Jessica Meir has been preparing to go to space since the age of 5. He attended his first space camp after finishing the middle school and a training program at the Kennedy Space Center following his sophomore year at Brown University.
He took three Meirion attempts to be selected for NASA's highly optional astronaut training program, which started in 2013 and graduated two years later. Last month, NASA announced that Meir will be taking part in its first mission.
We still feel surreal, he told the Jewish Telegraphy Agency in a telephone interview from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“[When] I'm sitting on that rocket about to be launched, it's really going to be the end, ”says the 41-year-old astronaut.
On September 25, Meir will co-trial Russia's Soyuz spacecraft launching from Kazakhstan with Russian Omens Skripochka cosmones. Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, the first astronaut of the United Arab Emirates, will join them.
Meir, the daughter of a Swedish mother and father of Iraq-Israel, holds Swedish and American citizenship. She will be the first Swedish woman, the fourth Jewish woman and the 15th overall Jew to be part of a space mission.
The mission will go to the International Space Station, where Meir will perform a variety of physiological, medical and chemistry experiments to better understand the ways in which being in space affects people. Meir also hopes to do some exploration outside the space station.
“I'm really excited to be involved in the science. And also the other big thing personally, my dream has always been to go for a space walk, ”he said. “There is never a certainty – things can change with the mission when we get there – but at the moment the current scheme I will be making space paths too.” T
Meir has spent the last year preparing for the mission. That includes learning Russia and training trips to Russia. She has run on an anti-gravity mill used to prevent muscle loss in space. She had to analyze her food intake and there have been a variety of medical tests.
It's documented on its Instagram page.
The youngest of five children, Meir, spent her childhood in Caribou, Maine, although her parents had grown up far away. Her late father was born in Iraq but emigrated with his family to prescribe Israel as a young child, later fighting in the country's Independence War in 1948. He went on to become a doctor and take up a job in Sweden, where he met Meirion's mother. , a nurse raised in a Christian family from Sweden. The couple moved to Maine when Meirion's father offered a job there.
Although Meir's mother did not convert, the family noted that they were Jewish and attended a synagogue in the nearby town of Presque Isle. Living mainly in a Christian town, Meirion felt different at times but did not get anti-Semitism.
She says being Jewish is an important part of her identity.
“Personally I am not a religious person,” he said, “but I believe that my Jewish cultural background is clearly a major part of my culture and especially traditions.” T
Astronauts are allowed to bring a number of personal items to the International Space Station. Two of my Meirion's options: an Israeli flag and a pair of socks with a menora. (She's a big fan of novelty socks and includes several pairs among her properties leading to the station.) T
Picking it too. Meir, a music lover who also plays the piano, the flute and the saxophone, settled on bringing the instrument because of its small size.
Meir is not sure what has sparked his interest in space travel. As a child, she didn't know anyone working for NASA.
“Growing up, if you had asked anyone of my childhood friends, or anyone from my friends at college, or anywhere through the time, people were always talking for that with me, they always knew that that was all my thing, that's what I wanted to do, ”he said.
As part of his postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia, Meir spent some time in the Antarctic studying a different type of flight – the headache. Before that, she had investigated the reduction of oxygen when diving the penguins of an emperor in the Antarctic, so the subject was not entirely of course.
One thing that stands out for Meir for his mission is the international cooperation and it made it possible, including at the International Space Station, a joint project between US space agencies, Russia. , Japan, Europe and Canada.
“To have that opportunity to live and work in Russia, and train alongside the cosmones and launch with the Russians,” he said, “for me, it's really amazing , especially given today's climate. ”
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