Brown alum aboard ISS fields questions live from space


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Brown University alum and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir is currently orbiting the earth on the International Space Station, but she was still able to make some time to chat with an audience at her alma mater Thursday afternoon.

Meir, who received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Brown in 1999, fielded live questions from space and spoke directly to the audience via video chat.

Throughout the discussion, Meir spoke to her time in space so far and her first impression of being in earth’s orbit.

“I remember one of my first impressions was how the atmosphere looked, and I think it’s difficult to capture in a photograph,” Meir explained.

Meir also detailed her daily schedule, which includes exercising.

“We have two-and-a-half hours of exercise built into our schedule,” she said. “We will lift weights every day with this very impressive system called AREV – the advance resistant exercise device.”

Ashley Palumbo, a PHD student at Brown, said she was thrilled to speak with Meir.

“It’s a really exciting thought to think that we could be on the surface of another planet picking up the rocks and understanding the origin and evolution, just like we can on earth,” Palumbo said.

Ricci Middle School student Nora O’Connor said she was beyond excited for the opportunity to hear from Meir.

“It was like, everything that I have thought about with NASA just came true and it was such an awesome experience,” the 8th grader said.

Since lifting off from Kazakhstan last September, Meir has made history, including becoming the first Brown alum to travel to space and being apart of the first two all-women spacewalks.

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