is a NASA astronaut.
Comments: 4466 • Responses: 66 • Date: 2012-03-21 01:49:17 UTCsource
[deleted]1935 karma2012-03-21 03:43:19 UTC
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RonGaran482 karma2012-03-21 14:10:12 UTC
No the moment I returned to Earth my brain reset to account for gravity. On my first flight however it took much longer to adjust to being back on Earth (even though my 1st flight was only 2 weeks and my last one was 5.5 months)
redoctober21388 karma2012-03-21 05:14:08 UTC
I've actually heard about this, according to my Aerospace Prof. that worked at NASA.
Another interesting fact. If you lose something, look for it at the air vents. The air circulation usually pulls everything there.
RonGaran218 karma2012-03-21 14:10:25 UTC
Kaden31189 karma2012-03-21 02:15:58 UTC
How long ago did you get back from space?
RonGaran1920 karma2012-03-21 02:24:25 UTC
Only about 4 hours
RonGaran204 karma2012-03-21 14:31:51 UTC
My bad - I misread the question. I though you asked how long did it take you to get back from space. The answer to your actual question is I landed on the 16th of Sep 11'
Ghostshirts992 karma2012-03-21 02:18:46 UTC
it's been a dream for a long time now, do you think that we'll actually be able to blow up the moon in our lifetime?
RonGaran1339 karma2012-03-21 02:25:13 UTC
I truly believe that we can accomplish anything we set our minds on. We only need the will to do it
RonGaran387 karma2012-03-21 15:05:15 UTC
My #1 reddit lesson learned: Read the whole question. I assumed you asked would we ever go back to the Moon in our life time
My #2 reddit lesson learned: Don't do an AMA past bedtime
RonGaran960 karma2012-03-21 01:51:43 UTC
Here's me singing the blues http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/astronaut-ron-garan-sings-blues-766779#.T2igm1RZgpY.twitter
LevelUpLeo953 karma2012-03-21 02:21:40 UTC
What was going through your mind as you were coming back to earth?
RonGaran2496 karma2012-03-21 02:34:00 UTC
I hope the heat shield and parachutes work
LevelUpLeo839 karma2012-03-21 02:50:43 UTC
Huh, I was expecting something more like "I was looking forward to seeing my family again" but yeah, that would logically be going through my mind to.
Was it a bumpy ride back?
RonGaran2469 karma2012-03-21 03:16:17 UTC
it was like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel (that's on fire) followed by a high speed crash
nontoxyc951 karma2012-03-21 03:19:54 UTC
Would you be willing to accept the enormous risks to travel to Mars?
RonGaran2296 karma2012-03-21 03:36:51 UTC
Yes for the same reason I accept the risk of flying to the ISS - because it is important for our future (if the dinosaurs had a space program they'd still be here)
sovereignwaters946 karma2012-03-21 03:19:24 UTC
I assume you folks don't have a lot of privacy up there. Is it easy to "get away" and spend time by yourself at all, or basically impossible?
RonGaran1704 karma2012-03-21 03:35:21 UTC
The ISS is huge and you can find some "quiet time" if you need it
sorry4partying866 karma2012-03-21 02:02:13 UTC
What was the first thing you did when you got back to Earth?
What was the first thing you ate?
RonGaran1650 karma2012-03-21 02:03:05 UTC
Hugged my family, ate a slice of pizza
aacohen97832 karma2012-03-21 01:55:05 UTC
What emotional and/or physical effects did space have on you?
RonGaran1465 karma2012-03-21 02:22:11 UTC
Really not much at all. We are really busy up there so boredom is not an issue. We do miss our families but we are able to stay connected and because of our physical counter measures (exercise) I had no bone or muscle loss after 5 1/2 months in space
Crim912393 karma2012-03-21 02:38:44 UTC
Oh good to hear, Losing a bone would not be very humerus.
RonGaran2031 karma2012-03-21 02:41:23 UTC
jrokr222693 karma2012-03-21 02:22:04 UTC
yeah I read something that long duration in space is causing vision problems due to flattening of the back of the eye. Are you having issues like this?
RonGaran1217 karma2012-03-21 02:42:11 UTC
Your eyesight does change in space. It's an issue we are working hard to overcome
Ramton260 karma2012-03-21 06:02:43 UTC
I read that when you're in space and close your eyes, you experience solar particles hitting your retinas as speckles of light. Was this the case, or was the experience different for you?
RonGaran404 karma2012-03-21 13:47:54 UTC
Yes I did experience that. Sometimes it was a flash and at other times it was a streak of light. I'm sure it happens all the time but I only noticed it as I was getting ready to fall asleep
holycrapitsjeff707 karma2012-03-21 03:07:44 UTC
Are farts extra stinky in space? i'd imagine that nasa food would make you have to toot, a lot.
RonGaran1222 karma2012-03-21 03:29:12 UTC
sorry4partying656 karma2012-03-21 01:58:39 UTC
Is there any astronaut food that tastes good?
RonGaran1224 karma2012-03-21 02:01:35 UTC
thisusernametakentoo643 karma2012-03-21 02:14:40 UTC
Welcome home!!!! What do you think is in our near future in space? What would you like to see happen? How do you feel about the private space industry? Can you describe what it was like seeing your home for the first time from space? What's next for you?
RonGaran1175 karma2012-03-21 02:19:50 UTC
Thanks - My hope is that we develop a transportation system between the Earth and the Moon, establish a permanent human presence on the Moon (for the betterment of all of humanity) and turn operations in low Earth orbit over to commercial entities. I also hope that someday soon flying in space is as common place as flying on an airline and many more people can experience the "Orbital Perspective"
emdx695 karma2012-03-21 03:00:31 UTC
Shouldn't a cheaper surface-to-orbit system be the highest priority?
RonGaran932 karma2012-03-21 03:08:03 UTC
thisusernametakentoo246 karma2012-03-21 02:25:10 UTC
What a world it would be. If we can have people live in orbit for extended periods of time, what's the big technological hurdle to actually setting up base on the moon? Assuming we can get vehicles, fuel and supplies there cost-effectively, would it make a better launch platform?
RonGaran526 karma2012-03-21 02:39:35 UTC
The big hurdle is lifting things off the surface of the Earth. That's why we will need to "Live off the Land" and use the resources already on the Moon to the max extent possible
gyrnik596 karma2012-03-21 01:52:40 UTC
What did you miss the most?
RonGaran1033 karma2012-03-21 01:55:59 UTC
Proof: I just posted I'm doing a AMA on my G+ profile: https://plus.google.com/116214152295449083654/posts
What I miss most is seeing our beautiful planet
Morphix007553 karma2012-03-21 03:07:31 UTC
TELL ME ABOUT THE ALIENS
RonGaran1204 karma2012-03-21 03:28:56 UTC
Didn't see any (but that's because they're really really small)
ImTryingNotToYell542 karma2012-03-21 02:02:19 UTC
How did you entertain yourself in your free time up there? Did you even have free time?
RonGaran1128 karma2012-03-21 02:04:28 UTC
We do have movie and TV shows but I spent almost every spare minute I had taking pictures of our beautiful planet
ImTryingNotToYell545 karma2012-03-21 02:09:16 UTC
That sounds like the perfect hobby when you're in space. What is the most remarkable thing you learned from photographing the earth so extensively?
RonGaran1663 karma2012-03-21 02:23:30 UTC
Since I was up there so long it was amazing to watch the planet change with the seasons. It's almost as if our planet is a living, breathing organism
kinkykusco425 karma2012-03-21 02:37:21 UTC
How exactly does one photograph in space? Are you able to brace the camera well enough to get a sharp shot? How bright is the planet from the ISS, in terms of F-stop and shutter speed? Do you just take with you a run of the mill canon or nikon, or does NASA have a set or special and or really expensive cameras for you to use?
RonGaran1018 karma2012-03-21 03:09:52 UTC
for long exposure shots (on the dark side of the orbit) we use a bracket to steady the camera. In the daytime we simply hold it in our hand as we're floating
piyokochan126 karma2012-03-21 02:14:22 UTC
I saw you talking about this in Trey Ratcliff's hangout!
RonGaran240 karma2012-03-21 02:23:42 UTC
That was a fun hangout
vanashh499 karma2012-03-21 02:02:11 UTC
how does your body recover from being in zero gravity for months?
RonGaran873 karma2012-03-21 02:03:44 UTC
It recovered very fast because we do 2 hours of exercise a day while onboard
GreenVoltage488 karma2012-03-21 02:48:13 UTC
did you do a spacewalk at all? if you did what did it sound like? I think on earth we very rarely experience true complete silence, did you experience it? what was it like, was it different from the "silence" we experience on earth? I'm super interested in this.
RonGaran1222 karma2012-03-21 02:59:59 UTC
I have done 4 spacewalks (in total I have been "outside over 27 hours) It's actually not that quiet since your spacesuit has fans running (you're basically in your own self-contained spaceship)
BJbenny478 karma2012-03-21 01:54:17 UTC
what does it take to be an astronaut? I'm seriously considering to major in biological science, so other than education requirements, what does it take?
RonGaran793 karma2012-03-21 01:59:46 UTC
We have astronauts from many walks of life (pilots, scientists, engineers, teachers, doctors, veterinarians,etc. etc.) They all have some background in a technological field and at least a masters degree
too_much_reddit468 karma2012-03-21 02:47:47 UTC
Does it ever get boring being able to play with orange juice? Playing catch with breakfast sounds awesome.
RonGaran1127 karma2012-03-21 02:58:33 UTC
We're told on Earth that we're not supposed to play with our food but that's totally acceptable in space (in fact it's encouraged) it's great fun
tempo21465 karma2012-03-21 02:40:33 UTC
Are you allowed to take any personal belongings into space?
RonGaran718 karma2012-03-21 02:50:35 UTC
yes we are allowed to take a few personal items
0MagicPhil0305 karma2012-03-21 03:18:03 UTC
what did you take with you?
RonGaran56 karma2012-03-21 14:41:41 UTC
family pictures, some music CDs, and mementos from some universities and a few books
bobdle449 karma2012-03-21 02:50:00 UTC
Did you ever secretly find yourself looking for ufo(or similar) in the distance?
Also, is space junk really as big of a problem as we hear about?
RonGaran821 karma2012-03-21 03:01:47 UTC
space junk is a really big problem we had a piece come very close to the station on our mission
tempo21414 karma2012-03-21 02:32:54 UTC
How do you sleep in space?
RonGaran863 karma2012-03-21 02:45:16 UTC
While sleeping I free floated (interesting that I usually woke up up-side-down - in relation to my stuff)
FatherSorry407 karma2012-03-21 02:23:28 UTC
I follow you on G+ and loved your Space Blues video. It inspired me to write a few sketches based on the concept of you going completely insane in space and doing web diaries. Would you be into that?
PS thanks for all the photos on G+, space is beautiful.
RonGaran963 karma2012-03-21 02:38:16 UTC
What makes you think I didn't go completely insane?
Scaryclouds407 karma2012-03-21 03:02:21 UTC
One of the proposed ideas for getting people to Mars is to have a one way trip. NASA, or an international coalition, would send an initial team and over time would continue to supply that team as well as send more people to Mars, the goal being setting up a permanent human settlement. Do you think this is a worthy goal of NASA/humanity? If we could only pursue one mission in the next 20-30, a colony on the moon in which the colonist could return to Earth if desired, or the above stated mission, which do you think would be a better use of our resources?
Also what do you think is the top challenge(s) we must overcome before we can voyage to Mars (be it one way or round trip)?
RonGaran681 karma2012-03-21 03:21:02 UTC
I'm honestly not sure what I think of the one-way trip that would be quite a sacrifice. I think we should go to Mars someday but only after we colonize the Moon and use the resources and energy that's there not only for the betterment of all of humanity but also to help us get to Mars. Top challenges of a Mars mission will be the propulsion and radiation shielding
sorry4partying374 karma2012-03-21 02:00:46 UTC
were you able to call your family and friends from space?
RonGaran762 karma2012-03-21 02:02:22 UTC
Yes we have an IP phone onboard and can call anywhere in the world and we have a video conference with our family once per week
sorry4partying351 karma2012-03-21 02:04:31 UTC
What do you feel was the biggest accomplishment made by your mission in terms of making the world a better place?
RonGaran699 karma2012-03-21 02:08:15 UTC
The science we conducted on the ISS simply can not be done anywhere on Earth and is leading to breakthroughs in preventive medicine, materials, energy, a better understanding of our planet and the list goes on and on. Besides that: fragileoasis.org , mannaenergy.org (outside of NASA) and unitynode.org
AsianSubway320 karma2012-03-21 03:20:41 UTC
How its like taking a shower and using the bathroom in space? In addition, how was the training prior to going into space, like what did you do to get prepare? Also, can you share some of the photo you took in space?
BTW You are so cool :)
RonGaran985 karma2012-03-21 03:48:04 UTC
We actually don't have a shower on the space station we basically take sponge baths. We do have 2 toilets onboard. Urine flows through a funnel to recycling equipment (turning yesterday's coffee into today's) solid waste is pulled away from the body via air flow in the comode.
You can find many of the pictures I took of the Earth at: https://plus.google.com/116214152295449083654/photos and http://twitpic.com/photos/Astro_Ron
I'm going to call it a night. Thank you all for making my first experience on reddit so enjoyable. I hope to do this again soon. Cheers, Ron
ImKindOfBlind270 karma2012-03-21 02:19:31 UTC
What DON'T you miss about earth or it's inhabitants?
RonGaran823 karma2012-03-21 02:27:27 UTC
It was sad to look at the indescribable beauty of the planet we have been given while thinking about the unfortunate realities of life on our planet for a significant number of her inhabitants (those that don't have clean water to drink, food to eat and the poverty and conflict that exists). It really is a sobering contradiction
ImKindOfBlind71 karma2012-03-21 02:39:35 UTC
Another question. Have you seen anything when looking down on earth or into space that has you completely awed that is captured in your memory for the rest of your life?
RonGaran262 karma2012-03-21 03:15:19 UTC
GenericJeans250 karma2012-03-21 02:34:32 UTC
How careful do you need to be? Is there an overarching feeling that you could screw something up and doom yourself or the ISS? Can you describe any of the aspects of your journey?...lift off?...the speed?..being in space?...climbing aboard the ISS for the first time?...you first view of space or earth?...blazing through the stratosphere on your way home?...etc?
RonGaran485 karma2012-03-21 02:48:31 UTC
You do have to be very careful because there's a great deal of things you can mess up. The lift off in the Soyuz was awesome it was almost as if we were wearing the rocket. Incredible acceleration
noobidiot242 karma2012-03-21 01:52:47 UTC
What is the best part about being in space?
RonGaran570 karma2012-03-21 01:56:54 UTC
The best part about space is knowing that we're helping to make the world a better place while we are able to gaze at our planet from above
penguinland231 karma2012-03-21 02:39:29 UTC
I have heard that being in space weakens one's immune system. Is this true? Did you have any trouble from it? Do people on the ISS ever catch diseases? If so, how do sick days work?
Thanks for doing this!
RonGaran631 karma2012-03-21 02:50:15 UTC
I don't think it weakens your immune system but it does make bacteria more virulent which enabled our research to lead to a vaccine for salmonella
fireballs619224 karma2012-03-21 03:20:28 UTC
Hi there! I'm currently a high-school sophomore who has a interest in space and space flight, so I naturally have a few questions!
Although I acknowledge it is highly unrealistic, if I wanted to become a astronaut, what types of things would I have to study in college to have a chance? Would a background in engineering be beneficial (this is what I plan to do anyway. Aerospace engineering to be exact)?
Also, in the a few weeks, I am giving a persuasive speech in my English class having to do with manned spaceflight. And there's no better person to ask than an astronaut! What do you think the single, most beneficial aspect of spaceflight is?
That's all I have! Keep on being awesome, and know that you are doing what many of us dream of!
RonGaran507 karma2012-03-21 03:42:49 UTC
First: you can accomplish anything you set your mind to - nothing is impossible. My advise is to pick a field of study (and a career) that you truly love and then be the very best at it you can be. To be an astronaut you will need some sort of technical degree. I recommend a concentration in STEM: Science Technology Engineering Math. Besides the scientific discoveries that are being made possible by the unique micro-gravity environment that the ISS provides I think the most beneficial aspect of the space program is it gives us the "Orbital Perspective" That perspective that we are all riding through the Universe on this spaceship we call Earth, that we are all interconnected, that we are all in this together and that we are all family
cbCode216 karma2012-03-21 02:45:25 UTC
Did being in space change your philosophical views on the nature of life?
RonGaran582 karma2012-03-21 02:57:30 UTC
No but it reinforced my appreciation of the gift we have all been given (our Earth) and a renewed understanding that we all have a responsibility to leave it a little better than we found it
Carninator205 karma2012-03-21 02:32:53 UTC
What is it like physically being in zero gravity? Is it harder to breath etc?
RonGaran530 karma2012-03-21 02:43:57 UTC
Being in zero G feels absolutely wonderful. There's no problems with breathing or anything else
joetromboni205 karma2012-03-21 02:32:48 UTC
Could you see your house from there?
RonGaran392 karma2012-03-21 02:43:13 UTC
almost (if you use a camera with a really big lens)
joetromboni193 karma2012-03-21 02:47:47 UTC
follow up question...did you try to find where you live?
RonGaran435 karma2012-03-21 03:16:34 UTC
LoneStoner191 karma2012-03-21 01:55:51 UTC
Welcome to Reddit. Are you glad to be back, or do you miss it?
EDIT: Are you going back?
RonGaran523 karma2012-03-21 02:00:54 UTC
I miss the beauty that defines life in space but I'm very happy to be experiencing the beauty that defines life on Earth (much I took for granted)
dack_janiels6178 karma2012-03-21 03:04:16 UTC
At what point did you decide to become an astronaut? In response to the previous question, what was your major in college?
RonGaran477 karma2012-03-21 03:24:04 UTC
July 20th 1969- My major in college was business because for some kid from NY we didn't have a space program (it was after Skylab but before the Space Shuttle) The day after the 1st Shuttle mission I went to my advisors about taking math and science and did end up getting advanced degrees in engineering (excellent example of the space programs ability to inspire students)
iias141 karma2012-03-21 02:04:12 UTC
Being in zero gravity must be a very interesting experience for the human body. I am curious about digestion of food. Do you need to take any type of medication or digestive aid to help your stomach deal with problems like floating stomach acids?
RonGaran245 karma2012-03-21 02:05:37 UTC
Once you get used to being in space digestion is not an issue (everything works normal)
superhockeyguy14139 karma2012-03-21 02:06:27 UTC
What's a typical day like on the ISS? Run us through your "9-5".
RonGaran262 karma2012-03-21 02:11:34 UTC
We spend the day either doing scientific experimentation, or maintaining the space station. We also conduct education/public outreach activities and occasionally do other things such as space walks
hymenblaster69114 karma2012-03-21 03:11:11 UTC
You mentioned "living off the land" in a previous post. Is it possible to live of the land on Mars or even the moon?
RonGaran259 karma2012-03-21 03:33:34 UTC
Yes there's O2 and water (ice) on the Moon which can be made into rocket fuel for a trip to Mars. There's also many other useful materials (platinum which can be used as a catalyst in fuel cells and an ample supply of solar energy)
iias106 karma2012-03-21 02:13:28 UTC
How long did it take for your body and mind to adjust to space and when you returned to earth did that take some adjustment as well?
RonGaran321 karma2012-03-21 02:17:22 UTC
Because this was my 2nd flight and I had been through the transitions before it was like a switch went off inside my head when we got to space reseting me to life in space and the same thing happened the moment we landed and Control-Alt Deleting me back to Earth
youdothescience94 karma2012-03-21 02:34:04 UTC
'ey Ron! I follow you on g+ too. I was curious -- if you were able to orbit any single planet or body in our solar system and take photos/video the same as you have with Earth... which? Any reason why?
RonGaran653 karma2012-03-21 02:46:49 UTC
probably the Sun - but we'd have to go at night... ba-dum-dump
yguoren86 karma2012-03-21 03:08:17 UTC
Do all non-pilot astronauts get trained in the same skills? For example, does everyone have the possibility of EVA? Or at some point in training are you slotted into a specialty (Alice does EVA, Bob works the robotic arm)? If specialized, does NASA pick or does the astronaut pick their specialty? Thanks.
RonGaran144 karma2012-03-21 03:30:02 UTC
Everyone has the opportunity (now) to train for all the different jobs
UniversalRage82 karma2012-03-21 02:25:34 UTC
What kind of research did you do on the ISS? What kind of entertainment did you have? Also, was it hard interacting with the other cultures on board?
RonGaran137 karma2012-03-21 02:36:43 UTC
Research: Here's a video I made about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ErLtE3Lf9s
Entertainment #1 photographing the Earth, we also have movies and recorded TV shows
It's wonderful having other cultures on board it made the experience richer
homebrewtj75 karma2012-03-21 02:48:40 UTC
What was the best first experience- launch, weightlessness, or the reentry?
Also, what did you first think when you saw Earth from orbit?
RonGaran195 karma2012-03-21 03:01:16 UTC
I think weightlessness was the best 1st experience. When I first saw the Earth I just floated there for a moment in total awe
emdx69 karma2012-03-21 02:55:15 UTC
A former colleague's brother-in-law went up twice (and did several EVAs).
He says that it's nearly impossible to sleep thanks to vestibular input being totally garbled. I suppose that he wasn't there long enough to adapt.
Did you have any problem sleeping at all? Or did you need some adaptation period?
Speaking of vestibular input, are there some precautions you should take, things like trying to avoid sudden head movements or something like that?
RonGaran143 karma2012-03-21 03:03:31 UTC
I had problems sleeping on my Shuttle flight (since I was only up for 2 weeks I really didn't have enough time to adjust) on my ISS mission, once I got used to sleeping in space it was wonderful
links23460 karma2012-03-21 02:21:22 UTC
I just started following you on G+ at the behest of Phil Plait!
1) If we're going to go farther than LEO, where, in your opinion, should we go? Moon, asteroid, Mars? 2) Is there any truth to the idea that your bones get weaker while you're in orbit due to calcium loss? 3) Is it true that you can't pass a kidney stone? 4) If you sneeze in the ISS do you have to hold on to something so you don't go flying into the wall?
I apologize for any strange questions, my coworkers asked me to ask you.
RonGaran170 karma2012-03-21 02:31:28 UTC
I think we should go back to the Moon (this time to stay). Your bones do get weaker in fact we loss calcium 10X faster than a 70 year old osteoporedic woman. The countermeasures we use have been extremely effective (I had no bone loss) and has direct applications to the treatment of osteoporosis
discoinfiltrator58 karma2012-03-21 02:58:16 UTC
Thanks for doing this!
What was the most interesting/best thing you saw when looking down at the earth? Was there a part you passed over that was particularly beautiful?
RonGaran150 karma2012-03-21 03:06:03 UTC
The most interesting was seeing the India-Pakistan border. My description of that is here: http://fragileoasis.org/blog/2011/9/borders-from-space/
The Bahamas are amazingly beautiful from space
sorry4partying53 karma2012-03-21 02:08:16 UTC
Other than being away from your family, what's the worst thing about going out into space? Are there any drawbacks that people usually wouldn't think of?
RonGaran103 karma2012-03-21 02:12:21 UTC
I think being away from you family is really the big thing other than that it's actually very comfortable up there
RonGaran43 karma2012-03-21 13:46:14 UTC
I'm going to make a pass through and do my best to catch the questions I missed. Thanks for showing me my reddit faux pas's. I'll make sure i don't laugh out load. I'll catch on (with your help)
SpaceMonkey2310126 karma2012-03-21 03:13:20 UTC
Did you go on any EVAs, and if so, did you experience any fear e.g. agoraphobia? How did you deal with that?
RonGaran57 karma2012-03-21 03:34:39 UTC
I did go on 4 EVAs. They are very stressful but also incredible. I am very grateful for having the experience
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