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What is your role with Hubble?
I help train the astronauts that will repair Hubble. The training takes place at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. This is where my team shows the astronauts what to do when they get to the telescope.
Training also takes place at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Johnson has a large water tank, or pool. Astronauts train in the pool. They practice the work they will do when they reach Hubble. The astronauts wear special suits that let them breathe underwater. Being underwater feels a lot like the way it feels to be in space.
My team actually goes into the water with the astronauts. This helps us better train the astronauts. It also helps us design better tools and equipment for the astronauts.
What makes Hubble special?
Hubble has made many exciting discoveries. It has helped us understand the universe. Also, Hubble is a success because a lot of people have worked together. Teamwork is an important part of anything NASA does.
How did you become interested in science?
I always enjoyed science and math in school, even though nobody in my family is a scientist. I enjoyed taking things apart to see how they worked. So this kind of job seemed like a good fit.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in science?
I would give the same advice I give to my kids. Do something that excites you and that you enjoy because you might do it for a long time. Also, keep an open mind. You might want to do one thing now. But someday you might change your mind and want to do something else.
Science jobs are fun and a challenge. There's always something new happening.
Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies