Wisconsin astronaut first to try out new technology aboard International Space Station

Wisconsin astronaut first to try out new tech
Posted at 4:31 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 19:36:12-04

Wisconsin native Jeff Williams is making his fourth trip on board the International Space Station. He talked exclusively with TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson about the work he is doing in space and what it means for the future space travel.

Charles: Good Morning Jeff Williams from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How are we looking from space?

Jeff: Well it's been a few days since I've seen Wisconsin, since we passed over in the day time but the last pass you looked great.

This week Wisconsin native Williams was the first to try out the new inflatable room on the International Space Station.

It's officially called the BEAM, but it looks a fancy pop-up tent that provides an additional 5,000 square feet. He says it took nearly 40 space shuttle flights to get all of into space.

Charles: What is it and why is it important to the future of space travel?

Jeff: It's new technology . It's something that brings a lot efficiency and a lot of potential in the future because you can launch something with that smaller in volume on perhaps a smaller rocket an inflated to get the volume we need.

Charles: I think you described it has been cold inside. How cold could it be for a guy who grew up in Winter, Wisconsin?

Jeff: Well cold is always relative. When I went into the BEAM module it was cooler than the station. We are very much climate control here. Actually it was a little refreshing - it was like a nice fall day in Wisconsin.

Charles: What's the future of the space station? What new things can we learn from the station?

Jeff: The space station affords a very unique laboratory in a weightless environment - we've got science experiments across the spectrum that have been going on for the life of the station and will continue to go on into the 2020's.

Charles: What's it like to be weightless?

Jeff: Well you acclimate very quickly and then you get to have fun.

Where the logical up or down if the no longer up or down. you can turn sideways, you can turn upside and make anything illogical up and down.