• Question: do you ever bring back souvenirs from space? like space debris?

    Asked by will to Simon, Julia, Delma, Andrew, Alex on 17 Dec 2015.
    • Photo: Alexander Finch

      Alexander Finch answered on 17 Dec 2015:

      Unfortunately, we five don’t get to go to space – that’s astronaut Tim’s job 🙂 I wish I could go up there with him!!

      If I did go to space and came back, I think my main souvenirs would be photos. There’s not much stuff on the space station that’s not needed I could take back with me – everything has a purpose!

      A bit of space debris, or a chunk of asteroid, would be great – but very hard to get! The problem is they move so fast – several kilometres every second – so you don’t want to be anywhere near them or there might be an almighty crash!!

      No, photos and memories for me.

    • Photo: Andrew Winnard

      Andrew Winnard answered on 17 Dec 2015:

      😉 yes we do collect space items. I have a piece of old heat shield from space shuttle Atlantis that NASA threw away and I have a smaller piece of space rock.

      Astronauts fly loads of items on every mission, things like mission patches, lanyards, pins, badges etc that they give out to competition winners, friends and family when they come back 🙂 Then you can also get signed photos of the astronauts themselves, these are less likely to have been flown in space but you can collect them 🙂 Every year the European Astronaut Centre opens up to the public for space day and thats a great place to get signed photos 🙂 I’ve managed to get all the current ESA astronauts and several of the old class!

      If you want something flown in space – Tim is doing another outreach event called “space rocks” he is tweeting his favourite song lyrics three times a week. The first person to tweet back the title of the song, wins a special flown in space “space rocks” mission patch 😉