Prof. Eric Bodden, Ph.D. » Meeting Canadian astronaut Dave Williams

Meeting Canadian astronaut Dave Williams

Eric | November 9, 2007

Dave WilliamsTonight I attended a special lecture by Dave Williams, McGill Alumni and Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency who served on the STS-90 mission in 1998 (watch that photo! ;-)) and the STS-118 “repair” mission this year. In his lecture he spent a lot of time walking us through his story about this last mission, backed by dozens of breathtaking images taken in outer space – truly impressive. He talked about quite some remarkable experiences he had up there, such as only being held to a spaceship by a small cord, while moving at 25 times the speed of sound, “lifting” a 600 pounds unit that needed replacement or fearing re-entry because of yet another damage to the hull plating. Another such experience was to drink Ice tea “from a bubble”. One experiment that he proposed for a later mission and which caused a lot of laughter was to place a fish in a big bubble of water and see what happens. Would the fish just be totally confused, “swim” out of the water and never find back or would it actually be able to perceive its environment well enough to identify the bubble of water as such and stay inside. Who knows? … interesting food for thought!