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April 30, 1998
QuestChat with Estela Hernandez



[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 0 - 12:49:45 ]
Good Afternoon! Buenas Tardes! The chat with Estela Hernandez will begin at 1:00 PM, Please ask thoughtful questions, read other peoples questions to see if they ask a question you had planned to ask and read Estela's answers to see if they give you an idea for a new question.

[ BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool - 1 - 12:58:32 ]
Hello people!

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 2 - 13:02:55 ]
Hello! Estela is here! You can ask her question now!

[ Estela/Ames - 3 - 13:03:33 ]
Hello! Buenas tardes!

[ Jake-Cindie/JohnJacobMiddleSchool - 6 - 13:06:05 ]
Hello Estela it's great to be here.

[ Estela/Ames - 7 - 13:06:06 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] Hi. What programs have you worked on at Ames?
I've worked on the Space Shuttle, Chinook and several others.

[ Estela/Ames - 9 - 13:07:23 ]
RE: [Susan/NASAChatHost] How were your results on the Space shuttle sim?
The result on the Shuttle were great. We got through the experiments that we wanted.

[ Estela/Ames - 11 - 13:09:08 ]
RE: [Jake-Cindie/JohnJacobMiddleSchool] What have you been working on today?
I'm working on a presentation to brief management on the last Space Shuttle simulation.

[ Estela/Ames - 12 - 13:10:07 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] What missiles did you help simulate while you were at Lockheed?
While at Lockheed, I worked on the THAAD program.

[ Estela/Ames - 15 - 13:12:59 ]
RE: [Jake-Cindie/JohnJacobMiddleSchool] Have you been working on any programs for the International Space Station?
No, I have not worked on the International Space Station. Although, there are people at Ames that do.

[ Estela/Ames - 17 - 13:15:53 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] What exactly is the THAAD program?
Missiles that can go at very high altitudes. They are still working and testing the missiles.

[ Estela/Ames - 19 - 13:18:12 ]
RE: [Susan/NASAChatHost] Estela, Did you speak English before you started school?
For the first six years of my life I only spoke Spanish. I learned English in first grade.

[ Estela/Ames - 20 - 13:20:04 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] How many of your brothers and sisters went on to college?
Three out of seven went to a 4 year university. The others went to trade schools.

[ Estela/Ames - 25 - 13:24:13 ]
RE: [Anders-Anders/Sweden] Hi!! Sorry Im late. I wonder how much it costed to develop the space shuttle simulator.
I'm not sure how much the space shuttle simulator cost. The astronauts have several different types of simulators.

[ Estela/Ames - 27 - 13:26:39 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] What did you want to be when you were a child?
Growing up I did not have a specific idea about what I wanted to do. Although, I always enjoyed math and science classes. I decide to take a variety of classes to see what interested me the most.

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 29 - 13:28:42 ]
RE: [Anders-Anders/Sweden] Have the Canadian "transferring arm" an own simulator?
Andres they have that at Johnson Space Center and the simulator that Estella works on gives the astronauts a chance to practice landing the STS.

[ Estela/Ames - 30 - 13:29:47 ]
RE: [Jake-Cindie/JohnJacobMiddleSchool] Estela I love science but I really struggle in math. Can you give some suggestions on how I can overcome my math anxiety?
I think the hardest thing is tying to make sense of things. Ask as many question as possible until things make sense to you. Don't give up until you are satisfied with an answer.

[ Estela/Ames - 33 - 13:32:45 ]
RE: [Anders-Anders/Sweden] Has it happened that an astronaut started to feel sick in a sim?
Some times pilots do feel sick in the simulator. I've only heard of pilots getting sick but not while I was working. You eyes are seeing one thing but you body is not experiencing what it's seeing so that is usually when the pilots get sick.

[ Jake-Cindie/JohnJacobMiddleSchool - 34 - 13:33:16 ]
Thank you for the advice I will use it alot!

[ Estela/Ames - 36 - 13:37:04 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] Your parents must have been very supportive in order to raise seven children who were educationally successful and career-minded. What did they think when you told them you wished to pursue a career in engineering/aeronautics, which tend to be " male dominated" occupations.
My parents have been very supportive in my decision of being an aeronautical engineer. They have always encouraged us to pursue what really interest us. Although, there are not many women in engineering today there will hopefully be more in the future.

[ Estela/Ames - 37 - 13:38:11 ]
RE: [Anders-Anders/Sweden] Do the sim operate with compressed air or compressed oil??
It actually uses nitrogen.

[ Estela/Ames - 41 - 13:40:22 ]
RE: [Anders-Anders/Sweden] When was the shuttle sims develop.
The Space Shuttle sim at Ames was developed in the late '70s. There is usually 2 simulations a year that last around five weeks. The astronauts do some of their training here.

[ Estela/Ames - 43 - 13:40:41 ]
RE: [Anders-Anders/Sweden] When was the shuttle sims develop.
The Space Shuttle sim at Ames was developed in the late '70s. There is usually 2 simulations a year that last around five weeks. The astronauts do some of their training here.

[ Estela/Ames - 44 - 13:41:44 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] If you ever stopped working at Ames, were would like to work instead?
I would eventually like to teach. My plans are to get my masters and teach at a junior college.

[ Estela/Ames - 47 - 13:43:17 ]
RE: [Jake-Cindie/JohnJacobMiddleSchool] What's the favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is that we get to fly the aircraft. I've flown helicopters, transports, the Space Shuttle and fighter planes.

[ Estela/Ames - 48 - 13:46:17 ]
RE: [Anders-Anders/Sweden] Do you like to chat with students??
I think it's a great way to interact with students. I think that if I would of had the chance to do this when I was a growing up I might of know what I wanted to do sooner in life. It took me about three years at a junior college before I realized a wanted to be an engineer.

[ Estela/Ames - 50 - 13:48:33 ]
RE: [Anders-Anders/Sweden] Is the sims going 24 hours a day?? I mean is it hard to get time with the sims?
No, the sim is not 24 hours. It usually runs for about 8 to 9 hours. The sims are usually scheduled about a year in advance.

[ Jake-Cindie/JohnJacobMiddleSchool - 51 - 13:49:37 ]
I joined the CAP and I love to fly what types of fighter jets have you flown?

[ Estela/Ames - 52 - 13:50:14 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] Why a junior college and not a major university?
At a junior college you can concentrate more energy on the students and not worry about publishing papers.

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 53 - 13:51:33 ]
Wow this chat is almost over already, send in your last questions!

[ Estela/Ames - 54 - 13:52:21 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] Is the flying you do "virtual" like in a sim, or do you actually go out and fly these aircrafts?
No, I don't get to fly the real aircraft but just the simulator. It's a motion based simulator so you get a great sense that you are really flying.

[ Estela/Ames - 63 - 13:53:38 ]
RE: [BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] Is the flying you do "virtual" like in a sim, or do you actually go out and fly these aircrafts?
No, I don't get to fly the real aircraft but just the simulator. It's a motion based simulator so you get a great sense that you are really flying.

[ Jake-Cindie/JohnJacobMiddleSchool - 66 - 13:54:08 ]
Estela thank you for a wonderful chat I realy enjoyed it!

[ Anders/Sweden - 67 - 13:55:12 ]
Thanks for this wonderful Chat Estela!!

[ Estela/Ames - 68 - 13:57:32 ]
RE: [B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool] How difficult was the transition from Mexico to the U.S.A.
I was very young when I came to the US. I'm sure that since there was a language difference that it was difficult.

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 69 - 13:59:06 ]
Thank you kids for the wonderful questions, thank you Estela for the great answers! I enjoyed the Chat, come again!

[ Estela/Ames - 70 - 13:59:28 ]
RE: [Anders/Sweden] Is it hard for a Swede to become a engineer on NASA??
Unfortunely, you have to be a US citizen in order to work for NASA but there are contractors that will hire non US citizen that do the same jobs that NASA employee do.

[ BW/MAC-B.W./CarlisleAlternativeSchool - 71 - 14:00:32 ]
Thank you for having the patience to answer our questions. Good day everyone!

 
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