75. John Herrington; NASA Astronaut (Yes Really!) on Space, Native American Heritage, the US Wilderness and Inspiring the Next Generation - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 75
September 11 , 2019

75. John Herrington; NASA Astronaut (Yes Really!) on Space, Native American Heritage, the US Wilderness and Inspiring the Next Generation

NASA astronaut John Herrington became the first ever Native American to travel to space during a historic mission to the International Space Station. He lives in the Idaho wilderness, flies his own plane, has cycled over 4000 miles cross-country from Washington to Florida and for his most recent adventure features as one of two inspiring U.S. trailblazers exploring America in Brand USA’s incredible film “Into America’s Wild”. His inspirational stories have landed him a well suited role as a motivational speaker and will surely both inspire and motivate you here on the Big Travel Podcast…


On this episode we cover: 

Space…what it’s like to be out there

Launch…how it feels to be blasted into the sky

David Bowie’s Space Oddity

How you could be lost in space

Chris Hadfield singing Bowie from space

General Tom Stafford from Oklahoma

The story behind the International Space Station

Orbiting the earth every 90 minutes

The app you can use to track the space station!

Hurtling through the sky at 28,000 kmph

The earth really is round…

Being in constant free fall around the earth

Having to fly beneath the space station to dock

Docking at 10ft per second

Being responsible for running the computers

What it feels like to do a space walk

(note; you hang on tight!)

What it feels like to see earth from space

The breath-taking the moment of seeing the Bahamas float into view from space

How being in space makes you feel very insignificant

Riding a bike across the United States

The beauty of the earth at night

Trying to sleep whilst floating

Seeing London, Paris, the Middle East and more from space

Taking 20 minutes to go from Sydney to LA

How you get back into the atmosphere

If you worry about it you shouldn’t be there

Being sick on arrival back in gravity

Being the ‘bartender’ on board

The stand out moment on the end of the space station ‘the ultimate cliff’

Whether we are alone in this universe

‘Life has to be out there’

The closest star being 70,000 years away at current propulsion

Life on earth being pretty bizarre too

Were aliens here before us..?

Being the first native American astronaut

The ancestors making incredible structures that still stand today

Being from the Chickasaw tribe

His childhood in Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and Texas

Always liking being in nature

Being in the navy for 13 years before NASA

Being in NASA for 6 years

Losing his friends on the Columbia shuttle disaster

Going to work for a space tourism millionaire

Setting off to cycle across America

Flunking out of college

How certain people can help you turn your life around

Being the inspiration for young people to become engineers

If you can’t see it you can’t become it

Growing up watching astronauts on TV

But taking time to realise he could actually be them

His off the beaten path film for xxxxx

Ariel Tweto Flying Wild Alaska

The lessons he learnt about America

So many beautiful things to do in the US

But the importance of travelling further afield

Living surrounded by wilderness central Idaho

Owning an aeroplane!

Rowing a rubber raft on the Lower Salmon River in Idaho

His family having lived in Morocco and West Africa

Wanting his grandkids to experience life outside the US – Europe, Africa and more

Travel being expensive – but there being ways of doing it

How you can just get on your bike and go!

Dusting the ice of his tent in Colorado near Rocky Mountain National Park

Living on the Trans American route from Oregon

The Japanese man peddling the length of the US

Sleeping on his boat and looking up at the Milky Way and thinking wow…

Watching the space station going over on his app

Visiting fellow pilot Philippe Perrin in Toulouse being a favourite trip

Not feeling scared in space…

…but being terrified when lost in a mission between Russia and Alaska

The plane that had the annoying habit of its wings falling off (!)

Feeling happiest playing with his grandson and children in the mountains

The Willie Nelson song about travel that inspires him