Astronaut coloring pages
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person who goes into outer space. Countries friendly to the Soviet Union always said cosmonaut, countries friendly to the United States said astronaut.
Astronauts are also called “taikonauts” in China or “spationaute” in France.
The first person to go into space was a Russian from the old Soviet Union, his name was Yuri Gagarin. This happened on April 12, 1961.
The first and second persons to walk on the Moon were the Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. This happened on July 20, 1969.
No astronauts have gone to the moon since 1972. No people have visited any other planets yet.
Astronauts still go into space on the Space Shuttle and the Soyuz spacecraft. Several countries have worked together to build an International Space Station so people can stay and work in
space for long periods of time.
The seven-person Discovery crew answered questions from 20 public- and private-school students via video link from 200 miles above Earth on their way back from the International Space Station.
The students took time away from their spring break vacations to talk with the astronauts from an auditorium at Punahou’s middle school. Punahou is President Barack Obama’s alma mater. Students could see a video image of the astronauts on a giant screen, but the astronauts could only hear audio of the students.
Crista Nishimoto, an eighth-grader at Stevenson Middle School, asked Sandra Magnus, who is coming home after a 41/2-month stint on the space station, how she exercised in orbit.
Crista said she was surprised by Magnus’ answer that astronauts sometimes strap themselves to bicycles for workouts. Magnus also told Crista that astronauts exercise for two hours a day.
“I thought it was really cool, because I would have never thought that’s how they exercise, by bike,” Crista said.
The 13-year-old from Honolulu joined the video link after her teachers selected her question from those submitted by her class. Crista said science has grabbed her attention before, but talking to astronauts in space raised her interest to a new level.
“Astronaut seems really cool,” Crista said when asked what she wants to be when she grows up, “or something in science sounds good.”
Reyn Fernandez, a Punahou senior, said it was interesting to see and hear the nine-second time delay in communications between the auditorium and the space shuttle.
Punahou hosted the event because one of the astronauts on board, Joseph Acaba, spoke at the school in 2006, said Art Kimura, an education specialist with the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium.
Another reason was that Punahou has hosted a “Lacy Veach Day of Discovery” in honor of Veach, a NASA astronaut and 1962 Punahou graduate who died of cancer in 1995.