|Kevin A. Ford|
July 7, 1960 |
Portland, Indiana, U.S.
|Kevin Anthony Ford|
|Fighter pilot, test pilot|
|University of Notre Dame, B.S. 1982
Troy State University, M.S. 1989
University of Florida, M.S. 1994
AFIT, Ph.D. 1997
Time in space
|157 days 13 hours 9 minutes|
|Selection||2000 NASA Group|
|Missions||STS-128, Soyuz TMA-06M (Expedition 33/34)|
Well, the coolest thing I have seen so far, in terms of, like, me being an astronaut and seeing something unusual, was the rendezvous, the docking of a Progress spaceship.
Space station is, it really is one of the more, if not the most, impressive technological achievement of the modern day, not only in what we've accomplished engineering-wise but what we've accomplished on this international scale, because anybody will tell you that half the challenge is making it all work.
I think if I had to choose, I would rather have gravity instead of zero gravity. It's fun for a while, but I'd rather live on Earth.
We spend our spare time taking care of little things. I can watch a little bit of college and professional football if I want to… Our favorite pastime is trying to take pictures of our hometowns from space.
A lot of scientists on Earth think of things that they could do in zero g. Things like the way metals cure, for example, and the way fluids react in space can tell us a lot about some of the unknowns we have on Earth.
Life as an astronaut in space is a very interesting one. There are things we all take for granted here on earth, like gravity, that can make things a bit challenging. One of the fun things about getting here is the zero gravity and floating around. But it also makes things very difficult.
The ability of the humans to not only function in space but be very functional when they arrive at their destination, those are the kinds of things we're learning from the science. Fuel transfer technologies and all the things we can learn about the space environment are all valuable to us for pressing on out.
It's much easier for me to sleep in space than it is back home. We sleep in a cabin, and you can float inside.
I made about fifty-four dollars a week and spent it on two flying lessons every week at the age of sixteen and was able to get a license then pretty early and knew that that's what I wanted to do, some kind of a career in aviation. I did know about space flight, but at that point, it was still pretty far out there.
Anytime I float by a window, I can tell whether the outside is lit or if it's dark outside. When we're working it's just day for us with the lights on inside.
I took a Russian class at Notre Dame. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would fly someday in a Russian spacecraft with two cosmonauts, speaking only Russian.
When the guys come back in from the spacewalk, there really is a distinct smell of space; it's something I will never forget.
I enjoy going out to the plants, the factories where just some sub-element maybe of the orbiter or the space station is built. Those people take such pride in that component, and they build it to perfection, and it's just a pleasure to see that.
I grew up in Montpelier, Indiana. It's a little town in the northeast corner of Indiana. It's a rural community; about two thousand people, a very much hometown U.S.A. kind of thing.
One of the things I do know is we know very little about our universe. Even though we think we know a lot, and we do know a lot more than we used to, we have a lot to learn about our universe.
I think someday, out in space, perhaps, some people might be able to grow some of their own food or hopefully on another planet.
Space is dark but, of course, when we're on the sun side of the Earth, we're in full illumination and we have all the reflection of the Earth below us, beautiful blue Earth and we're in daylight. Only on the back side, opposite side of the sun, it seems like night to us, too.