Astronaut Richard Linnehan, who travelled to space four times between 1996 and 2008 for multiple missions including the construction of International Space Station and upgrading the Hubble Space Telescope, made interesting statements during his visit to Space Camp Turkey. In his presentation to the students and teachers, Astronaut Linnehan said, “It would be preposterous to claim that life exists on no other planet but Earth.”
Telling students about launching space shuttles, construction of the space station and features of astronaut clothes with photos, Astronaut Linnehan’s remarks about the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) caught the attention of many in the audience. The astronaut then showed the students photos of galaxies, star formations and planets as seen from the telescope. On a photo of a completely dark part of space, Linnehan indicated that 6 thousand galaxies were identified in the area as big as the size of half a thumb. “In this area alone, each of the galaxies consists of billions of stars and only 1% of these stars belong to systems that are similar to our solar system. It would be preposterous to ignore the possibility of life on other planets, even if we assume that only 1% of these systems would have planets with habitability similar to our Earth” emphasized Linnehan.
Logging a total of 59 days in space with 42 hours of space walk, NASA Astronaut’s presentation at Space Camp Turkey drew great attention of the audience. The astronaut came as the guest of this year’s E-pal week – also known as the special 6-Day International Summer Camp - between June 29th and July 5th and was followed by 200 campers from Poland, USA, Canada, Greece and Turkey.
Noting that his favorite mission was the one in 2008 where he led the space walks for construction of the International Space Station with Space Shuttle Endeavor, Astronaut Linnehan remarked that, due to the busy work schedule in space, it’s not easy to notice whether a mission is fun or not until they return back to Earth. Astronaut Linnehan also explained that traditionally a mission patch is designed to indicate the content of each mission with the names of the crew. Upon a question about the most difficult phase of travelling to space, Linnehan answered, “Aside from the training we go through to get used to the space walks or astronaut clothes, I think the most difficult part was reaching an agreement of the whole crew on the color, content and size of the mission patch,” raising smiles in the audience.
Linnehan was given extensive information about ESBAS and the Aegean Free Zone after visiting the Antique Car Museum, “A Giant Is Born” exhibition and the product exhibit area. Also visiting the ATC company which repairs carpets and rugs in the Aegean Free Zone, Astronaut Linnehan said that he was very much impressed by all the investments at the Zone.
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