Story Preservation Initiative®

We believe in the importance of sharing ideas and the transformative power of story. For info on our K-3 Learning Lab projects, go to:

Posts from the ‘Astronauts’ category

Audio Up! on our Conversation with Space Shuttle Neurolab Researcher⎥ Jay Buckey

Dr. Jay Buckey was a crew member and Bio-lab researcher on the Space Shuttle Columbia’s …

16-day Neurolab mission from April 17 to May 3, 1998. The 7-member crew served as both experiment subjects and operators for 26 individual life science experiments focusing on the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system. The STS-90 flight orbited the Earth 256 times, covered 6.3 million miles, and logged over 381 hours in space.

Neurolab, a NASA research mission dedicated to the study of the neurosciences, focused on the most complex and least understood part of the human body – the nervous system. This joint NASA-NIH sponsored mission explored five key areas affected by weightlessness: blood pressure control, balance, sleep, nervous system development and the blending of vision with balance and position sense.

Jay is the author of Space Physiology (Oxford Press: 2006), that tells about the effects of weightlessness on the body.

He holds a B.A. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University (1977) and an M.D. from Cornell in 1981, interning at New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center and completing his residence at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

Currently, Jay is a Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School.  He was also a flight surgeon with the US Air Force Reserve for 8 years.

To hear Jay’s story, click on the links below:

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Copyright Story Preservation Initiative.  All rights reserved.


Story Preservation plus TED-Ed equals Great Learning!


The latest SPI / Ted-Ed Video:

Gravity and the Human Body 

Jay Buckey Ted-Ed

Our bodies function necessarily under the presence of gravity; how blood pumps, a sense of balance and bone growth are all due to life in a world where gravity is an inescapable reality. Armed with experiments from neuroscientists David Hubel and Torten Wiesel, astronaut Jay Buckey presents a thought experiment: How would our bodies work without the force of gravity?

To view Gravity and the Human Body, go to:

The first SPI/ TED-Ed video to roll off the production line was  Jerry Carr’s Life of an Astronaut, in which Jerry talks about astronaut training and his life during the Apollo years.  This short, animated educational video was created for students and teachers.  The animation is by Academy-award nominated animator Sharon Colman.


To view Jerry Carr’s link to:

SPI oral histories teamed with TED-Ed animated lessons for teachers and students is a great vehicle for learning!

From the TED / TED-Ed folks   … 

“What if you could capture that one brilliant lesson, amplify it and put it in a place where teachers and students can use it all over the world?”    TED’s Chris Anderson

“TED-Ed has the potential to take a lesson that might normally reach just 20 students and extend it to the world. The topics we can cover are endless, and the more teachers and animators who contribute their lessons and talents, the more impactful this resource becomes.”               TED-Ed’s Logan Smalley

A Conversation with Astronaut Jerry Carr

To listen to the full 56:00 minute recording, click on the links below. 

Colonel Carr was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crews and as CAPCOM for the Apollo 8 and 12 flights, and was involved in the development and testing of the lunar roving vehicle which was used on the lunar surface by Apollo flight crews.

Carr was commander of Skylab 4 (third and final manned visit to the Skylab Orbital Workshop) launched November 16, 1973, and concluded February 8, 1974. This was the longest manned flight (84 days, 1 hour, 15minutes) in the history of manned space exploration to date. He was accompanied on the record-setting 34.5-million-mile flight by Dr. Edward G. Gibson (science pilot) and William R. Pogue (pilot). The crew successfully completed 56 experiments, 26 science demonstrations, 15 subsystem-detailed objectives, and 13 student investigations during their 1,214 revolutions of the earth. They also acquired extensive earth resources observation data using hand-held cameras and Skylab’s Earth Resources Experiment Package camera and sensor array. They logged 338 hours of operations of the Apollo Telescope Mount, which made extensive observations of the sun’s solar processes.

From February 1974 until March 1978, Colonel Carr and his Skylab 4 teammates shared the world record for individual time in space: 2,017 hours 15 minutes 32 seconds, and Carr logged 15 hours and 48 minutes in three EVAs outside the Orbital Workshop.

In mid-1977 Carr was named head of the design support group, within the astronaut office, responsible for providing crew support to such activities as space transportation system design, simulations, testing, and safety assessment, and for development of man/machine interface requirements.

Carr was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1997.

SPI is making audio available to TED-Ed to create animated Lessons Worth Sharing.

The first to roll off the production line is Jerry Carr’s Life of an Astronaut, in which Jerry talks about astronaut training and his life during the Apollo years.  This short, animated educational video was created for students and teachers.  The animation is by Academy-award nominated animator Sharon Colman.



To view, link to:


Pictured:  Astronauts Gerald Carr, Donald Slayton, Neil Armstrong (seated left to right), and Harrison Schmitt and Edwin Aldrin (standing) compare mosaics of Lunar Orbiter photographs with scenes televised from the moon to Mission Control by Apollo 8 crewmen.

Listen to Jerry talk about his NASA experience.  Run Time: 56:00

Intro to recording

Jerry Carr_Becoming an Astronaut_Track 02

Jerry Carr_Designing the Lunar Module_Track 03

Jerry Carr_Capsule Communicator_Track 04

Jerry Carr_Commander of SkyLab_Track 05

Jerry Carr_Space Shuttle Design_Track 06

Jerry Carr_Camus_Track 07

Jerry Carr_The Earth from Space_Track 08

Copyright Story Preservation Initiative.  All rights reserved.