Recently I was very fortunate to be able to cross out an item from my to-do list (of many many things). What was the item? Well, I was very fortunate to be able to attend, listen and talk to an astronaut.
The astronaut I met was Dr. Leroy Chiao. You can read about him here:
After his presentation, I managed to have short talk with him about watches in space. He actually has a blog entry on his blog on watches.
Interesting to see what watch he had on his wrist.
From his blog entry and pictures of him from the NASA and the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center archives, you can see that his favorite watch (and some say his trademark watch) is a Rolex GMT-Master on a Jubilee bracelet.
Dr. Leroy on his way for the launch into space. You can clearly see his Rolex.
Photographs: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
Not sure where he is in this photograph.
Dr. Leroy in the space shuttle Columbia.
Dr. Leroy wore his Rolex on 4 missions:
Columbia (July 1994)
Endeavour (January 1996)
Discovery (October 2000)
Soyuz Expedition X leader on the ISS (192 days)
He was in space for a total of 229 Days and 8 hours. I believe that is the longest a Rolex have been in space.
Dr. Leroy also did 6 EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity) and you can see the photographs of him doing the EVA.
Photograph: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
It was interesting to see that he was not wearing any watch during the EVA. I asked him about it and he said he did not wear any watch while doing EVA and a number of astronauts he knew also did not wear any watches while doing the EVA as they were in constant contact with someone and if they need to know the time, just ask.
A closer look at Dr. Leroy Rolex GMT-Master.
Sadly I don't know if the watch is reference 16750 or 16700.
Anyway, it was just awesome to be able to meet him.