Students were allowed to ask Col. Hopkins a variety of questions and see and hear his answers and demonstrations. Questions varied from the taste of the food, to orbital mechanics, to radiation protection.
Col. Hopkins discussed topics such as sleeping quarters, exercise, every day living and working aboard the ISS, as well as scientific research, discoveries and spacewalks. Col. Hopkins discussed the pathway through his career as an aerospace engineer, Air Force test pilot, and a NASA astronaut.
The 50-minute call culminated in a tour of the ISS in which students were able to see the interior of both the American and Japanese laboratory modules, the airlock, and the crew’s space suits, as well as an amazing view of the Earth from the Space Station’s windows.
Col. Hopkins is part of the Expedition 38 crew and has been aboard the ISS since September 2013. He will return to Earth in March of 2014. Col. Hopkins’ eldest son, Ryan Hopkins, is a freshman at Friendswood High School and is a member of the Introduction to Engineering Design class. His wife is a nurse at FJH.
Last month, Teresa Sindelar, the FHS Engineering teacher, took the students to NASA so acquaint themselves with the space program. The students visited Mission Control and various sites at NASA.