Sunday 22 April 2018

Ground Control to Major Ron - Former NASA astronaut says planet is 'beautiful and fragile'

Anita McSorley

A former NASA astronaut has opened up about his time in space saying that the planet looks “beautiful and fragile” from outer-space.

Ron Garan has flew in space twice – In the US space shuttle in 2009 and on board the International space station in 2011.

He told Independent.ie about some of his favourite moments in space, including the excitement of getting to do a spacewalk twice.

“On our first mission I got to do two space walks and then in 2011 on the six month mission I did a lot of research. There is an incredible about of scientific discovery coming from the International Space Station,” he said.

“It’s an incredible gift to see our planet from space and to see how beautiful and fragile it looks from space,” he added.

Mr Garan was in Dublin for the One Young World summit. This was his third year in attendance having been at Pittsburg in 2012 and Johannesburg in 2013.

“This is a great forum for the future leaders of the world. It’s very inspirational and very motivational,” he said.

“It’s an amazing organisation and amazing program. We’ve got young people from over 180 different countries. I think one of the biggest distributions you can make is to spread this idea that by working together you can achieve anything and these people here are a shining example of that,” he added.

He also spoke about the competition for one young person to win a trip to space.

“You come to a summit and have two people announce a space flight competition. The wonderful thing about One Young World is the One Young World moments that occur. These two separate contests are very complimentary to each other and one of the things One Young  World is known for is collaboration

“There are people that will use that experience to make the world a better place.”

Up to 1,400 young people from all over the world and international guest speakers are in the capital for the summit, which aims to highlight the pressing issues the world faces including health, gender equality, disability, health, homophobia and peace.

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