This morning astronaut Leroy Chiao spent some time with us at Big Think to chat about his four tours in outer space and his role as director at Excalibur Almaz, a recreational space travel outfit headquartered in the Isle of Man. Seven days in space will cost about $35M, says Chiao, "based on market prices."
The forty-nine year-old Asian-American was remarkably humble about his many achievements, including logging a total of 229 days, 7 hours, 38 minutes and 5 seconds in space, including 36 hours and 7 minutes clocked during six space walks. What do you need to be an astronaut? "A bachelor's degree and a good heart," Chiao cheerfully replied.
Chiao witnessed a unique moment in history in the early 90's, when Russian cosmonauts first visited NASA in the post-Cold War era. They were all viewed with skepticism, he said. Now fluent in both Mandarin and Russian, Chiao worked very hard to excel in the latter because the cosmonauts who had mastered English, "Those were the ones you trusted."
As Chairman of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) User Panel, Chiao is an expert on health concerns related to long-duration space travel, including bone and muscle loss, radiation exposure and even sleep troubles. The good news? Most of the breakthroughs being made to help astronauts can be applied to folks "on the ground."
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Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.
I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.
- Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
- The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
- The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
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