1 NASA Astronauts Shannon Walker and Michael Hopkins who have been working at the orbiting laboratory for the past 19 days. –“Station, this is Gwynne Shotwell from SpaceX, how do you hear me?” she said with a smile. –“Hey Gwen! We hear you loud and clear,” Hopkins replied. “…Big shout out to everyone at SpaceX! Through your partnership with NASA, you are the reason we are here!” Hopkins added.

Shotwell proceeded to have a short Q&A [Question & Answer] session with the Crew-1 astronauts. She asked a series of questions on behalf of SpaceX employees. “…My employees are so excited by this event, we got hundreds of questions…” she said. “I am really looking forward to sharing what our great SpaceX team is thinking about. “…The first question comes from Eric Ruiz, who is a propulsion technician in Raptor machining, his question is: ‘what were your thoughts as you were walking across the Crew Access Arm?’” Shotwell asked. “My initial thoughts were ‘don’t trip’,” Hopkin’s jokingly replied. “I was thinking of… the historic nature of walking across that Access Arm,” Walker added.

–“Okay, from Justin Owens, who is a CNC programmer - CNC is ‘Computerized Numerically Controlled […],", she said, "‘My son […] would like to know if the SpaceX spacesuits are comfortable?’” Shotwell asked his question, adding “and you can be totally candid here by the way ... how they compare to standard or other spacesuits, with respect to comfort?” Astronaut Walker told Shotwell the spacesuits are designed to fit comfortable when you are sitting down and not standing, “…there not tall enough,” she said, stating that “there not as comfortable as when you are sitting in the spacecraft.” Walker also shared the SpaceX helmet is very heavy. “Good feedback… I appreciate that,” Shotwell responded. She also asked the astronauts if the Crew Dragon spacecraft was comfortable during the 27-hour voyage to the space station. The astronauts said they did fit comfortably. 


Shotwell asked several more questions on behalf of a SpaceX employees. "...This is from Ruben [...] the senior propulsion analyst in liquid engine development program, 'What do you believe are the most important reasons - this is a great question - What are the most important reasons for human space exploration?" Shotwell said. "...I think your boss says it pretty well," Hopkins said, in reference to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, "We want to become an interplanetary species, I think that is true. I also do believe its in our nature... humans are curious [...]," he said. "...We need to get out there. We need to understand the Universe. And we need to survive as a species, space exploration is going to be part of that," Walker added. You can watch the short question and answer session in the NASA YouTube video below, starting at 9 hours 55 minutes into the video. 


About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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