Former astronaut, Scott Parazynski, speaks to a crowd of 325

Jacklyn York

Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor, gives a lecture as part of the Artist-Lecture series on Sept. 27. Photo by Izziel Latour
Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor, gives a lecture as part of the Artist-Lecture series on Sept. 27. Photo by Izziel Latour

Few seats were empty Tuesday night in Akin Auditorium as former astronaut Scott Parazynski spoke as part of the Artist-Lecture series. 

“When we go to extraordinary, extreme places on and off the planet, it forces us to think in new ways and [think about] those new technologies that benefit us here on planet earth,” Parazynski said.

Parazynski spends his time now as a professor at Arizona State University and said his bucket list has never been more full. After five shuttle missions and seven EVAs — extra-vehicular activities — Parazynski spent a 57 days, 15 hours and 34 in space; 47 of those hours were spent outside on spacewalks. He’s traveled 17 million miles in space, but said his attention now has turned to the unexplored ocean floor. 

“Well, I wanted to transport people to places they’ve never been before. I want to take them to space. I want to take them to the top of Mount Everest. I want to show them what an extraordinary time that we’re living in and opportunities,actually for me as an innovator and private developer, the things that I’m most passionate about,” Parazynski said. 

Having spent nearly three months total in space, flying tortillas around like Frisbees and playing tennis with duct tape balls, Parazynski was open-minded about other life forms in the universe.

“There’s the Hubble Space Telescope, which I’m sure you’ve heard of but there’s another one called the Kepler planet finding space telescope that’s actually finding these exoplanets . Planets around distant stars including some that look like they could be very earth-like. The right distance from the parent star. The right energy and maybe even signatures of oxygen and water,” Parazynski said.

Parazynski is the only person to have both flown in space and summited Mount Everest. He first attempted the climb in May of 2008, but was forced to retreat after a ruptured disc in his back. He underwent surgery and returned the following year to complete his adventure.

“One of the cool things that I learned from that is, the things that come to us the hardest are things we really have to work for the most and end up meaning the most to us as well,”Parazynski said.

Parazynski said some medical equipment, for example the Holter monitor, was first invented to test on astronomers in space. 

“The medical monitoring technologies that were invented for the space program are things we take for granted and our intensive care units. If you get sick, it’s probably something that was invented to support people in space,” Parazynski said.

Parazynski has many scholarly contributions, one of which covers the condition of the ozone layer. Parazynski said the condition has improved with the help of world efforts to understand chlorofluorocarbons. Climate control, on the other hand, he said, is not even argued in the scientific field because “it is a scientific fact,”

Matthew Park,  associate  vice president and dean of students, said it cost $17,000 to host Parazynski, including one night in a local hotel.

Violinist Jennifer Koh and Pianist Shai Wosner will perform in the music series on Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Akin Auditorium.

THE REACTION

Reporting by Stephen Gomez

Akin Auditorium’s audience was captivated by Scott Parazynski, last night at 7 p.m, as he explained space, working as an astronaut and other intense moments in his life. The Artist-Lecture Series started off with an out of this world experience filling up most of the seats in the auditorium.

“I want to see what it’s like in space, the dangers in space, see what’s so different in space. It’s what some people can only image” | Clark Gilbert, junior accounting

“Came partially because of my girlfriend, partially because I’m premed and the guy speaking is a MD that’s what I want to do.” | Tim Torres, junior chemistry and biology

“I’m only here for extra credit, the posters seemed pretty cool.” | Alicia Carter, sophomore business management

“I’m always interested in space adventure, to actually hear someone who went up into space.” | Markell Braxton-Johnson, sophomore sport and leisure

“I like astronomy. [He] looked interesting and he’s an astronaut.” | Sachithra Wecrasooriya, junior physics and math

“This is the first astronaut I’ve meet and I hope I get an autograph and a photo.” | Jermey Skeoton, junior sociology

“To get extra credit; he’s experiences are pretty cool because he’s an astronaut.” | Harrisson Elizardo, sophomore mass communication

“I have a idea for my future and he’s a doctor and an astronaut sounds like a combination. He might some advice for my path” | Kameron Shran, senior mathematics

“You don’t get to talk to astronaut everyday.” “His severe back pain on Mt. Everest, living up there with severe back pain, living up in space in a small space.”| Cavaughn Browne, junior computer science

“It was awesome to see someone who been to space and hear their performance.” “Inspiring that he was risking his own life for the spaceship.” | Luis Madnigal, freshman undecided

“He was an astronaut, how can you say no to that!” “The conditions on Mt. Everest, I can’t even imagine the guts to prepare for that; It’s intense.” | Catherine Stephiak, senior psychology and sociology

“I thought space was interesting and I was kidnapped by friends” “Listing to intervention and limits with space, him repairing the solar panel was interpretational.” | Lennon White, senior biology

“When I was little I dreamed of being an astronaut, really inspiring to see someone in the medical field go to space.” | Jessica Gomez, senior nursing

“One guy doing all of intense stuff, going to Mt. Everest, many space walks. I wanted to see the guy.”| Mackey Diviane, senior computer science

“I liked his perspective on getting to Mars, how positive he was about it and how everyone everywhere can contribute to it.”| Sean Egloff, junior mechanical engineering

“I wanted to hear a different perspective, that was new and fresh, that experienced space and to learn as much as possible.” He was an interpretation and it really gives you and expose on there’s so much to life than this small capsule and I was able to experience that because of him.” | Christelle Billan, sophomore physics

Dr. Scott

Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor talked at MSU Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor talked at MSU Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor talked at MSU Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor talked at MSU Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor talked at MSU Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor talked at MSU Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor gives a lecture as part of the artist-lecutre series on Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor gives a lecture as part of the artist-lecutre series on Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor signed an autograph for Alion Rios, dental hygien freshman Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski, astronaut and medical doctor signed an autograph for Alion Rios, dental hygien freshman Sept 27 photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski takes a picture with Stephanie Baker and her son photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski takes a picture with Stephanie Baker and her son photo by Izziel Latour
Stephanie Baker, assistant proffesor school of nursing, her son with an autograph photo by Izziel Latour
Stephanie Baker, assistant proffesor school of nursing, her son with an autograph photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski takes a picture with Stephanie's son photo by Izziel Latour
Dr Scott Parazynski takes a picture with Stephanie's son photo by Izziel Latour

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