Ask an astronaut

When we heard Capt. Dan Burbank – who recently returned from a six-month stint as Expedition 30 commander – would be in the area, we knew we wanted to interview him. But what to ask an astronaut? We turned to our Facebook fans for help and thanks to Erin, Sharon, Edward, Marshall, John and Gwen we had the perfect questions to ask.

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Retired Coast Guard Capt. Dan Burbank, NASA astronaut and Expedition 30 commander, is interviewed by Capt. Ron LaBrec at Coast Guard headquarters.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.
Retired Coast Guard Capt. Dan Burbank, NASA astronaut and Expedition 30 commander, is interviewed by Capt. Ron LaBrec at Coast Guard headquarters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

From the very beginnings of space exploration the scientists and engineers who designed and built spaceships, satellites and rockets have captured the world’s attention. But perhaps no one captivates the imagination more than the men and women who launch into orbit themselves – astronauts.

Through the history of NASA’s space program, there have been two Coast Guard astronauts, Cmdr. Bruce Melnick and Capt. Dan Burbank. While it may seem odd there are Coast Guard astronauts to begin with, the word astronaut is derived from the Greek words meaning “space sailor,” a fateful nod to the service’s very own who have joined the elite cadre of space explorers.

When we heard Burbank – who recently returned from a six-month stint as Expedition 30 commander – would be in the area, we knew we wanted to interview him. But what to ask an astronaut? We turned to our Facebook fans for help and thanks to Erin, Sharon, Edward, Marshall, John and Gwen we had the perfect questions to ask.

From what was the most extraordinary thing he saw in space to what happens when he has an itch in his flight suit, watch the interview to find out about Burbank’s experiences as he traveled, literally, out of this world.

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