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Private space station astronaut John Shoffner speaks with WMFE from orbit

 John Shoffner from the International Space Station
Axiom Space
Private astronaut John Shoffner speaks with WMFE while onboard the International Space Station

Halfway through his planned 10-day mission to the International Space Station, Ax-2 mission pilot John Shoffner spoke with WMFE's Brendan Byrne from the International Space Station.

Interview highlights:

On his first moments in space
"There was a there was a lot of cheering in the Dragon capsule at that moment when we all realize that we were in space. And from all of our training, we knew that to that point, all the big events were behind us. We were actually in and space. Then our attention went to the next set of things, things which were enjoying being in space. We were there it was, it was it was fabulous. We remain in this restraints for just a few moments. And then we proceed quickly to once the dragon sorts itself out and gets the nose cone open, then we're free to remove our suits and get in normal clothes and faces went straight to the window, then of course, Brendan, as you might imagine."

On his efforts to reach students from orbit
"I think that's the job that all of us have really is to, is to promote the advancement of the people behind us and their ideas and the students today — they're the ones that are going to build on what we've built now. So they're the future, we always say that they are our future, but they truly are. And they will only be as good as we help them become in our encouragement. So far, I've had several direct classroom engagements just like this one that we're on right now in several countries. I can hear this children in the students cheer and scream and clap in the background. It's certainly amazing as I share my stories like I have with you."

On inspiring both art and science in the classroom
"Primarily I'm reaching out to educators, so that they will look at their children and listen for that voice, that if someone expresses an interest in something we should teach to that. Our school systems can moderate, and improve to a level of teaching to the STEAM — where we put the a back in science, technology, engineering and math — and understand that art is pure imagination, when you do something. Just like technology and engineering you have to imagine what you're building and imagine what you're inventing for it to come true."

On the future of commercial space
"One of our roles here, as an Axiom private astronaut, is to bring back our opinions, our feelings, and our reflections on on how this process has worked so that they can improve the process for all. [Axiom Space] will be one of many, of course, that are developing methods going to space and platforms in space, but it has to be done now, Like the early days of aviation, when it first started, it was quite expensive, and it was hard to go. But as it opens up, you know it's an access for all. I think it'll take some years to do that, of course, but that's what's next for us. And that's where we belong."

There’s a lot going on up there. Join space reporter Brendan Byrne each week as he explores space exploration. From efforts to launch humans into deep space, to the probes exploring our solar system, Are We There Yet? brings you the latest in news from the space beat. Listen to interviews with astronauts, engineers and visionaries as humanity takes its next giant leap exploring our universe.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.<br/><br/>Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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