Astronaut candidate's profile
What is your current job?
Professor, Information and Computer Sciences Department, University of Hawaii / Principal investigator, HI-SEAS Project - I teach courses on artificial intelligence and design for mobile devices (e.g. cell phones). I'm also the principal investigator on the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, hi-seas.org) project. HI-SEAS is a small habitat in a Mars-like environment on the slopes of Mauna Loa, a giant volcano on the Island of Hawaii. There, we conduct long missions (so far, up to 12 months), simulating expeditions on the surface of Mars. We're helping remove barriers to long-duration space exploration by practicing here on Earth.
Why do you want to become an astronaut?
I want to make Earth my home. Home is the place you return to. When you're a kid, your house is your home. It's only when you head off to college or work that you talk about your "home town." When you travel abroad, your country becomes your home country. I want to make Earth my home—and I want to help others see it that way, too. When we shift from seeing the Earth as "the world" to seeing it as our home planet, perhaps we will understand how precious it is, even as we journey farther away.
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