Skip to main content

tv   After Words Scott Kelly Endurance  CSPAN  December 25, 2017 12:02am-1:01am EST

12:02 am
to the duke of milan. eleven paragraphs long. the first ten are about engineering and science. he says i can make great weapons of war. he had not done it but he sketched out a lot of them. i can build great buildings and everett rivers. only in the 11th paragraph when he says, and i can also paint as well as any person. >> watch these on our website a big c-span, where history of folds daily. c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it's brought to you by your cable or satellite provider.
12:03 am
>> next timbuktu receptors, scott kelly recalls his year aboard the international space station and other voyages into space. he's interviewed by charles bolden. >> host: i'm not a big reader but i was enthralled by your book. it was inspiring, informative and exciting. i'm wondering if you can tell me how the way i was touched by your book something that did a similar thing for you that got you on the track from your wayward life. >> all-star to try to answer your question when i was a kid growing up as kind of the
12:04 am
opposite kid you would expect to become an astronaut. i couldn't pay attention in class, as a kid in the back of the room looking out the window or at the clock trying to will it run faster. went to college because it was expected of me to go to college. and i still struggled there. one day a market across the college campus and i go in the book store to buy gum or something, not a book. but i saw the book on the shelf and it had a red, white, blue cover i picked it up and looked at the back and was interested in i took my money and purchase the book only there for the next three days and read the stories of the fighter pilots that became the test pilots. the book was the right stuff by tomo.
12:05 am
and the way he wrote it captured my attention in this creative nonfiction kind of way. i felt like i was in the moment. i also recognize characteristics these guys had that it felt like i had to. but i was a kid could into his homework i thought i can solve that one problem i could be like him one day. >> one thing i found exciting is that it's incredibly candid and very personal. did you start out that way? i think i had a reputation for being a straight shooter, maybe a little blunt. but i did that purposely because what i found when i read stories
12:06 am
think that all the good stuff i think is that what their lives are really like? yours the straight a student, there's nothing negative at all in your life? and i thought to tell a complete story that would be believable you have to include some of the cringe worthy moments of your life. i think that helps validate the good stuff. >> your high school principal he never gave up on you. just out of curiosity, because i have teachers like that is have you had opportunity to be in touch with him since getting into the astronaut office?
12:07 am
tell us about your relationship. >> guest: he never did get up give up on me. even though i was a bad student in high school, graduated in the bottom half my class. he still nominated me to go to new jersey boy state. he recognized that i had some potential so despite my bad grades let me go into that. then i kept in touch with him, even my other teachers who i didn't necessarily learn a lot for from them. that everything to do with me, i still kept in touch with the. >> the principal became the superintendent and retire.
12:08 am
>> limit come back to your family, your mother, my mom dad were teachers and inspired me, but your mom was an inspiration and role model to you and your twin brother, did you take your book there and share with us and what she had to do and then people hear the book in my own voice. i thought the audiobook was better than reading it. >> guest: it's not easy to record an audiobook when you're not a professional auto narrator. my mother became a cop and i'll paraphrase here. she was a regular mom and my
12:09 am
brother and i were getting older and i read that a lot of male police officers would've felt threatened by the thought of their wives trying to become officers as well, but not my father. he encouraged her. my mother studied for the civil service exam that took time and effort. then she had to take a physical fitness test and there is a wall where she was gonna have to scale 7 feet. so my father built the practice well. at first she cannot touch the top. to occur long time before she could jump up in touch and eventually she could pull herself up. by honing this technique she
12:10 am
could scale the wall of the first try every time. did the test she skilled wall better than most of the men. she became one of the first women to pass the test. that made a big impression on mark and me. the goal that may not have been possible and she achieved that through determination and support of people around her. i had at least seen what that would look like. my mother made a huge impression on me. she is quite the lady. >> mark and i were 11 she had a swing she was 18 and 19. >> host: you learned at an early age that your mom wasn't stupid. >> yes. >> let me ask if you will share as you grew up and finally
12:11 am
decided to find the path in your life and i read that you decided you would give it a shot. i guess it was the superintendent of the demons that with you, can you talk about your disappointment. >> left i read the right stuff and could do my homework i was on my way. as i my brother's college and my brother was getting straight a's. the guy talk to me and basically said, no way. with these grades in your sat score you will not get in here. i was crushed. i don't think i started crying but i think i was close. i thought that was my opportunity to get into the navy. then i figured out some other
12:12 am
options and went to a school that was a perfect fit for me. was less challenging academically but had a military environment that i needed. was the maritime college in the bronx. i cannot have found a better place to grow and develop. >> host: share with us, what took you from new york maritime and so on really apply for the astronaut program. talk about the road to that
12:13 am
point. >> i had it in my mind since reading the book. it wasn't something that was real yet. then i served as of the 14 pilot and get good at that, how surprised i got selected the first time i applied. became a test pilot and then was going about my life thinking i would do this for a few years and go back to the navy then maybe ten years down the road i might have the qualifications and experience. then one day when it the people in my cubicle said working on my astronaut application. i asked what it was doing he said in a few days. i thought what the heck, i'll fill out the opposite of his send it down and hopefully i get
12:14 am
a call. i was not expecting anything. my surprise when i got call for the interview. sue mckay talk about your wardrobe? sue mckay talk about your wardrobe? my brother had a much different path. in the eighth grade dad sat us down and said you're not college material, my brothers like i want to go to college and started getting straight a's, i had no recollection of this conversation. so he became navy pilot was a
12:15 am
test pilot at the same time i was. he got a call to be interviewed but he did not have to pursue. he knew i had one silo to my suit. he goes to houston, interviews,'s back and gives me my soup back in a month later nasa calls me and i tell my brother, i was shocked that i got called. i told my brother and said you have to buy me a new suit because how ridiculous would that look showing up in the same close. he was a cheap lieutenant and then ended up with me wearing the same suit for the interview which was a blessing in disguise because i walked into the room and i'm sure you've been on the board before you can make it to tell your story. i said this looks really
12:16 am
familiar. so i have the only suit that was selected twice. >> host: you get assigned to your first mission, it's one that i have a fun feeling for uses that their servicing mission having been a part of that mission talk about what you believe the legacy. >> 's incredible, during that kind of science on a daily basis and letting not only the
12:17 am
scientists experience the data they get from it which is most of the stuff you don't see but it's let people get a sense for where we are in the universe which is pretty insignificant is a great first mission for me, when i was writing the book i realized i read that book and almost 18 years to the day is flying in space for the first time. not only that they don't even write about this but i was the first american in my class of 35 people to fly. they don't even write about this but i was the first american in my class of 35 people to fly.
12:18 am
had add could do his homework that was remarkable. >> k talk about the role that you played in the postaccident recovery preparation for return to flight? >> when that they happened i was at home watching the landing on tv. on this loan inclination flights it means when the shuttle is coming home it has a very likely possibility to fly over houston and depending on the time a day we saw flashlight and thinking that was some atmospheric went back inside and realized we had
12:19 am
a tragic accident for the second time. three of my classmates were on that flight. seven of our colleagues and within a few days i along with my other coworkers many in the area of the crash which was in eastern texas and how ironic it was of all the places it could crash it crashes within a two-hour drive of houston where the crews live. it was a tough time, it was sad i had to ride back. >> i was the escort but just out and trying to recover weather remains.
12:20 am
>> what about the response from the public? you mentioned the people who came out wanting to volunteer hopefully a positive impact on your opinion. >> very heartwarming to see the support the people in that area but also the nation and around the world gave us when the accident occurred. the christmas goes by that i'm not putting money in the salvation army kettle because after the columbia accident i realize the great work that they do. they take care feeding people and giving coffee and places to sleep, all kinds of support. not asking anything in return. >> did you think about leaving
12:21 am
the office? >> even after challenger had a friend of mine and he said this is going to change your mind or give you pause about this? i thought i believe in nasa and our ability to do incredible things. i know this is a tragic accide accident, but i do believe in nasa enough that i believe we can rise to the occasion and make it safer. it will never be perfectly safe. but it never crossed my mind wants to leave. >> for anybody watching who thinks you have to do things right all the time, can you go back to when you were young
12:22 am
pilot and you are not the ace of the base, can you share a few things we just said they counted i forget here. >> all share some of the things my brother says how good you are when he started is no reflection on how good you can become with hard work, perseverance were giving up. that size been the case with me. never been the best student but eventually i became a good student. i wasn't the best pilot and first back in those days i think there's more close calls because people were more careless at times. i was not immune to that. a number of occasions i am a skilled myself.
12:23 am
a few wake-up calls. despite the fact that have thousands more hours of flight time now than then, the things they did then that i would never do now, i cases of flying into the water and have in the back i just yell pull up in the vertical speed indicator showing us how quickly we're descending were less than 15 seconds to washing into the water. is not always the best of things was able to get good at the end. >> a career naval officer, trained to take on any enemy,
12:24 am
your second flight saying to the international space station what was some of your early thoughts about working with the russians? >> guest: my earlier exposure was you've it head of that. then they trained on expedition five. had some exposure to working with the russians before influence space. what a voice founders first impressions are often not correct. in working with the russians i have a few observations.
12:25 am
despite the rough exterior, when you become friends with them it's easier to become close friends with a russian person, it happens quicker than it does in our culture. the friendship seems stronger and more rich. it's odd when you're doing this with the person you use to consider your enemy. as i spent more time and space people often say do you ever let the conflict that we have known her country that's between us in russia, does that affect our ability to operate in space, and the answers absolutely not. we rely in each other's friends
12:26 am
and colleagues and sometimes literally rely on each other for our lives. that supersedes any political discourse that's going on. we would talk about these things at times, but in an abstract w way. >> is pretty sensitive and people may think i'm being crude but you mention your marriage and the difficulty of the entire time. he finally decided that the right thing to do this and this, you had samantha and charlotte, what was the impact on them and how did you deal with that to help them work through?
12:27 am
>> guest: is very hard. i struggled with even talking about it in the book because it is very personal not only with me but between my kids and ex-wife. i came to the conclusion that i have a 17 year marriage and two children. you cannot make believe that to not happen. i hope i handled it well, i'm not sure how leslie feels about it. i hope she thinks i was fair in this description. i talked about her in the credits and hopefully in a way she might appreciate. i understand it does hurt the kids the most. >> they talk about somebody who came into your life and made a tremendous difference not just you but to the girls.
12:28 am
can you talk about what effects she is had a new life. >> after my divorce to leslie a mentor relationship with amico used to work at nasa and she was there for 20 years. we started dating in 2009 or ten. we been together ever since and now engaged. she was a very big part of my last two flights, she was there with me and she made it a better experience. i was lucky to have her because the whole social media thing was becoming such a big deal. it allowed me to work on something with her that was fun,
12:29 am
and space that had real-time feedback. especially for the year-long flight is part of my psychological support to have a project i can work on together that have real consequences and feedback. >> let's talk about another trying time in your life. you get a call from the ground that breaks the news to their sister-in-law, gabby giffords was shot. well went through your mind and how did you deal psychologically. you weren't, home that day or the next day. what kind of challenge was that for you? >> is challenging when you hear that your brother's wife, some
12:30 am
of his were important to me was shot in a very violent -- to be a victim of such violence and senseless violence where six others were killed included a 10-year-old girl. she sustained significant injuries. later i was told she did actually passed away. i got on the phone with my brother talk to him and tried to support him as best i could. i was commander of the space station at the time. eventually i tried to compartmentalize in separate what was going on on earth with what my responsibilities were in space.
12:31 am
but at the same time take care my brother. i would say was serendipitous but it was time that allowed me to cut the cord with my fellow crewmates that were up there and let them with run with some of the stuff. i was gonna leave them a couple months later, that was a good thing that allow me to set them free. that's the worst part about being in space. it's not your personal risk is what could happen to your family on earth with no wait to come home. >> you mention the mark was assigned to be a commander in the decision had to be made in you wisely say mark is the
12:32 am
person who will have to make the final determination for his fitness to continue training. did your experience not been able to do a thing, that allow you to help him to make a decision? >> guest: we talked a lot about it but in the end i think it was a to gabby. despite her injuries the last opportunity to in space. it's important to the crew to train with. otherwise they start over with a new commander. clearly he was on the fence if this was the right thing to do. >> i call this a national
12:33 am
tragedy and you had a call from president putin. president obama declared today morning. you have a passage in your book where you prepared and read a message to the world, which you mind sharing that? >> so, i did it wasn't a call from president putin. we had a conference scheduled the next day for all three astronauts and cosmonauts. i was moved a little bit. he spent most of the time talking to me and saying we support you and he just dedicated most of the conversation to check in on me and making sure i was okay. i'll read a little bit of what i said after she was shot.
12:34 am
this is during a national moment of silence i said this over the radio to the control center and whoever else was listening. like to take time to recognize a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the tucson shooting tragedy. first, a few words. we have a unique vantage point here. as i look out the window as a beautiful planet that seems inviting and peaceful. unfortunately, it is not. we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another. not just with actions though the responsible words. we're better than this. then i going to talk about the moment of silence we had. it's interesting, i said this in
12:35 am
2011 some of what i said is so much more applicable today than it was then. i guess we have not learned much. >> i keep talking about the bumps in the road. you came back from your first mission and did some things. then he get word that you're going to do what some people call it crazy when your mission. but you have something you've been working with the docs, then you are diagnosed with prostate counts answer. the medical guys say you're not medically qualified. what went through your mind? what pushed you to fight an appeal that decision and get yourself put back?
12:36 am
>> i had prostate cancer in 2007 and then when i first started training so nasa does test very young. someone might say you're really all to have it but what it is, we get the test so young. i went to the process of having my prostate removed which is not fun but very effective. it works so well i went on to find space 500 days after i had cancer. was challenging to get the russians to prove it but they did. i think you're talking about
12:37 am
being assigned to a year-long flight and the next day i was on assignment. it had to do with my vision. come home and say to emiko that didn't last long. and i said some affects from my visions from the previous one. they thought it was too risky and we are going to assign somebody who had no effect on their eyes. because has they trying to learn more about this, isn't that why were doing this, why are they had someone immune to it. they're mute to it you won't learn anything from them and she says i never seen you give up so easily.
12:38 am
i spent the whole night going throw my medical records which i had a stack of because i recently retired and they give you everything. did some research online went the next day and made my case into my shocked masses said, you have a good point. your back. >> host: during that time you talk a lot about individual crewmembers. to all pick, you can pick as many as five you want. but two were non-americans can you talk about each of them in my made so uniquely distinct, what was it that made them stand out. >> i had a great experience with everyone on the crew.
12:39 am
been really lucky, a bit of space with 40 people and got along with all one. samantha, our technical mind combined with this incredible ability for languages. she clearly has talent on both sides of the brain. also she was the only woman on the space station for the euros there. which which is leaving and you realize you're not gonna be around a woman again for nine months, not talking about it in a weird way, but and then -- he
12:40 am
so professional and nice. kinda like the elder statement of the cosmonaut office at the time. different from the other guys in ways and his perspectives on things. i talked about how he went down to visit the memorial for a person killed in russia and the guy was a political enemy prudent. i had a lot of respect saying i have respect for that guy, show that by visiting this memorial. everyone i flew with was great.
12:41 am
that's the best thing, it's not the experience, the people. >> you had an opportunity to see a lot of people come and go. many were commercial. represented what some people called new space. what was your impression and how did you come away of the future of the exploration and the role that i think how companies like boeing and how they are developing is right along with the plans with commercial organizations and hopefully they'll be carry people superior
12:42 am
that will free up nasa to do other things to explore with their solar system. i was skeptical at first. net i said something like will never say that again about him. you might say maybe he's ambitious but i would never doubt him but i think it's very exciting. i think were on the cusp where access to space -- i was recently a blue origin and those guys are not kids around. that's serious business. i suspect they will have a lot of success.
12:43 am
as time goes on hopefully that will get more people in space. you talk frequently about things technical and otherwise. what are the jet greatest challenges physical and mental stresses, do you have a top-fi top-five. >> i think the support systems have to focus on more. because if the toilet breaks you can't process and you can't process your urine into water then you can't survive.
12:44 am
i think we need to use this to test this philosophy. how long can we make this go with this volume of spare parts. i think the co2 when it is as low as we can get it the problem is it fluctuates greatly and i think nasa is looking at new technologies but the life support system is something we need to focus on more. i think the psychological or human side of it radiation is going to be a challenge. from a psychological perspective lawyer talking about this one day and if we are on our way to mars you not be able to look out
12:45 am
the window and see earth and it would be daylight all the time for months and months. that would be a different psychological experience. >> when you talk about that particular psychological stress you leave the planet look back it becomes a smaller and smaller.. your ability to talk to people at home becomes difficult. >> it eventually goes away. >> how do we train ourselves to deal with that. are we doing anything today? >> i've never done an experiment like that, but we've discussed it. it talked about doing one module
12:46 am
i wasn't too keen on doing on that. but i think it will come down to picking the right people people who can deal with stress and adversity there certain personalities that are good for shuttle flight. you can't make everything perfect all the time little bit different personality where you're able to prioritize and focus on things maybe be able to let it go, that trait will be helpful to people in space. >> as a pilot, when you came in just like i did no way they were
12:47 am
gonna let us go out, now everybody, can you talk about what surprised you? what were the difficult parts that you assume would be a piece of cake then all of a sudden usually hard? >> the pool is not like state space because you're still affected by gravity and your suit. it makes the suit harder to move but easier to stop clearly we don't have gravity affecting us in the same way. but the magnitude of what you're
12:48 am
doing and the attention that every action requires the physical aspect of it, i thought it was harder than the training in the pool. so they have to bump up the pool training, the first few i did were really challenging. i was surprise at how incredible desperate goes much more oppressive than when you're looking through the state space station and how hot it is outside of cold even to the gloves you feel the heat, or the deep cold of it, or when the sun
12:49 am
comes down or up it's shocking. bulletholes and handrails and how it gets hit all the time than overwhelming experience. between spacewalks was there sufficient time? does he make their perpetually sore? i think you're so little sore places i think with the difficulty of working in the gloves which is quite a challenge.
12:50 am
>> you mentioned the lessons learned, now that i'm never going to go back, never say never. but you have no immediate intention of going back some things i missed her learn to appreciate, can you run through a list of some things you learned and loved? >> i'm trying to think of the really important ones. the importance of diversity, i came from a navy that was a bunch of white guys like me. it wasn't until nasa but i started working with people from other ethnicities, genders and countries. having the team with different
12:51 am
backgrounds whether those were from cultural perspectives are because i haven't a different major in college is a different way to look at things as a group and made us stronger at solving problems. vestibule has learned over by 20 years at nassau. i was so important and valuable at the same time. it is important to work on as a group. i appreciate earth more than the environment, being able to look at earth from a long time and space makes you think about how fragile the atmosphere looks.
12:52 am
this is the only planet we have. i'm not a believer that mars is our lifeboat. for civilization to grow and develop will need people living other places. not because we will destroy this place, i learned about who the experts are and if you want to know something about rocket science route ask a rocket scientist. if you want to know something about climate science donis the lawyer, ask a climate scientist. note appreciate people and be more empathetic and appreciative of the planet. >> host: i am a mars fanatic, but let's pretend i'm not. if we want to go to mars what do
12:53 am
we need to do? what would it take for us to go to mars? especially in the times in the schedule we have laid out. >> guest: when i was on the space station reporter said now that nasa determined there is absolutely liquid water on mars, will that help us get there any sooner? those like him i don't know, maybe. if we saw money on mars we get there fast. technologically think we can do it. i think we need a better understanding of the physical stuff, we need to shield the
12:54 am
crew from radiation whether we do that with a magnetic field or just get there really fast, it's something we need to think about. i think the biggest challenges is not about the rocket science, it's about the political science. but having voters elect members of congress that are science minded people. whether we change the laws nasa can't be changing direction or changing plans every time we get a new president. that would be helpful. >> why not venus?
12:55 am
venus would be too hard because of the sulfuric acid a place with water. >> you mention in your book on of those in the prologue but definitely the epilogue your realization of how awesome water was. there is nothing like being immersed in water. what did you mean? >> when you don't take a shower for an entire year becomes important. like i can't wait to go swimming or get in the bathtub. the first thing we did, i walked in my front door to backyard and jumped in the pool. even though the pool was seated, i think my body went into shock because i have not had that
12:56 am
experience for so long. there's a lot of things on earth we take for granted. >> would you go back again? >> yes. if you had an opportunity to pick your crew, what type of crew which you put together? >> guest: i will pick them from those i spent a year in space with. people that are helpful but not too helpful. you cannot have someone up there that you think is is going to be there to help you do your work. people need to do their own thing. their time to help in times that are. it's very complicated to work in space and it has risk.
12:57 am
after those things so say people easy to get along with that don't get too stressed out. people you can trust. you have to be able to trust those you are there with. so much could glue wrong. stability, somebody who is emotionally very stable. a lot of traits without seeing government today. >> you said it, i didn't. you don't have to do it quickly, we have time to talk to a lot of kids. i think you are as passionate about it as i am.
12:58 am
hopefully will be several thousand students will see this and at some point in their academic life, give them a few words of wisdom. go all the way back to scott kelly, the kid who would never do the right thing it into how to study it and see the need to study, up to the sky kelly today, the people many admire. >> guest: if i was to talk to myself what i would say is, you need to find some inspiration. you could have beat me over the head by a two by four. i think inspiration was the key. kids get inspiration from different places. for me, i know it was impossible to be a good student without inspiration.
12:59 am
what i found was from a book. that said if you want to do this, you have to do this. and this requires homework. this would help me. for kids who want to work in nassau i say pick something that is qualified for something you are interested in. become a pilot because you want to fly airplanes and if that helps you in arab.
1:00 am
>> thank you for your service to the nation in nassau. [inaudible] . . . . he's interviewed by robert traynham. serious xm radio host and political analyst. >> host: why did you decide to write the book?


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on