Posted at: 10/29/2013 10:48 PM
Updated at: 10/29/2013 10:52 PM
By: Steph Crock
NASA Astronaut Shares Training Experience
(ABC 6 News) – After months of harsh training and a lot of hard work, a NASA Astronaut traveled to Rochester to share her story. Dr. Kate Rubins has been training for the past couple years, to soon take her mission to outer space. She's a scientist and that's another reason she's been invited to the University of Minnesota - Rochester. Their "UMR Connects" theme right now is inner and outer spaces and Dr. Rubins’ lecture is on how to do scientific research in extreme environments.
Going into space wasn't exactly on Dr. Rubins' bucket list. "I originally started in biology and infectious diseases, and applied to NASA kind of out of the blue in 2009, and became an astronaut," said Dr. Rubins. Her new office soon will be the NASA Space station. Something that is still surreal for her. "You kind of think, wow, am I really here having this conversation?" laughed Dr. Rubins.
She calls herself the "rookie" in their upcoming mission. Some of her colleagues are already there. "There's about 100 different scientific investigators on any mission and so we'll actually be carrying out that scientific research on orbit for about 6 months," she said.
She's still wrapping up her training, which takes a couple years and is very extensive. "We fly supersonic jets, we do land survival and water survival training, we do robotic arm training," said Dr. Rubins. She'll not only have to adapt to extreme conditions, but will have to be doing research simultaneously. "I feel like I understand the risks pretty well," she said.
It's her in-depth research combined with a fearless attitude, that drew in this big crowd of students and community members, all very eager to hear her unique story. "We are really excited to have her here tonight," said UMR student Samantha Reim.
"It's really nice to see this interest in space and space exploration," smiled Dr. Rubins.
Those who organize the UMR Connects events say it was very challenging to get Dr. Rubins here because so many other schools wanted to hear from her. They were able to fly her in through a grant from IBM.