UT alumnus talks experience aboard International Space Station

UT graduate, Navy pilot and astronaut, Barry Wilmore spoke to students and faculty on Sept. 11 about his recent stint aboard the International Space Station.

UT graduate, Navy pilot and astronaut, Barry Wilmore spoke to students and faculty on Sept. 11 about his recent stint aboard the International Space Station.

In the presentation, Wilmore’s most recent stay on the International Space Station ran from September of 2014 to March of 2015. The main focus of his lecture was to show what astronauts have to do aboard the International Space Station in regards to training, physical wellness, how gravity affects the body. Wilmore talked about what types of scientific experiments he performed and explained how people adjust to zero-gravity before and after space flight.

“You know, there are many people that… try to just shove a pencil across the room at their wife,” Wilmore said in response to a question about how people adjust to being back on Earth after being in space. “I never did that for whatever reason, I didn’t!”

“The first three days, I mean… it took a little bit of time [for me] to readjust to gravity,” Wilmore went on to add. “Some people, it takes weeks.”

Wilmore presented a video about his stay after his lecture. The video, which was mostly shot with a GoPro camera, included the preparation for the launch, interviews aboard the station, documentations of the experiments he did aboard the station and the crew returning to Earth.

During the video, Wilmore narrated some of the key aspects, such as flying close to Aurora Borealis, doing experiments in zero-gravity and the reentry process. He said one of the most noticeable difference after being aboard the station for a couple of months was how his feet lacked calluses.

There were other noticeable differences about his body.

“Some of the great things [about space]; you go to space, your internal organs kind of adjust up into your chest, so your chest looks bigger. So your waist gets smaller… metabolism for almost everybody is completely different. I had to eat more than I wanted to to maintain my weight,” Wilmore said.

At the end of Wilmore’s presentation, Chancellor Jimmy Cheek announced that Wilmore would be included in the university’s Accomplished Alumni Program and said that Wilmore would be honored once again at the football game on Sept. 12.

Featured image by Benjamin Webb

Edited by Courtney Anderson

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