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terror en el cosmos



  • How to live and work aboard the Space Station

  • Astronomy


No, until now I have not gone to space. But, on the other hand, I have managed to do almost everything else: training in the altitude chamber and in the Houston centrifuge, several flights on the Vomit Comet, being present at dozens of shuttle takeoffs and landings, visits to the hangars where The new modules of the ISS rest, and even a couple of scent missions with George Aldrich, the Nose of NASA. Because George really exists. And their real business card has a skunk hugging the ferry.

In twenty years of covering NASA activities I have made many other friends there. Astronauts Danny Olivas, Michael López-Alegría, Carlos Noriega (from Peru), Fernando Caldeiro (from Argentina), Marcos César Pontes (from Brazil), Franklin Chang-Díaz (from Costa Rica), Ellen Ochoa and Eileen Collins, the first ferry commander, were endless sources of inspiration and conversation.

So has the charming Pedro Duque, from the European Space Agency (ESA), who describes himself as “Spain's second first astronaut”, since his colleague Michael López-Alegría was also born in Spain, but instead Instead of working for ESA, he works for NASA. Pedro's logbooks during his stay on the ISS were very useful, and his pen can be seen in the beautiful descriptions of the dusk and the aurora australis seen from space.

Michael López-Alegría, who at the closing of this book was beginning his six months as commander of the ISS, is truly a gourmet and good cook, and one day he was allowed to cook and take his own Valencian paella to space. “It was only necessary to accompany it with a good red wine,” he told me upon his return.

John Yaniec and Dominic del Rosso continue to be the wonderful directors of zero-gravity flights on the Vomit Comet. That program takes college students to fly their science experiments. Only it's better to refer to this as the Student Reduced Gravity Flight Program. Many future astronauts and space engineers passed through this plane when they were in college.

Another thank you goes to those in charge of guiding the journalists, John Ira Petty, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Manny Virata and Bill Johnson, at the Kennedy Space Center, who opened the doors to me years ago when I still did not understand the incredible logistics involved in sending someone to space.

Finally, a tight hug goes out to my four fellow writers and journalists who are astronautics fans, with whom I meet every time there is a space mission. Between the four of them—Sandra Frederick, Robert Gas, Mark Kirkman, and Keith Rudroff—they know as much about going to space as the astronauts themselves, and their passion for the subject is delightfully infectious.

Download here the Dossier of the Together in Adventure collection, with all its explanation.

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