Gravity pulls our bodily fluids down, like water in a glass goes to the bottom part of a glass. In space, the water doesn't stay in the bottom of the glass. It distributes itself evenly over time throughout the entire volume of the glass.
I can't think of anything specific growing up that pointed me toward NASA at all. I was interested in the Moon landings just about the same as everyone else of my generation. But I never really thought about being an astronaut or working in space myself.
I feel blessed to be here representing our country and carrying out th research of scientists around the world... I hope you could feel the positive energy that beamed to the whole planet as we glided over.
I have a computer screen near my seat where I monitor the overall health of the vehicle and pick up any problems that might be occurring early on or once we see any kind of a malfunction or anything unusual that's happening, we can look at the data and figure out what that is.
I've always enjoyed traveling and having experience with different cultures and different people. But it's also a wonderful thing to be able to benefit and enable research, not only in our country but around the world.
It's such a long mission and we get to spend so much time in space... we're doing such exciting research. And I don't want to overemphasize the life science research, but as a physician the life science research that we're doing is extremely exciting.
Other than motherhood, the eight years that I spent at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, I have incredibly fond memories of. It's a beautiful place, with four seasons up in Wisconsin. And really wonderful people.
Some things are only capable of being done in space. Examples of that are looking at our Earth from that far away, and understanding the entire processes of storms and weather patterns, and oceans, and coastlines.
The Navy's paid for you to go through school, and then they need doctors to go out and take care of people who are in various different parts of the world. I decided to pay back my time first as an undersea medical officer. I was stationed in Scotland.
Things are going very smoothly. As expected, there are some minor glitches, and the eight minutes that it took us to get to orbit, we trained months and months for, and didn't have to use any of that preparation, other than being aware and ready.
This has been a great experience for me. The first couple of days you don't always feel too well. You adjust to the fluid shifting, how to fly through space without hitting things or anybody else. But then you get in a groove.
We'd like to have immediate answers to all of our questions. I think medicine in particular. I found it frustrating as a physician sometimes to not be able to tell someone exactly why something was happening to them. There are still so many mysteries in medicine.