Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hosted the first Facebook Live ever done on outer space — flying microphone and all.
Zuckerberg hosted the live Earth-to-space call Wednesday with International Space Station (ISS) astronauts Tim Peake from the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA’s Tim Kopra and Jeff Williams.
Seen by viewers via Facebook Live and on NASA’s official Facebook page on that day, the Live Q&A broadcast can still be watched by those who missed it.
“When you’re building products to try to connect everyone in the world, connecting folks who are out in space is about as extreme and cool as it gets. It’s awesome to have the opportunity to talk to you guys today,” Zuckerberg said in his introduction, afterward thanking the astronauts.
The 20-minute live interview paved way for user-contributed questions and gave space enthusiasts a direct look at the ISS, currently the biggest artificial body in low Earth orbit and serves as a research laboratory for astronauts to conduct experiments in microgravity.
Kopra, Expedition 47 commander, dubbed themselves an “experiment” — their survival in the space station, he explained, helps scientists understand the negative effects of zero gravity on the human body. They exercise regularly to mitigate loss of bone density and muscle mass, for instance.
Inside the space lab, he said that they also conduct basic research that mostly revolves around the physical sciences, including fluid flow, combustion and microbiology. These are aimed to provide long-term dividends in terms of benefiting planet Earth, he added.
They are also testing new technologies and ideas to aid forthcoming manned Mars missions. One of them is an inflatable module, to be outfitted and instrumented to allow greater volumes to be sent toward space from Earth with fewer launches.
“This first test of an expandable module will allow investigators to gauge how well the habitat performs and specifically, how well it protects against solar radiation, space debris and the temperature extremes of space," said NASA of the experimental habitat BEAM, the first inflatable compartment ever tested in orbit.
Facebook Live enables users to do live video broadcasts in events and groups.