Astronaut Don Pettit is currently living out a six-month stay on The International Space Station. So, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to survive in the vast distances beyond Earth’s surface. The flight engineer shared his insight in a post on NASA’s blog:
To survive and thrive in this machine-dominated environment, we need to know how those machines work and how to maintain them. This takes a strong background in technical subjects—mathematics, science, and engineering. These subjects are interesting, and for many people, mostly fun. But they can be difficult to master.
The theoretical basis for our machines must be understood, but we must also have the practical hands-on mechanical-electrical skills needed to keep them running and fix them when they break down. Crew members who work on their cars and do their own home repairs are well prepared for what is required when they venture into space. When something breaks on a spacecraft, you have to get your hands dirty.
In sum: study hard and fix your car.
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