Army Astronaut holds live Q&A from Space

By Robert Martin, USAWC PAO    10 January 2020

image of the sun array and earth out the window of the ISS

(Carlisle Barracks, Jan 10) - Yesterday afternoon the futures seminar of the Army War College and faculty had the unique opportunity to talk from Collings Hall to Astronaut Col. Andrew Morgan of the U.S. Army aboard the International Space Station.

With little introduction, the seminar quickly began asking questions about the future of the space program, medical care of the crew, the importance of the space domain, and the strategic impact of space, to name a few.

Morgan, a physician, provided some of his insights as he effortlessly glided through the space station, touching on how important quality of life issues in space are, such as the priorities of basic needs and the complexity of humans in space. He also mentioned the importance of lower orbit commercialization, which would allow NASA to focus on the exploration of outer space and Mars.

“The value here in the futures seminar is being able to look out 20 to 30 years,” said USAWC student Lt. Col. Jerry Brown. “Now add that with talking to an Army astronaut while in space and being able to see what is being accomplished not only intellectually but the possibilities of what lies in the future.”

We heard today about the same attributes they teach at the Army War College – to be transparent with each other, to be strategic leaders and communicators and to be technically smart. Col. Morgan alluded that at NASA one need to be a ‘Jack of all trades’ and as a logistician, that’s what we do, being able to many things, not only one, said Brown.

They were some lighthearted moments as Morgan demonstrated how easy he could execute the leg tuck which is part of the new Army Combat Fitness Test. He added that he would be remiss if he did not demonstrate swallowing floating water in space which he did at the end of the teleconference.

"This was an extraordinary opportunity for AWC students to get insights about the future of US space operations from someone living that future," said Kristan J. Wheaton, Professor of Strategic Futures.

"There is nothing like getting a glimpse of the future from someone who is, more or less, living it right now," he said.

Morgan successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard a Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft July 20, 2019, for a nine-month mission as a flight engineer for Expedition 60 aboard the International Space Station.His mission, Expeditions 60, 61, and 62, will be the longest single-mission spaceflight for an Army astronaut and be among the longest ever for an American astronaut when complete.