Astronauts Hope Future Moon Landing Can Lead To Human Life On Mars

WBZ-TV's Jacob Wycoff reports.

Video Transcript

- Well, they don't have much of a daily commute, but the workers we spoke with today have the best view of any job around the world.

- Certainly do. This morning, WBZ meteorologist Jacob Wycoff spoke with two astronauts on board the International Space Station, and we carried the conversation live on CBSN Boston. Jacob has the highlights.

JACOB WYCOFF: The words any scientist dreams to hear.

KATE RUBINS: Hello. We hear you loud and clear. This is the International Space Station. Welcome aboard.

JACOB WYCOFF: Today, I had the opportunity of a lifetime, a long-awaited long-distance call with two astronauts on the International Space Station.

KATE RUBINS: We've been up and at it for a while today, and we've gotten a lot of experiments and station maintenance done already. It's been an awesome day in space.

JACOB WYCOFF: Connecticut-born Dr. Kate Rubins and California native Commander Victor Glover have been on the Space Station for the last several months.

VICTOR GLOVER: The view does not ever get old. It is spectacular. I love to be there in the twilight, when the sun is coming up or when it's going down. It is just breathtaking and spectacular. The beautiful colors of the lands, the plains, the desert. It is just striking to see it as it is It is truly a life-changing view.

JACOB WYCOFF: The crew shared in the thrill surrounding the gripping landing of Perseverance, the Mars 2020 rover one month ago, comparing it to a Super Bowl watch party.

KATE RUBINS: We were in Node 1, where we eat dinner. We're all gathered around a television set. We were watching people at JPL. Our hearts were in our throats, I think, like everybody else watching it live.

JACOB WYCOFF: And it's not just Mars that has them flying high. The pair was selected for the Artemis missions, the United States' return to the moon in 2024.

VICTOR GLOVER: When humanity accomplishes something amazing, what do we call it? One term is a "moonshot." And I think it's our generation's turn to see that in person, to watch our generation accomplish something that great.

JACOB WYCOFF: Both say they hope young people will always shoot for the stars, encouraging everyone, particularly girls, to pursue their love for science.

KATE RUBINS: Just think about what they're interested in, figure out what grabs them. What do they like to do every day? And hold on to that. There's a lot of people out there that are going to say, hey, this is too hard, you shouldn't be doing this.

VICTOR GLOVER: You can look at the news, read the paper, and see that the world needs the best of all of us right now. So I don't care how old you are or what you look like.

JACOB WYCOFF: Miles in the sky, but so down to earth.

I guess I'm not going to get a flip out of you guys, but-- oh, there they go. There they-- there they go. I love it.

All right. Dr. Rubins and Commander Glover are expected to return to Earth later in the spring. And while the final Artemis crew is still undecided, for these two, even the sky isn't the limit for them. Guys, I really enjoyed my conversation with them.

- I mean, what they're doing is amazing. But also what is never lost on me is the feat of engineering that is the ISS, to be able to keep humans in a tight capsule like that, right?

- Incredible. And Jacob, you said you talked to them about how much preparation they have to do before they do one of those spacewalks.

JACOB WYCOFF: Yes. So they actually have to go for about four to five hours to prepare for a spacewalk that then lasts six to seven hours. So they're in those suits for a long time. Think about the lack of dexterity in those suits. It's, again, incredible the stuff that they do on board.