Mayer explores extreme journey concept through space research

Dr. Thagard discusses space travel.

During her residency Mayer sought out Entrypoints to inform the themes of extreme journey and displacement at the center of her work. Residency research included a trip to Kennedy Space Center, a personal interview with former Astronaut, Dr. Norman Thagad, and an IMAX film viewing at Tallahassee's Challenger Learning Center.

Mayer and her collaborators spent a full day touring the Kennedy Space Center where they were able to get an inside view of the Vehicle Assembly Building as well as examine space artifacts. Touring decommissioned rockets provided Mayer with a clear idea of the cramped quarters astronauts endure in flight while space simulators offered a glimpse into what a space journey might feel like.

In an attempt to learn more about the psychological aspects of space travel, Mayer spoke with Astronaut Dr. Norman Thagard. A veteran of five space flights, Thagard was the payload commander on the Shuttle Discovery (STS-42), as well as a cosmonaut/researcher for the Russian Mir 18 mission. He spoke with Mayer about his experience of space travel, the psychological aspect of lengthy missions, and the differences and similarities in Russian and American space flight.

Finally, to round out her study of space travel Mayer toured the Tallahassee Challenger Learning Center. There she observed a space mission simulation and viewed both the Space Station 3D and Hubble 3D IMAX movies with her collaborators.