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President Obama Calls the International Space Station

President Obama Calls the International Space Station

President Obama made a special phone call today – all the way to the International Space Station. During his chat, American astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren highlighted some important things we’re doing here at NASA: 

One Year Mission

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Astronaut Scott Kelly is a little over halfway through his One-Year Mission, and the President wanted to know how he was doing. Kelly’s year in space is providing essential research on our journey to Mars. The studies performed throughout his time on the space station will give us new insights to how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and stress during long duration spaceflight. 

Adjusting to Microgravity… Like Riding a Bike?

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During the call, the President asked Kelly if anything has surprised him while he’s been in space. Kelly responded and told him that he was surprised at how easily he remembered and adapted to microgravity from his previous missions. The President remarked, “So being an astronaut is like riding a bicycle?”

In space, there is no “up” or “down.” That can mess with the human brain and affect the way people move and think in space. An investigation on the International Space Station seeks to understand how the brain changes in space and ways to deal with those changes.

Research on the International Space Station

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November marks the 15 years of continuous human presence on the International Space Station! During the call, the President pointed out that many of today’s children have never known a time when we didn’t have astronauts living aboard the International Space Station. Pretty amazing! There are currently more than 400 experiments on the station that will not only help us achieve our goals in space, but will also benefit life on Earth. 

Inspiring the Next Generation

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President Obama made sure to tell Kelly and Lindgren that he was proud of the work they’re doing to inspire the next generation of astronauts. He even mentioned how Scott Kelly’s Instagram feed provides an amazing glimpse into life for would-be astronauts. This next generation will be the first humans to step foot on Mars.

Journey To Mars

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President Obama highlighted the fact that he has tasked NASA with sending humans on a journey to Mars. He hopes to see the first humans walk on the Martian surface in his lifetime, and supports the work we’re doing to get there. 

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