forty years ago, the first human being ventured off the planet.
In the intervening decades, humans have refined the art of
surviving in space. We can simulate an atmosphere, recycle
water and freeze dry food. But so far we lack the know-how
to fake gravity, the constant pull of our home planet on our
bones, our blood and our brain.
"I was a Spaceman," Alan Alda meets with Dr.
Jerry M. Linenger, a NASA astronaut who, in 1997, spent
five months aboard the Russian space station Mir. Two hundred
miles above the Earth, Linenger found himself battling fire,
radiation and a fear of falling into the great void of space.
undergoes pre-flight training in Russia
day of his voyage, he became a bit more of a "spaceman," and
increasingly adapted to weightlessness. But his body paid
a price. Upon returning to Earth, he found he'd lost 13 percent
of his bone mass -- tantamount to a pretty serious case of
osteoporosis. Yet in spite of everything, for Linenger his
months off the planet formed a profound and life-changing
In "The Frontiers Profile,"
Linenger recounts these adventures and more to Alan Alda as
they talk about life aboard Mir.
more on this topic, see the web feature:
at Zero G