5 de septiembre de 2013

Astronomía a tu Alcance interviews "the Mohawk guy": Bobak Ferdowsi, from NASA

Here you have the interview we've done to Bobak Ferdowsi, maybe one of the best known astronomers in the world  from NASA. It's the first interview that Bobak lets to a blog, and the honour is from Astronomía a tu Alcance (Astronomy at your Fingertips) from Spain. We'll interview in the next days Mark Garlick and Damian Peach from UK. This is a lot of effort so please, you can follow us on twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe us on Youtube. There you can follow us and follow our changes because we'll interview british astronomers soon. You can send us comments, messages or tweets, it's not a problem because I can talk you in english, french, spanish and catalán.

100% TRUTHFUL. HERE YOU HAVE IT (April, 17th - 03 am)

The interview:

Q: How did you feel when Curiosity landed Mars? What do you think in that moment?

A: It was obviously a lot of relief and excitement at the same time. You were seeing a room full of very proud parents, seeing their child become a success.

Q: What do you expect from Curiosity? Do you think it can find more than evidences ?

A: Curiosity was designed to look for past signs of habitability and we have already accomplished that. Beyond that we have a few additional instruments that help us better understand the processes on Mars and what to look for in future missions and possibly even human trips there. That's a very challenge goal itself, so I'd be happy if we can help to answer those questions.

Q: Do you think we will arrive Mars before 2030? 

A: While there's a lot of commercial discussion about putting people on Mars sooner than 2030, the honest truth is that it's extremely difficult. I believe that we will see people on Mars in our lifetimes, and very possibly in the 2030s.

Q: Not only about Curiosity… What will be the planetary advances and discoveries –in your opinion-  that you will see before you turn 80?

A: There's so much we are constantly learning about our own solar system and the possibility of life. Beyond Mars, we can see evidence of preserved water in the craters of Mercury, and in moons of Jupiter and Saturn. I think these will be the places we will also explore – but who knows what we will find. That's part of the fun!

Q: What would happened if Curiosity landing failed or were unsuccesful? (We all know that having you, this is impossible).

A: It's always a very real possibility. Space exploration is about challenges and pushing the limits, and whenever you do that, you are always taking some risks. It wouldn't have been nearly as exciting or emotional if we were all 100% confident it would be a perfect landing that night. In situations where things go wrong, the goal is to try to understand why and to learn lessons so things can be done differently the next time. Fortunately, everything went great with Curiosity.

Q: Become a NASA astronomer  is all an astronomer dreams. How is your daily life?

A: I'm not an astronomer – I'm an engineer, but that's always been something I've been fascinated by. I love my job – it's incredible to be a part of this team of people and to be contributing to something so much bigger than yourself.

Q: When and why did you start loving astronomy?

A: I think I've been an explorer as long as I can remember. I've loved the idea that by exploring and expanding we realize how similar we are as humans and how important our own planet is.

Q: How did you entered NASA? What were your feelings in that moment?

A: I was lucky to have a friend who started working here before I did – he helped me get the job. I just remember being very excited, especially when I learned what I would be working on.

Q:  If you didn’t become a system egnineer  or you didn’t entered NASA, what would you liked to study  or work in?

A: I don't know that I would have been good at it, but I grew up with several cultures and languages – I would have loved to work for the UN.

Q: What’s your advice to all the young people that likes astronomy? 

A: Stay curious. Don't feel like you have to be the best at it to be successful and realize that knowing what you are and are not good at is so valuable. Learn to work in teams.

Q: We know you get so famous in short days due to your mohawk. How did you feel or what did you think in that moment you gained thousand of followers, were trending topic, and appeared in hundred of tv channels –including spanish- and also meeting Obama?

A: It's hard to really describe. I think I was already overwhelmed by just having a successful landing and having spent 9 years getting to that, let alone what happened after that moment. For me I think it's been so exciting to be able to share the experience with everyone and to hopefully get kids excited about the future of space exploration.

Q: What sport do you like the most? Any club?

A: I grew up playing baseball and soccer. Still my two favorites.

Q: What song goes always with you? Any band you like?

A: My musical tastes are all over the map – I've been enjoying a lot of soundtrack music lately – particularly Bear McCreary.

Q:  Do people recognise you when you go in the street? 

A: Almost never, although the other night as I was walking around my neighborhood, one of the kids from an elementary school I visited to talk about Mars Curiosity recognized me.

Q: Everyone knows NASA’s intelectual level is one of the highest talking about scientifics. Also engineering is one of the most difficult college major. Do you know  or have you tested what’s your IQ –Intellectual Quotient- Are you gifted?  -From our reader Jim Cambronero-

A: I haven't. I would actually say that being able to work in a team is far more important than pure intelligence when it comes to working at NASA. The things we do require a lot of collaboration and team work, so a hard working person with good team work is often more valuable than a genius who works alone.

Q: You decided to be engineer, so, were you good drawing / painting?

A: Not particularly, though I appreciate aesthetics.

Q: As a child, we know your dream was to enter NASA, did you worked thinking in this? Were you the cleverest in your class or were you the “standard” student? –from Jim-

A: I think I did well in some areas and not so well in others. It wasn't until later when I was really studying things I loved that I started doing better in classes.

And... That's all! Exclusively for Astronomía a tu Alcance, the first interview for a blog that he gives, so, enjoy! Please, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe in Youtube. Stay there because in a period of days we'll interview also Damian Peach and Mark Garlick, one of the best known astronomers of the UK. Hope you liked it, feel free to tweet to @Astroatualcance or to comment in our Facebook page, even sending a comment in the blog. I understand english, french, spanish and catalán. 

Thank you very much. Good afternoon America, good afternoon USA!
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