Meet Leroy Chiao, This Week’s Contributing Astronaut

Meet Leroy Chiao, This Week’s Contributing Astronaut
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And 7 months later in the summer of 1990, he was accepted with 22 others into the 13th class of US astronauts. After training, two years later he was assigned to STS-65 on the shuttle Columbia, which took off in July of 1994. Since then, Chiao flew on two more shuttle missions (STS-72 and STS-92) and commanded Expedition 10 on the International Space Station, spending more than half a year in orbit.

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<p>So what does being one of just a few dozen people who have spent such a long time in space feel like? What does it to do your life? That's what we aim to find out.</p>
<p>look at the Earth—it’s beautiful, and every part is different, beautiful in its own way, and yet the same. It’s pretty profound, as you would imagine. It gives you a much bigger view on life—small things that used to bother me seem so insignificant.”

But in addition to attempting to articulate the massive hugeness of all that, Leroy’s going to be blogging mostly about the small stuff—the daily tasks like brushing your teeth, taking a leak, and yes, reporting to work in the cold vacuum of space.

“You can’t simulate life in microgravity,” he says, “so when you get up there, the first interesting thing is seeing what life is like, familiarising yourself with things like cutting your fingernails, brushing your teeth. How do you do that?”

Those are the questions Chiao’s going to be answering this week, helping us lowly earth-anchored souls attempt to wrap our gravity-addled brains around what life must be like in space. I can’t wait.

Stay tuned for Gizmodo’s Astroblogger column with Leroy Chiao