Q&A with Captain Wendy Lawrence

On April 12th, Discoveries Unlimited had an event with former astronaut Captain Wendy Lawrence. Following are some of the questions Captain Lawrence was asked during the Q&A session.

Have you seen an asteroid?

No, not without a telescope.

If I wanted to be an astronaut, what classes would I need to take in middle school and high school?

I would recommend lots of math and science classes. It’s also important to do well in English because you to be able to communicate with others.

What did you see in space?

I saw stars, clouds over the Earth, the ocean, and the curvature of the Earth. Also, on one of my missions, Mt. Etna [a volcano in Greece] was erupting and we could see the plume of ash.

Did you feel differently during your 2nd mission compared to your 1st mission?

 Yes, you know what to expect. You know what it feels like when the engines are going during liftoff.

What steered you in the direction of becoming an astronaut?

For me, it was seeing the first men on the Moon. It was looking at something and saying, “That’s what I want to do.”

Do female astronauts have to meet the same requirements as male astronauts?

Yes, they have to be very healthy. But there aren’t height requirements.  I’m not very tall, so at $10,000 a pound to fly into space, I’m a bargain compared to the taller astronauts!

Do you plan on going back to outer space?

I’m retired, so I won’t go with NASA, but there are several companies that are developing commercial spaceships. So I might go with Virgin Galactic [one of those companies]. I might be in my wheelchair, though.

 What was your favorite sight from outer space?

Seeing California at night. California is a huge state, but in space, you can see the lights of San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles all at once.

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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