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Canada's First Female Astronaut Visits Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE - The Galt Museum had a special guest on Friday as part of Nerd Fest.

Canada's first female astronaut, Dr. Roberta Bondar, gave a lecture about how she got into science, space medicine and the effect of space travel on humans.

Bondar feels the thing that's most obvious is changes to the nervous system. She says "I'll give you one example, down here if you trip over something your arms automatically go up and break your fall because you don't have to think about it, otherwise you would break your nose, your body is much smarter than that, it gives you this automatic reflex. Imagine now, coming back from a spaceflight, your brain is not used to gravity and it gets rid of that reflex, so now you trip over something and you would break your nose because you don't have your arms to break your fall, and it's about a day down for every day up."

Other things that are affected by space travel include a loss of bone, radiation exposure and changes to the cardiovascular system.

The question Bondar gets asked the most is what's it like to be in space and look back at earth. She says "it's a huge reality check, I mean cerebrally we all know that the earths a planet, we learn about it in school, but man you get up there and you actually see that it is a planet and there's no ET, there's no Star Trek ship, there's nothing, it's the earth, it's a planet, that's smack in the face."

Bondar says she's now involved in a charitable foundation in her name that does educational things with her photography to teach people about the environment.

Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 4/25/2014 5:06:09 PM
Source: Tristan Tuckett - Country 95 News
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