Wednesday, October 7, 2015
NYCC 2015: Science Channel's SECRET SPACE ESCAPES
The panel will reveal never-before-seen footage and rare first-hand accounts by the people who lived and endured the harrowing near misses, toxic contamination, fires in space, outages and landings gone wrong. In addition, fans will be treated to a special appearance from one astronaut who gives singer David Bowie a run for his money.
SECRET SPACE ESCAPES draw viewers into the emotional experience of space exploration as more than 20 astronauts recount their missions, as recent as 2013, and reveal chilling accounts of the challenges of space exploration by those who had to rely upon science, their colleagues on Earth and, most importantly their wits and training in order to survive sudden and dangerous situations that occurred during their missions.
SECRET SPACE ESCAPES – THE REAL LIFE GRAVITY PANEL
Date: Saturday, October 10th
Location: Room 1A21
Astronaut Robert “Beamer” Curbeam served on three space shuttle missions and seven spacewalks. He trained for years to install a new American module on the International Space Station (ISS). During the spacewalk for this mission a valve malfunctioned, spewing toxic ammonia all over his space suit. Covered with ammonia, he knew he could not risk re-entering the spacecraft and sickening his crew. Curbeam stayed outside the craft traveling at 17,000 miles per hour for two orbits around the earth while the sun slowly melted away the contaminants. He is currently tied for the record for the most spacewalks during a single spaceflight, four, during the STS-116 mission.
Captain Jerry Linenger is a retired United States Navy flight surgeon and NASA astronaut. Linenger spent nearly five months aboard the Russian space station Mir and faced numerous life-threatening events, including repeated failures of critical life-support systems, a near-collision between the space station and an incoming re-supply spacecraft and computer failures that sent the space station tumbling uncontrollably through space, in addition to surviving an out-of-control fire that was later described as the most severe fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft. Linenger logged 50 million miles, the equivalent distance of over 110 round trips to the moon, traveling at a speed of nearly 18,000 miles per hour. He was the first American ever to undock from a space station in a Russian Soyuz capsule and the first American to do a spacewalk in a Russian spacesuit.
Soyeon Yi was selected from among 36,000 applicants to serve as the first South Korean in space. From March 2007 – April 2008, Dr. Yi participated in general space training in the Y. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. She was launched into space on Soyuz TMA-12 to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 8, 2008, returning to Earth 10 days later. She traveled into space with two Russian cosmonauts, Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko, and returned to Earth along with ISS crew members Peggy Whitson and Yuri Malenchenko aboard Soyuz TMA-11. While aboard the ISS, Dr. Yi conducted numerous scieentific experiments, including one that monitored the effects of microgravity on 1,000 fruit flies that she transported into space. Dr. Yi experienced an off-nominal ballistic re-entry of her Soyuz capsule on landing. She endured up to 8Gs, eight times her body weight, being pushed upon her with the normal Soyuz re-entry force not exceeding 4.5Gs.
Alexander George is the Tech Editor for Popular Mechanics. Previously, he was a contributor for Wired, The Wall Street Journal, Outside, Maxim, and Dwell. After several years in the Bay Area, George now lives and works in New York City. He is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.