“People have a hard time understanding how we can go to the Moon. It may seem difficult, but we have done it and we will do it again,” said retired NASA astronaut John Danny Olivas.
Olivas and Dutch European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers, in an interview with Anadolu during the “Planetary Congress” organized at Uludag Bursa Business School and hosted by the Space Explorers Association ( ASE) and the Gokmen Space and Aeronautics Training Center (GUHEM), shared their experiences and challenges in space.
“There is no possibility of changing the minds of those who believe that we never went to the Moon, that it was done in a Hollywood studio or even that the Earth is flat,” Olivas said.
Regarding Turkey’s efforts in the field of space programs, Olivas said the Turkish government should be appreciated for its understanding of the opportunities that space brings to countries.
Olivas mentioned that Turkish astronauts are currently preparing to go to space in a way that will inspire future generations of engineers and scientists.
He emphasized that this would not only benefit the space community but also the Turkish people in many aspects, such as science, infrastructure, technology and capacity development.
Olivas said looking at Earth from space and seeing that the boundaries are only between land and water had a profound effect on him.
Sharing his experience, he said, “On Earth, we create our own limits. We divide countries into states and cities. It is unfortunate that these boundaries sometimes lead people not to listen to each other and cause crises. We want to focus more on our similarities than our differences. When we look from space to Earth, the only thing we see are animals, actually humans. When we see ourselves as members of the species of living beings, when we understand that we are all together on this planet, and when we realize that boundaries are just things we create in our minds, perhaps we can succeed in working together in peace and harmony.”
The view from space is breathtaking
Olivas emphasized that the view from space is breathtaking and life-changing, saying he believes other people can also bring that feeling home to their loved ones.
He said they were getting closer to a world where more people could go to space through space tourism and commercial space activities, and he believed that the more people had the opportunity, the better life would be on Earth in terms of science, infrastructure and technology. , and capacity.
Olivas said some people tend to fill in the gaps caused by their lack of knowledge by explaining things, referring to some people’s doubts about whether humans have been to the moon. Saying he means no disrespect to those who believe humans haven’t been to the Moon, he added: “People have a hard time understanding how we can go to the Moon. It may seem difficult, but we did it. That’s why I prefer to be alongside those who choose to understand and appreciate science and technology. Just as they support us, I can support them as much as I can.
“Our planet is fragile and beautiful”
ESA astronaut Kuipers mentioned that he had visited Turkey several times for vacations and that this was his fourth visit for the Planetary Congress. He emphasized that Turkey is now part of the space family with its large population and technological advancements.
Kuipers also noted that Turkey would soon send a Turkish astronaut into space in addition to its satellite activities in space. He said the ESA Planetary Congress is an excellent example of international collaboration for the benefit of Earth, expressing joy that Turkey is part of it.
Kuipers said he wanted to become an astronaut because of the beauty of looking at Earth from space and the valuable work that can be accomplished. He mentioned that going to space is amazing, but they also have to do many experiments through hard work.
Kuipers said he spent about 204 days in space over two missions and had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful planet.
He mentioned that they look at the universe and see many beautiful things, and they feel like they are part of an international group. He stressed the importance of taking care of the Earth, which has limited resources, and said that being in space is very satisfying because they are doing great work in the fields of science and technology.
He also emphasized that they realized how fragile and beautiful the planet was and that they needed to take care of it. Kuipers said: “We are all friends and the same. We are all astronauts on the same spaceship.
Regarding people going to the Moon, Kuipers emphasized that, as in many countries, those who are well educated and understand how physics and chemistry work know the truth. He mentioned that there will always be people who don’t believe in something and don’t want to learn new things.
“There were also those who thought the Earth was flat, but you can learn that this is not the case. It has always been the case. It doesn’t matter who went to space. Turkish astronauts who go into space space may also be faced with questions like “you” “We are lying”, and unfortunately we have to live with that,” he added.
Kuipers mentioned that more people can go to space through commercial flights and space tourism, which can further the topic of space.
Kuipers said that with years of training and accumulated knowledge, everyone now knows how the system works, and that more people going into space can allow more individuals to see and experience. talk about it, and that it would be preferable if non-believers could witness it themselves.
‘Never give up’
Kuipers advised those wishing to become astronauts: “If you want to achieve something, if you have a passion, every child should strive to achieve it. It doesn’t matter what you’re passionate about; it could be music, technology, science or language. Do your best. Children need to sleep regularly, eat healthily, perform well in school and class, and exercise. This is all very important. And never give up, try, if it doesn’t work try something else, but always try. »
Kuipers also asked those who want to work in space to think about where they want to be in 10 years and what steps they need to take, emphasizing that the most important thing is not to give up.
*Written by Alperen Aktas
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