The first lawmaker in space looked a bit washed out after more than two days in orbit during which he spoke few words to Mission Control, but said today he was having "lots of fun" aboard the shuttle Discovery.
"It's great to be up here," said Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah) in his first television appearance since the flight began Friday, as an onboard camera showed him wired from head to waist for medical experiments. "We're up here trying to find out what happens to the body, and we're hopeful that all of these wires and electrodes coming out of me will provide some of the pieces to the puzzles of space motion sickness."
As Garn, little more than a medical guinea pig on this mission who has been asked to get sick for science, described what he was going through, Dr. Margaret Rhea Seddon was monitoring his heart function using high-frequency sound waves.
"It's a big heart," he said. "I've been telling my wife and family that for years.
"I'm wired so that doctors can look at my brain waves," Garn said, "as well as the electrical impulses from my stomach and the good old bowel sounds for Bill [astronaut/physician William] Thornton. It's great to be up here."
Garn appeared "happy and wonderful" to his wife, Kathleen, who watched him on a television monitor at the Kennedy Space Center here.
"He's obviously having a great time and he looks healthy and happy to me," Kathleen Garn said. "He looks like he has nothing on his mind but the flight."