Tales from beyond this world

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Published 2013-02-08T12:36:00Z”/>


Liz Bowen

Space stations, floating astronauts and stellar photos of the atmosphere from above were all shown Thursday in Harlen Adams Theatre by Stephen K. Robinson, a NASA astronaut.

The free public event “Heavy Construction Made Weightless: Building the International Space Station” was hosted by the Chico State anthropology department and showcased Robinson, who described his fourth mission to the International Space Station in 2009.

Robinson gave the presentation on the theater’s projection screen to the packed theater audience.

His videos of the space shuttle Endeavor taking off and landing were a thrill for those inexperienced in space travel. Attendees could see exactly what it looked like inside the ship as well as what the astronauts wore casually, polos and khakis for the most part.

Robinson also showed video clips of fellow astronauts in zero gravity, as well as a breathtaking clip of the aurora borealis from above Earth’s atmosphere.

“My biggest honor as being an astronaut, was definitely getting to leave the planet and see what I studied,” he said.

Robinson described his job helping build the International Space Station as “recognizing failure and deciding what will happen next.”

The astronauts were seen smiling, flying in mid-air and working together while tethered to the station.

“Everything has to have a little tether, and you can probably imagine why,” Robinson said.

Robinson, a UC Davis professor who also graduated from the university, has spent a total of 48 days in space and more than 20 hours “spacewalking.”

“I loved learning how a 4.5 million pound ship can lift into the air,” said Colby Jenson, a 12-year-old middle school student.

The audience sat in awe of the photos of Mt. Everest, China and The United States from space.

“My favorite part of the show was the northern lights; they were amazing,” said 6-year-old Skylar Wolf, who was with her parents and classmates at the event.

“We’ve been flying humans in space for 50 years, and i think we’re going to continue doing it,” Robinson said.

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<strong>Liz Bowen can be reached at</strong> <a href=”mailto:[email protected]”><em>[email protected]</em></a>

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