WATERLOO, ON, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - A Canadian astronaut on board the
International Space Station (ISS), who is supporting University of
Waterloo research during his mission, will respond to questions from
university students in a live space-to-ground downlink Friday, February
15. Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield, who deployed to
the ISS in a rocket launched from the plains of Kazakhstan on December
19th, will connect with the university via the downlink to be transmitted
across approximately 370 km from outer space to Earth.
"This Canadian Space Agency mission presents exciting opportunities for
us," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president & vice-chancellor of the
University of Waterloo. "The honour of being the first university to
participate in the downlink connection and collaborating on research
with Chris Hadfield while he is in space makes this event a unique
milestone for the university and our students."
Friday's event, which begins at 11:30 a.m., is expected to attract
nearly 700 attendees and will feature an in-person presentation by
another Canadian Space Agency astronaut, Jeremy Hansen, who will
provide a high-level overview of 'Expedition 34/35' and his experience
as an astronaut. Dr. Richard Hughson, Schlegel Research Chair in
Vascular Aging and Brain Health at the University of Waterloo, will
then describe the work he is doing, with Hadfield as a research
subject, to examine how zero-gravity affects the circulatory system.
The Waterloo study will help researchers understand what factors might
be involved in the hardening of arteries as people age.
Hughson is also monitoring Hadfield's blood pressure while on the
five-month mission in an effort to answer questions about why some
astronauts are prone to fainting once they return to Earth after
extended space flights.
"For the past 15 years, we've had the support of the Canadian Space
Agency as we learned new details about the adaptation of the
astronauts' cardiovascular systems to space flight. We've been
especially excited to see that these results provide insight into the
normal process of aging and how exercise is so essential to good
health," said Dr. Hughson.
Sixteen University of Waterloo students ranging from undergrads to PhD
students are prepared to pose questions to Hadfield during the
20-minute downlink which will follow the live presentations. Jaclyn
Blacklock, a PhD candidate who explores work and health-related issues,
plans to ask Hadfield how he is managing work-life balance during the
Hadfield has been tweeting from space, most famously so far with fellow
Canadian William Shatner who played Captain James T. Kirk in the
original TV series Star Trek. Hadfield, who will be Commander of the
space station starting in March, has conducted other downlink
conversations with such institutions as hospitals and schools, and has
provided photography of the view from space.
Hadfield was born in Sarnia and grew up in Milton, Ontario and is noted
for having performed the first Canadian spacewalk in 2001, soaring over
British Columbia as he attached Canadarm2 to the International Space
Station. Later in that mission, he was at the controls of the Canadarm
as it received Canadarm2's launch cradle in "Canada's first robotic
handshake in space."
The special event at the University of Waterloo begins at 11:30 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 15 in the Humanities Theatre at Hagey Hall and free
tickets to the event are now fully booked. Overflow viewing in a
separate venue and wait line registration information is available at: downlink registration. A live webcast of the event will be available for viewing by visiting Hadfield livestream. Join the conversation on twitter using #AskHadfield or follow along
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart
of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading
comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in
undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's
largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its
connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in
learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is
committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by
championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant
to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about
Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.
Image with caption: "Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield is shown aboard the International Space Station with a University of Waterloo pennant. Hadfield is participating in university research during the mission and will connect with the university via a space-to-Earth downlink on Friday, Feb. 15. -Photo: NASA/CSA (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130213_C5413_PHOTO_EN_23719.jpg
SOURCE: University of Waterloo
For further information:
Shelley Grandy, Sr. Public Relations Advisor, University of Waterloo