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Geophysicist to Astronaut


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about me, my adventures, and my astronaut ambition - presentation given to 9th graders in Lovington, NM on 26 April 2010

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Geophysicist to Astronaut

  1. 1. Geophysicist to Astronaut Brian Shiro National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Lovington 9th Grade Academy 26 April 2010
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>About Me </li></ul><ul><li>About my job </li></ul><ul><li>Geophysics & Planetary Science </li></ul><ul><li>Astronaut preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul><ul><li>Pearls of wisdom </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>Hometown: Paragould, Arkansas </li></ul><ul><li>High School graduate (1996) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior Class President </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BA, Northwestern University (2000) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Majors: Integrated Science, Geology, Physics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MA, Washington University (2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth & Planetary Science, PhD study until 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Geophysicist with NOAA (2005-present) </li></ul><ul><li>Astronaut applicant (2008-2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Commander and Scientist, Mars analog missions (2009-2010) </li></ul><ul><li>MS, University of North Dakota (2010, exp.) </li></ul>
  4. 4. My job my office
  5. 5. NOAA <ul><li>NOAA’s Mission: To understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs. </li></ul><ul><li>NOAA operates the US’s weather satellites, making it one of the largest space agencies in the world. </li></ul>
  6. 6. See the world. Be a scientist.
  7. 7. Colorado - geology
  8. 8. Alaska
  9. 9. Fiji
  10. 10. Antarctica
  11. 11. Marianas
  12. 12. Anatahan Eruption 11 May 2003 I was the last person on this uninhabited island just 3 days before it erupted. Our team happened to be the first witnesses of the eruption from our boat. before after
  13. 13. “Mars”
  14. 14. What is Geophysics? <ul><li>Geophysics is the study of the Earth or other planets by quantitative physical methods. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, magnetic fields, mineral resources, atmosphere, deep interior </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. What does all of this have to do with planetary science? <ul><li>Earth is a planet! </li></ul><ul><li>Techniques used on Earth can be applied to other planets too. </li></ul><ul><li>Studying other planets helps us understand the Earth too. </li></ul><ul><li>Training on Earth helps us prepare for exploring other planets. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Astronaut Geophysicists Astronaut Drew Feustel -- fixed Hubble Astronaut Jack Schmitt -- last man on the Moon -- senator from NM me
  17. 17. Applying to Be an Astronaut <ul><li>Need at least a Bachelor’s degree + 5 years experience </li></ul><ul><li>Having “operational experience” helps: military, aviation, scuba, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Height, weight, vision restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Applied in 2008; Made it to the “Highly Qualified” stage in 2009. </li></ul>My level
  18. 18. Astronaut Stats
  19. 19. Astronaut Stats
  20. 20. Private Spaceflight Revolution New Mexico is leading the way:
  21. 21. Suborbital Astronaut Training <ul><li>Classroom learning </li></ul><ul><li>Altitude Physiology </li></ul><ul><li>Motion & Acceleration Physiology </li></ul><ul><li>Space Launch & Reentry </li></ul><ul><li>G-Tolerance </li></ul><ul><li>Working Under Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Time Management </li></ul><ul><li>Distraction Factor Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Microgravity fights </li></ul><ul><li>Suborbital Space Flights </li></ul><ul><li>Mission-specific </li></ul>
  22. 22. Q&A <ul><li>Is it cold in space? --Austin Brehm </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, about 3K (-273ºC). In sunlight, up to 120ºC. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can metal rust in space? --Cameron Crawford </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No. There is no oxygen to oxide the metal. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it true that you are bigger in space? --Demori Aranda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, your body grows in length by 6-8 cm. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How many people have successfully made it to outer space and back? --Lauren Richardson </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 500 </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Q&A <ul><li>How far in space does a satellite have to be before computers on Earth can’t detect it? --Lauren Richardson </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We can still detect Voyager I, which was launched in 1977 and is now 113 AU (17 billion km) away. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you have to put a lot of time into your job? --Ivan Salcido </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, I work about 80 hours per week. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What do you not like about your job? --Kaylyn Simmons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The long, variable hours and bureaucracy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you work by yourself or with other people? --Amber Queen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. What to Study in School? <ul><li>Science (geology, physics, chemistry) </li></ul><ul><li>Math (as much as you can) </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering (aero, mech) </li></ul><ul><li>Computers (programming) </li></ul><ul><li>Geography </li></ul>College degree minimum, Usually need graduate degree like Masters or Ph.D.
  25. 25. Life Lessons <ul><li>Go to college away from home. Stay in the dorm at least a year. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider taking a year off before or after college. </li></ul><ul><li>Travel as much as you can. Nothing helps you grow more. </li></ul><ul><li>Try a variety of fields of study. Summer schools and internships are a good way to do this. </li></ul><ul><li>Be flexible, but always have a long range plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Anything that can go wrong will, but learn and move on. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Recommended Reading <ul><li>The Seven Habits Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey </li></ul><ul><li>Now What?: The Young Person's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career by Nicholas Lore </li></ul><ul><li>Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists by Peter Fiske </li></ul><ul><li>Naked Earth: The New Geophysics by Shawna Vogel </li></ul><ul><li>The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho </li></ul><ul><li>Discoveries in Planetary Science </li></ul>
  27. 27. Thanks! <ul><li>Contact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brian Shiro </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>email: [email_address] or [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>blog: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>twitter: @brianshiro </li></ul></ul>