Newscast with astronaut John Herrington

Indian Country Today

What is it like in true isolation? John Herrington, Chickasaw, spent 14 days in space aboard the International Space Station. He spent 10 days underwater training for another mission.

In addition to being the first Native American astronaut, Herrington is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and he has a doctorate in education from the University of Idaho.  

On wearing personal protective equipment: "That's the idea is that you are in your own contained environment and you're...protecting yourself"

On being an astronaut: "I got to do everything I would ever do as an astronaut on my one mission. So I was very fortunate." 

On cultural care: "I flew some Sage. I flew some sweet grass. I flew regalia for a friend of mine." Being able to take the flute and the feather out and actually float those in the space station...That really meant a lot to my family." 

On eating comfort food during the pandemic: "When things are tough, you know, there's something you can have....and for me, I think jelly beans." 

On keeping busy: "When you're not busy, you find that you have time on your hands. So how do you occupy the time you have? I find something to do. If you can't find something you know you will get bored and that's not, that's not good."

On listening to experts: "Value the science. The data that's out there. Because if you don't, you can get harmed, your family can get harmed, you know, and the economies could get worse than it already is. If we don't pay attention to what the experts, the scientists are telling us."

A reminder from Herrington: "Wash your hands. Social distance." 

Also on the daily newscast, Washington Editor Jourdan Bennett-Begaye reports updated COVID-19 numbers in Indian Country.

The host of the program is Patty Talahongva, executive producer of Indian Country Today.