Local News
4:13 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Indiana Senate Links Up With Space Station Commander

The commander of the International Space Station spoke via video hookup to the Indiana Senate today.

Astronaut Kevin Ford is a native of Blackford County, Indiana and a graduate of the University of Notre
Dame.

During a 20-minute chat with lawmakers and schoolchildren, Ford said dozens of experiments are being conducted aboard the space station, many of them medical tests involving the station’s zero-gravity environment.

"We lose a fair amount of bone mass while we’re up here," Ford said.    "And it’s very closely related to osteoporosis.   And they have a real good chance of making a huge difference in osteoporosis in the elderly in the future.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful if osteoporosis was a thing we used to talk about instead of having to live with?"

Ford also said he hopes the U.S. will continue its commitment to space exploration.

"It’s absolutely true that space is the final frontier.  That’s where we’re heading.   Someday a lot of people are going to know how to operate out here and live off the planet, and I think it’s important that the United States participate in it," he said. 

Ford, who’s about 100 days into a five-month mission aboard the space station, says he looks forward to visiting family and friends in Indiana upon his return to Earth.

His older brother, David, was an Indiana state senator who died in 2008.