Friday, October 03, 2008

Celebrating NASA's 50th year Anniversary

So I've returned from Houston to premote NASA's 50th Year Anniversary on behalf of the Coalition for Space Exploration.

I had such a great time conversing with Commander Gene Cernan! I mean, what an honor to be sitting next to a man who actually walked on the moon.

We sat through about 30 live live and live-to-tape television and radio broadcasts by stations around the United States. The whole experience was more than inspiring to me! I also had time to got visit Texas A&M University to give a talk to students about the orbiter's Thermal Protection Systems. I hadn't been back to Texas A&M since 2005 and so much has changed! I kinda miss my old college town. :)

Here are a couple of links to some videos that were uploaded by some t.v. stations.

WJZ (Baltimore, Maryland):

KOVR (Sacramento, California): Interview:

NewsRadio740 KTRH (Houston, Texas) - Look for live interview from Wednesday, October 1, 2008.

KIVI (Denver, Colorado) and KWGN (Boise, Idaho):

San Diego 6 (San Diego, California):

KUSA (Denver, Colorado)

KVUE (Austin, Texas):


Paolo Amoroso said...

Meeting Geno is as cool as lunar night -- that Apollo CM is not bad either.

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for answering that question I had a few days back. Also you stumbled a bit in the beginning during the interview but picked yourself up pretty quick. Talks and television are different beasts. Practicing wont hurt either. But you did quite well! And Capt. Gene was quite right you are an inspiration! Every time I read your blog I get all fired up and focus more on my long term goal. Here's to hoping that the CSA will have another astronaut selection in about 6 years from now.

- Sohaib

Anonymous said...

I have another question. Are you working towards a pilots license or a higher scuba diving certification and to that end a skydiving license?

- Sohaib

Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

Hi Sohaib!
Having been my first time on a set doing these interviews, I was definitely nervous.

I am not persuing a pilot's license at the moment.

Instead I decided to work on an engineering master's. So as you know, I've been recently applying. As for a higher scuba certification...I have been certified past my open water, but I definitely intend to do my advanced open water probably sometime in the beginning of next year.

Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

(I meant to say I have 'not' been certified past OW) sorry about that typo...

WildWeazel said...

Hi, don't know if I've commented here before but I've been following for quite a while. It's really cool that you got to meet Gene Cernan. Great job on the interviews and good luck with the selection process!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sarria,

You can definitely opt for a private pilots license while doing your masters. I'd recommend it because when you go in for your interview later on (and I'd put my money on that you will) it would definitely be a skill that will differentiate you and put you a step ahead of the others. I've been told this by Buzz (he was up here in August) and Marc Garneau (first Canadian in space and former president of the CSA- our high school was named after him and we had strong ties). So I would think that getting a PPL would go a long way especially since only 40 hours of solo airtime is required. Then you can add on ratings e.g. night, multi engine etc..The requirements and the procedure might be a bit different in the States but I'm assuming they're not too different. Getting PADI certification is also a very good idea :D plus its fun.

PS: You did well in your interviews, the nervousness will go away in time. It's all about practice.

- Sohaib

Anonymous said...

Wow how cool is that!

You won't stop until you meet every possible human being that has left the earth will ya?

great job with the interviews!

Anonymous said...

Hi Damaris,

I really wish you GOOD LUCK for your selection... you will be my first friend to become astronaut!



Anonymous said...

gig 'em!! I scored tickets to the 25th anniversary of the first shuttle launch a couple of years ago (my father is ex-NASA at HQ in D.C.), and was surrounded by all the astronauts...totally awesome...Young, Crippen, Aldrin(!!he shows up everywhere!), and a whole bunch of others...very inspiring indeed to be amongst that bunch! Great job with your site and your endeavors! Keep up the good work.

-Old Aggie!

BrianShiro said...

Congratulations on the media exposure and especially for the opportunity to sit with Gene Cernan! I have to give TV interviews from time-to-time, and it's always a bit nerve racking.

How did you manage to get on the Board of the Coalition for Space Exploration, anyway? It seems to provide great opportunities for you to reach out to the public.

desde plutón said...

Congradulations, you really seem to be in the business.

Anonymous said...

Hey, How are you Damaris? I am very proud that you are going to become an astronaut, but you should take into account that there is a lot of people figthing to get that goal. For example, I am next to you but the diference is that I am in Europe and you are at the USA doing our dream come truth. So, I hope that we will be partners to go Mars, jejejeje (It is a joke, but is could be funny)

Good luck, and best wishes

PD: I would like to apologize about my english