Alexander Gerst Does First Ever Facebook Interview in Space

PHOTO: Astronaut Alexander Gerst did a Facebook Q&A from space, Aug. 22, 2014.

Even astronauts in orbit use Facebook.

Alexander Gerst, who is perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut, logged onto Facebook today from the International Space Station to answer questions from curious Earthlings. Facebook said it was the first ever question and answer session from space to take place on the social network.

Gerst, who is German, has also been actively tweeting and sharing photos from space, including a striking photo capturing the Israeli-Gaza conflict.

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Here are three things we learned from Gerst's question and answer session:

What Time Is It in Space?

The International Space Station is in orbit, but the astronauts don't adjust their body clocks to new time zones. Instead, Gerst said they adhere to GMT, Greenwich Mean Time, which is the local time in London.

What If There's a Medical Emergency?

Gerst said the ISS is configured for basic medical care. Each crew also has a designated member who handles medical incidents, he said.

The Role of Astronauts in 50 Years

Billionaire space enthusiast Richard Branson asked Gerst what he thinks the role of astronauts will be 50 years from now.

"My hope would be that in 50 years from now, space travellers will not only be professional Agency astronauts, but that everybody should have a realistic chance to make the incredible experience I am having right now. Anyway, I hope there will still be pioneers out there who will fly to destinations farther away," Gerst wrote.

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