From Florida to the Netherlands–International Experience in Communication

By Brooke Fisher, MS in Global Strategic Communication

This summer has been the craziest, most exciting four weeks of my life. In preparation for our trip to the Netherlands we have gone through our Covering Science and Technology class at the speed of light. I would say that being overwhelmed is an understatement; however, it has been the experience of a lifetime.

To start, we were able to meet Todd Halvorson, Senior Aerospace Reporter at Florida Today. Having him as a guest speaker really jump-started our whole project because we were able to get an opportunity to learn about his job because that is exactly what we were going to be doing.

After that initial introduction to what our jobs were going to be for the next three weeks, the research really began. Aside from the secondary research we got from reading journal articles and analyzing the NASA website for hours, we conducted primary research.

The primary research was really the bulk of our class project, which were the most amazing and the most complicated part of writing about science. We were able to interview Captain Winston Scott as well as take a full day trip to NASA where we interviewed Commander Chris Cassidy on the International Space Station for 20 minutes where each of us got to ask a question based on our individual topics. Later that day we were given an amazing speech from Robert Cabana, Director of NASA and KSC where we learned of his experiences, insights, and love for life in general. It was such an enlightening experience that I will never forget. Next on the agenda is the Nether-Nauts taking off to go to the Netherlands and taking a trip to ESTEC to learn more about their space program.

After a tremendous day at ESA-ESTEC, I feel so overwhelmed with knowledge on a whole other level. We were given an amazing presentation to start the day, followed by a tour of the grounds and we even got to see Mars! Well, it is considered a more interactive Mars. Lunch was incredibly special as we were served wonderful gourmet food and the best orange juice I have ever tasted in my life.

At the end of our lunch I had the opportunity to interview a very intelligent man who is a specialist in his field.

I have been given so many important insights for my topic on bone loss but I have found that the best way to prevent bone loss in astronauts is to have a healthy nutritious diet and follow a structured exercise regimen.

Although, pharmaceuticals have been a topic of discussion for the future especially when it comes to the effects of osteoporosis, they have not been found to impact the bone loss in such a positive way that has motivated scientists to do further research. I have a feeling that with the extent of space travel in the future, more research is on the way!

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