Astronauts Hold First Extraterrestrial Google+ ‘Hangout’

Participants learn more about research and science and technology careers.

Ever wanted to chat with an astronaut on board the International Space Station? They’re always down to hang out.

On Friday, ISS astronauts Kevin Ford, Chris Hadfield and Tom Marshburn participated in NASA’s first Google+ Hangout from outer space. For approximately 20 minutes, the astronauts answered a number of questions ranging from their favorite scientist (Marshburn likes Isaac Newton) to exercise in outer space to the type of research that they’re working on. Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who has become an Internet celebrity after his extensive tweeting and an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, explained to viewers about how the astronauts handled the recent communications snafu with ground control.

John Yembrick, NASA’s social media manager, moderated questions from Twitter, Google+, and Youtube. Participants included many teachers and science buffs, as well as students from classrooms in the United States, Mexico and Chile.  Astronauts Ronald Garan and Nicole Stott also participated in the hangout, giving insights into how they joined the program, and recommendations on what to study in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.