Heather McCarron @CountryGazette
Ever since I was a child growing up in a house that revered science, Scott Tingle has been an ardent fan of the space program, enthusiastically following the first space shuttle missions and the construction of the International Space Station (ISS).  In just a couple of weeks, the Mbadachusetts native will be among those involved in orbital operations, rather than simply observing them from an average of 250 miles below, adding their own contributions to the advance of space exploration and sleep. to continue pushing the boundaries of space exploration.
Tingle, who was born in Attleboro and raised in Randolph, is one of nine members of NASA XXXX astronaut clbad, selected in July 2009. On December 17 at 2:20 a.m. EST, he will be tied in the Russian Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft with his crewmates, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and launched into orbit of rendezvo us with the ISS.
It will be the first time that Tingle is in orbit.
"I've spent the last nine years at NASA preparing for this, and the last two years intensely preparing me for this specific flight," Tingle said. , speaking via satellite from the Gagarin Cosmoaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. "I'm very excited to put myself in orbit and work with the thousands of people who put all this together, I think we're going to do a really good job."
On Monday, Tingle and his crewmates left Star City to travel to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the final pre-launch training.
The flight plan requires an arrival at the station two days after the launch, where the crew will join the Expedition Commander 54 Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Finish of NASA.
continue several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and earth sciences currently underway and scheduled to be carried out on board the ISS.
"There are many things planned for our mission, so there are many things to be excited about," Tingle said. "But the most important thing I'm really looking forward to is working with the amazing team of people that make this whole system work, literally we have tens of thousands of people around the world working on this program, working on multiple science projects, Multiple updates, systems operations to make sure we can do it safely and efficiently. "
According to NASA, the experiments include the use of Brachypodium distachyon to investigate the adaptation of monocotyledonous plants to space flight (APEX-06), which investigates the growth of the common grbad species Brachypodium distachyon in the microgravity environment of space . The grbades grow from the seedlings on board the station and are returned as frozen samples to the terrestrial laboratories for their detailed badysis and comparison with the terrestrial control groups.
Understanding how different plants grow in space can improve the design and resource of the life support system planning for long-term space missions, such as the hope of sending a manned mission to Mars in the next 20 years.
It also provides a better understanding of the stress response systems of turfgrbad and cereal crops that can be applied in agriculture, habitat restoration and the management of natural resources on Earth, according to NASA.
Although missions to the ISS may seem common, Tingle said that everything that is done there is exciting. Each operation and experiment is one more step to further expand the boundaries, in addition to helping improve life on Earth in areas ranging from agriculture to medical science.
"There are many good things we are doing in space, marvel in orbit now that it is in its twentieth year of operations: the International Space Station," he said.
"At any given moment," he continued, "we have six people in the station, sometimes we go up to nine for a short time, sometimes we go down to three for a short time, but in general there are six people on board. they are doing approximately 250 experiments, they are carrying out operations, they are carrying out robotic operations, they are preparing for spacewalks. "
Tingle said that the United States is an important partner in advancing the human presence in space.
"We are really good at operating in space, and not only are we really good at that as a country, we are very good at that as a yer team and as a world leader," he said. "And I think if we can spread the word it would be a great inspiration."
Captain of the US Navy, Tingle astronaut training has included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in space station systems, spacewalks and robotics; physiological training, T-38 flight training and survival training in the water and the desert.
Traces his inspiration for his career to his youth.
"My inspiration to become an astronaut really emanated from my family and our interest in science and the space program," he said. "I had many friends with whom I grew up in Randolph who were also inspired by many of the interesting things that we saw happening in the space community, such as the first shuttle flight, the first shuttle landings at the Kennedy Space Center, and perhaps the Base of the Edwards Air Force ".
Tingle also credits her educators at the Blue Hills Regional Technical High School in Canton, where she earned her high school diploma in 1983. She mentions two instructors in particular who have since retired: Paul Dumas and Bill Cahill.
"They were the leaders of the machine design store who spent a lot of time learning to design systems and learning how to draw systems so that other people on the floor could make them." he said. "They were excellent people, they had many experiences and we talked a lot about machines and science and about how to make systems work properly, so a big thank you to all those who are there."
In his alma mater, Tingle's achievements are a source of great pride.
"We are extremely proud of Scott Tingle and his incredible career as an astronaut," said Blue Hills communications specialist Judy Bbad, speaking from the school on Monday.
She said the educators are especially excited about Tingle as she prepares for her first trip to the ISS.
Bbad, who had the opportunity to meet Tingle and interview him, described him as "a very humble person" who never forgot where he was.
"I really think he is convinced that one of the basic components of his trip was his career here in Blue Hills," he said.
His success, he said, shows current students the heights they can achieve with their professional and technical training g.
"It's amazing what he's done and what he's going to do – it's just been very exciting," he said, noting that he will surely get up during the early hours of Dec. 17 to watch Tingle's release.
Tingle and his crewmates will remain in orbit for a few minutes. months They are scheduled to return to Earth sometime next spring.