LOS ANGELES - A NASA astronaut, a Navy Commander, a California native, and one of only 153 Americans who has visited the International Space Station - Victor Glover is now joining Elex Michaelson on "The Issue Is" for his first statewide interview since returning to Earth.
Among the issues discussed: Glover’s experience in space, inspirational elementary school teachers, his conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris, a potential career in politics, and his message for the next generation of explorers.
Alongside Glover, Michaelson is also joined this week by U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA), and Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA)
THE ISSUE IS: TAKING SPACE WALKS
BACKGROUND: Earlier this year, during his six month stay on the Space Station, Glover and fellow astronaut Michael Hopkins conducted a series of space walks, spending hours outside as they upgraded and serviced the station’s cooling system, communications gears, and more.
GLOVER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Think of your most amazing dream about flying - I think we all have flying dreams - so think about that. And then also think about maybe your most terrifying nightmare... It's got aspects of both, you know... All the training in the world, all the simulations, there is nothing to prepare you for that very first moment you spend outside the Space Station, and that's just something you have to do to experience it. It was breathtaking... But once we got out the door, we had work to do, so I couldn't just float around, taking in the view, I had to go, grab this big box, go get on the robotic arm and get out there to work installing this antenna, and so it was also a very busy time…"
THE ISSUE IS: SPEAKING WITH THE VICE PRESIDENT
BACKGROUND: While aboard the International Space Station, Glover, the first African American astronaut to have such an extended stay in space, had a call from Kamala Harris, the nation’s first female, African American Vice President.
GLOVER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "You know, I think I can summarize kind of the feeling, it was such a great event. And, you know, I felt like the whole time I wanted to just go, 'you're in the White House!’ And I felt like Vice President Harris wanted to say, 'you're in space!"… I think both of us really had an appreciation for what the other was doing... She said something that I parroted in that interview, ‘that being the first is good, but it's important to make sure that you're not the last,’ and I think we both said something like that during that event as well…"
THE ISSUE IS: A FUTURE IN POLITICS
BACKGROUND: John Glenn and Mark Kelly are two of many American astronauts who transitioned into politics once they hung up their helmets. Now back on Earth, could Victor Glover be considering a run of his own, maybe as California’s next Senator?
GLOVER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I tell you, it's not on my short-term plan. I love public service, I've been in the Navy twenty three years now, at NASA eight, and I have loved every moment of it, and I would love to continue to serve the public... If that becomes the way that we, my family and I, think we could do the most good, then I would consider it. But I would say right now it's not in my top list of things to do, just because the folks I listen to talk about campaigning, and what that's like, It sounds pretty grueling... If someone wants to appoint me to something, again, I love public service and I'll put my best foot forward, but I would love to avoid the campaigning if I could…"
THE ISSUE IS: ADVICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
BACKGROUND: "Astronaut" frequently ranks among the top childhood dream jobs, with some surveys suggesting it’s the fifth most popular for young men. As one of a handful of Americans who actually made that childhood dream a reality, what advice does Glover have for the next generation of space explorers, as well as for those who prefer to stay squarely on the ground?
GLOVER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "This was not preordained, this was not my fate... I worked really hard, and had a lot of people who worked really hard with me and for me, who believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself, and we together have made this happen. It's really important to understand the process, not just the end product, to know that the struggle is working. It's important to work hard and there's a reason to the working hard…"
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.