News Science Society, 16/10/2019

American Spacewoman of Ukrainian Origin Visits Kharkiv

On October 9, as part of the cultural activities program of the US Embassy in Ukraine, American astronaut Heidemarie Martha Stefanyshyn-Piper visited Kharkiv.

The American spacewoman attended the National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute” on the occasion of World Space Week. The astronaut’s mission is to attract Ukrainian youth to the study of sciences: technology, engineering, math and other.

Heidemarie Martha Stefanyshyn-Piper is of Ukrainian origin. Her father is from the Lviv region and her mother is German. The future astronaut was brought up in the USA in Ukrainian traditions.

Heidemarie became the second person after Ukrainian astronaut Leonid Kadeniuk who unfurled the national Ukrainian flag in Earth’s orbit. She is also the eighth woman to cross into interplanetary space. Stefanyshyn-Piper has performed two space flights which lasted 27 days. She was onboard the International Space Station twice and completed five spacewalks totaling 33 hours and 42 minutes.

The astronaut shared her experience onboard the space station with students. She told how it was possible to eat, sleep and use the lavatory in zero-gravity. She also answered various guests’ questions about space, UFOs evidence, the effect of such flights on the human body, its recovery after being in space, etc.

Also, Moon Walk VR hardware and software system was presented at the Polytechnic Institute during the event. It was developed by the designers of the Kharkiv Pivdenne Design Bureau. A 3D model based on the game engine simulates a walk along the moon’s surface.

According to designers, Moon Walk VR hardware and software system was developed a year ago but it is constantly being improved.

Text: Natalia Ivanova