US News: What’s it really like to live in space? - PressFrom - United Kingdom

US NewsWhat’s it really like to live in space?

02:40  12 july  2019
02:40  12 july  2019 Source:

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What did you like most about space ? AM: The most uncomfortable thing about going to space is coming home. It ’ s a little strange to get used to The really cool thing about getting to go to space for those 204 days is we were fully accustomed to living in space . We didn’t just go visit and come back.

What’s it really like to live in space? © Johnson Space Center/NASA/Johnson Space Center Sandy Magnus washes her hair aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in 2002.

Sandy Magnus

Flew three NASA space shuttle missions between 2002 and 2011, including the last shuttle mission

Gravity sucks. It's horrible. One of the most interesting perception changes that I had as an astronaut is one that I never expected. And that's my perception about gravity. We leave the effects of Earth's gravity because we're in free fall all the time and we adapt to this whole new environment. And then we have to come back to gravity and it's like, "Oh my gosh what the heck is this? And I can't believe we live in this all the time." I mean, it's just horrid, you know, and it's a huge force that is really pressing down on us every day, and it's astonishing when you first come back into the influence of Earth's gravity. It's astonishing to feel that and go, "Wow, I can't believe we cope with this."

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What is that?” until you realize it ' s yours. I never got sick going to space , but I never felt great coming home. When you return, your inner ear—which keeps you balanced on Earth and which has been essentially turned off for the duration of your trip—feels a little gravity and becomes unbelievably

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What’s it really like to live in space? © ASSOCIATED PRESS Astronaut Michael Collins during the JFK Space Summit at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Michael Collins

NASA command module pilot for Apollo 11 who stayed in orbit around the moon during the first lunar landing in 1969

We had to turn sideways to the sun and rotate like a chicken on a spit and distribute the heat around a 360-degree circle around our cylindrical command and service module. Unfortunately, we could not see the Earth and moon. When we rolled out of that maneuver, we were very close to the moon. It was really awe-inspiring. I'd never seen any photographs anything like what I saw out my window. The moon was not that flat silver disk. The tummy stuck out, practically came through the glass of our window. It filled the window entirely. The sun was behind it. The periphery was suffused by a golden haze. The dark seemed darker, the light seemed lighter. There was more contrast to the surface. It was just a totally different moon than I had grown up with. It was awesome. It was certainly not inviting. It didn't offer us any invitation to go past where we were.

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What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Pavel Vinogradov peers through a hatch window aboard the Mir space station.

Pavel Vinogradov

Russian cosmonaut who flew to space three times aboard the Soyuz to Russia's Mir space station and the International Space Station between 1997 and 2013; conducted seven spacewalks; holds the record for the oldest person to perform a spacewalk (at age 59)

I talked to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin when he greeted us on April 12 (Cosmonautics Day) and told him, "Vladimir Vladimirovich, bring one of your colleagues along and come with us at least for a week — you will understand differently what needs to be done for the Earth." He joked back and said: "Only if I get a short vacation, but my guards will not let me go." The values that one can get after a flight into space are much higher than the goals of national politics, for example, when making money by transnational companies is considered to be a priority. When you are there, you understand very quickly that things that are happening here are so insignificant. But how can you explain that to all those important people — only if you force them all into space!

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Although living space was small and expensive, I had national health insurance and my company paid for my transportation to and from work (and stations I don't think it ' s the most expensive place to live in the world, in my opinion although most people might disagree with me. From what I can see, you

Space flights change the perception of all people regardless of their nationality, their religion, the place from which they started — South Asia or America or Russia. They realize that there is nothing to divide, that the Earth is small, you look at the atmosphere which protects us, at this very narrow blue strip above the surface of the Earth and then you realize, "What are we doing?" We try to divide religion; this religion is good and that one is bad; we start to divide resources; gas, oil. And the first thought you have is that many things which people do are not worthy of the name of the civilization called humanity.

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Charlie Duke collects lunar samples as part of Apollo 16.

Charlie Duke

Youngest person to walk on the moon during the Apollo 16 mission in 1972, when he was 36

I think the liftoff for the Saturn V was more impressive for spectators than it was riding it. The spectator gets all the vibration and the noise and the dynamics of the flames.

But inside, riding it, you're in a cockpit with the windows all covered over. And you're 363 feet above the engines. And so you don't hear any noise, but the vibration is intense. Very dynamic. And I just remembered thinking: Is this thing really working right? Is it supposed to shake that hard?

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What’s it really like to live in space? © Sputnik/Alamy Stock Photo Abdul Ahad Mohmand before the first Soviet-Afghan joint mission.

Abdul Ahad Mohmand

First Afghan citizen in space; flew on Russia's Soyuz in 1988

To fly to space from such a country as Afghanistan is a really big deal. Afghanistan is a country where people know nothing but war, then suddenly there was a chance to fly into space and do something. I was a pilot, then a lieutenant, and I thought that I would never have a chance to fly to space. This is an absolutely different experience. It's a different realm. When you see the Earth from space, you think globally. When you are on Earth, you think about your country, your motherland, about its borders, about your embassy. But when you are in space, you see that your home is the Earth. My first words when I got back were, "Earth is our common home."

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Peggy Whitson in the cupola of the International Space Station in 2016.

Peggy Whitson

Flew to space three times as a NASA astronaut between 2002 and 2017; first woman to command the International Space Station; conducted 10 spacewalks

To me, sleeping in space is fantastic because you don't wake up feeling like you're heavy somewhere, your joints hurt or you're aching, because you're in zero gravity and it's like the perfect big bed. I distinctly remember my first mission about three weeks in. I woke up. My sleeping bag was hanging on the wall, in my little crew station, which is kind of like a phone-booth-size compartment, and it has your sleeping bag, and the computer, pictures of family and friends or whatever. But I had gotten on the computer first thing and I was still in my sleeping bag out on the computer, and I printed out something from the ground team and I floated out of my sleeping bag and I crossed the lab to the printer, and I was like, "Holy cow! I live in space!" I remember it being this kind of revelation to me: "This is home. This is so cool!"

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Just like everywhere it really depends on your level of income and where you live . I am French and been living in Warsaw for 13 years. And they are sometimes built so close to each other that there is barely any space in between. No decent street planning, let alone some junctions (in Krakow

Just like some have already shared, it ' s just like living any other developed Western country. I am an Indian and have travelled to 36 states and have My only complain here will be the serving size, which is causing obesity problem. Society: In general American society is really good (unlike it ' s portrayed

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Expedition One mission commander William Shepherd.

William Shepherd

Flew to space four times as a NASA astronaut between 1988 and 2001; commander of the first crew on the International Space Station

We would get a message from Houston that would say, "That thing that you're supposed to do this afternoon at 2 o'clock? Strike that. Don't do it. But put this other activity in there." Then less than 30 minutes later, somebody from Mission Control Moscow would say: "Hey, that thing at 2 o'clock? Put this other task in there." And this kept happening for several days, and I'm going like, this is not the way we're going to do this.

Perhaps the third or fourth time this happened, I got on the radio with Moscow and I said in Russian: "This is B.S." Dead silence on the radio. I found out later that the Russians were just apoplectic because nobody had ever talked to them that way. I suppose Houston felt the same. So I switched over to English and I said, "Look. We're up here. We're flying the International Space Station program. We're doing this for a consortium of 16 nations. We're not doing a program for Houston and another one for Moscow. So you guys huddle up on the ground, and you put one plan together, and when you've got it straight send it up to us and we'll do that plan. Space Station — out." Giving the ground a piece of my mind was my best day in space.

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Chris Cassidy, right, and Tom Marshburn.

Chris Cassidy

Current NASA astronaut; flew to space twice between 2009 and 2013; Navy SEAL who served several tours of duty in Afghanistan; 500th person in space

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I never was a big crunchy tree hugger kind of person. But when you've seen the planet from that viewpoint, it makes you appreciate the planet. The atmosphere is so thin, and you realize that that's what keeps all 7 billion of us alive. Earth is a spaceship for all of us. It was 2013. So we're 12 years into [the war in Afghanistan]. And those guys that are down there are probably still doing the same things we were doing in 2001, and I got to imagine the overall scheme of things hasn't changed that much. But it made me think: What's the purpose of all this? Because when you look down at Earth from above you don't see borders, you don't see names of countries you just see this big blob of blue and brown and green and white clouds.

It made me feel a little bit more introspective about conflict than when I was a sledgehammer-wielding SEAL.

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Shannon Walker during her 2010 mission aboard the International Space Station.

Shannon Walker

Current NASA astronaut; flew aboard Russia's Soyuz to the International Space Station in 2010

I did not tell my mother before I left that we had the opportunity to make phone calls from space. You can't call to the space station, but you can call out from there. And so after she got home [to Texas] — she went to Kazakhstan to watch my launch — and after she got home, I called her from the space station. And there's of course a little time delay. So she picks up the phone, and she can't hear anything, and immediately I know and start saying, " 'Don't hang up, don't hang up! It's me, it's me!' " And she's like, " 'What? Shannon? Is that you?' " And I'm like, " 'Yeah, I'm calling from space.' "

What’s it really like to live in space? © Steve Swanson/NASA Steve Swanson is the subject of the first photo posted to Instagram from space.

Steve Swanson

Flew on two NASA space shuttle missions between 2007 and 2009; flew to the International Space Station on Rusia's Soyuz in 2014

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You just can't set something down and [expect] it's going to be in the same spot. It just doesn't work that way. And even if it has Velcro on it somebody can easily come by and knock it off. Velcro isn't that strong really. And so if you don't really take care and put everything back exactly where it belongs and tuck it away, you will lose it. I think it was my first trip. We get a set of silverware to eat with, and I lost my knife — a butter knife. And you can get by without it. You don't really use it for much. But I felt bad 'cause I don't want to get in anybody's way. I let people know, "Hey, if you find a knife, it's mine." You have to fess up to that. And I did not find it the whole time until we are strapped in to enter the Earth's atmosphere. We are watching the engines, I'm up on the flight deck and helping out with the whole burn to make sure it all goes correctly. And after the burn, I look up and my knife is floating right in front of me. It was just the most crazy thing.

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield stands on a work platform outside the International Space Station.

Chris Hadfield

Flew three space missions as a Canadian astronaut between 1995 and 2013; retired Canadian air force colonel

When we talk about the world being four and a half billion years old, it's unimaginable. I can conceptualize the number, but I can't internalize it. But when you come around the world so often, you can start to see the age of it. You can see the ancient patterns of it, these huge swirls of a billion-year-old geology, the way that it reflects the light and the textures of the world. The transient weather, the forces reshaping the world every day, but also the permanent nature of continental drift and how this all fits together, the enormity of it.

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And in my three flights total I was in space for half a year. During that time, you go from one side of the solar system to the other, halfway around the planet. And I watched the Earth go from, in the northern hemisphere, winter to summer, and vice versa in the southern hemisphere. I got to watch that entire pattern of seasons swap ends. And I realized as I was watching it that this was the world taking one breath in 4.5 billion breaths — more breaths than I will take. I got to watch the world take one regenerating breath, and it gave me a tremendous, unquenchable sense of optimism. The world is so indescribably tough and we've had life continuously here for 4 billion years without a break. Life is tough and tenacious.
What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Leland Melvin watches a water bubble float aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.

Leland Melvin

Flew two space shuttle missions for NASA, in 2008 and 2009; the only person who has both been drafted into the National Football League and flown in space

On my first mission, I felt like I was about to throw up, and it was like slowly building and so I grabbed the emesis bag. It's like a plastic bag, but it's got this bit of fabric on it so you throw up in the plastic bag and then you can wipe your mouth or whatever, then you seal it up and you throw it away. On my second mission, I missed the bag. All of that vomit was suspended in front of my face.

What’s it really like to live in space? © Dmitri Lovetsky/AP The Soyuz takes Oleg Artemyev, Richard Arnold and Andrew Feustel to the International Space Station.

Andrew Feustel

Current NASA astronaut; veteran of three spaceflights between 2009 and 2018

You've made all those choices to get to where you are. There's no backing out, right? So you have to, I think, be a little bit fatalistic and just realize that there's two outcomes to what's happening next when the rocket lights: you're either going to space or you're not going to space, and if you're not going, you're probably not coming back. So that's just the way it is. You know that's the job we do, we're lucky to have the opportunity, and, heck, if we don't come back, it doesn't matter for us. It matters for our families, and it's a great tragedy for everybody, but that's it. You're riding the rocket, so keep your fingers crossed.

What’s it really like to live in space? © Carla Cioffi/NASA Sergey Ryazansky speaks to his family in 2013 before his flight to the International Space Station.

Sergey Ryazansky

Russian cosmonaut who flew twice to the International Space Station on the Soyuz between 2013 and 2017

After four or five months at the station, you realize that yes, space is great, but there are things that you want to go back for. Your beloved children, your beloved wife, your friends whom you really miss. And we are at a modern station, we can write emails, we can have space Skype once a week. You can talk to your family and you see them. But at some point, it becomes insufficient. We are people, and we have our roots on the Earth. Your parents are getting old and you need to spend time with them, you need to take care of your children. When I flew, my youngest son could say just a couple of words: papa, mama, baba. And when I returned, he came into my room and said, "Dad, your phone rang. I wanted to pick up but couldn't." And I look at my kid and understand that I missed something. During half a year, he turned into a little person who could speak in sentences. Yes, I did talk to my family, but he was not interested — I was an iPad dad for him. But children need a dad who plays with them and talks to them.

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Pam Melroy, left, and other astronauts sleep aboard the space shuttle Discovery while docked with the International Space Station.

Pam Melroy

Flew on three space shuttle missions for NASA between 2000 and 2007; retired Air Force colonel

On my first flight I did feel discomfort. I just got super sleepy. The way the doctor described it to me later was like your brain just pulls all the circuit breakers and says, "Does not compute." And so I got really, really sleepy. My commander just basically stuffed me in a sleeping bag and said, "Just go to sleep." And I woke up the next morning and I felt great. For me, the subsequent flights, I don't know if my body remembered everything, but it was very easy after that. That's pretty typical. I would say 80 percent of people feel at least some minor discomfort all the way up to being sick.

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Shannon Lucid, with Yury Usachov, left, and Yuri Onufrienko.

Shannon Lucid

Part of the first class of female astronauts; only American woman to serve aboard Russia's Mir space station, in 1996

On working with Yuri Onufrienko and Yury Usachov aboard Mir: I was so fortunate to work with Yuri and Yury. They were probably the most perfect people that I could have worked with, the most compatible people. I did not know them very well at all because we hadn't had much interaction before I launched. I was also just a little apprehensive because, you know, my Russian was — shall we say — weak to nonexistent. And, anyway, when the shuttle docked with Mir, then I went across into the Mir space station and started working with them, and right away — I do like to talk. So I was talking in my broken Russian because they did not speak English. And I sort of cracked a joke, and they laughed! And I thought, "Okay! This is gonna be great."

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Earth seen from lunar orbit during the Apollo 15 mission.

Al Worden

Command module pilot for Apollo 15 in 1971; retired Air Force colonel

There's about a quarter section of the trajectory where you are shadowed. So there's absolutely no solar light on you. The only light that comes to the spacecraft is from stars out there in the universe. We found that there were millions of times more stars we could see from that vantage point than you can looking through the atmosphere here on Earth. There were so many stars that I couldn't even find my 37 brightest stars which I use for navigation. They were completely washed out by all the starlight in the universe. And that makes you really think about what is the universe. What is it all about?

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Frank Culbertson Jr. took this image of Ground Zero from the International Space Station on Sept. 11, 2001.

Frank Culbertson Jr.

Flew three missions for NASA between 1990 and 2001; retired Navy captain

I was the commander of the space station during 9/11. As we were flying over New England, I could look back and see New York very clearly. Over Manhattan, I saw this thick gray cloud enveloping the southern half of the city. What I was seeing, I determined later, was the second tower coming down. I just assumed tens of thousands of people were dying.

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/AP Scott Kelly wears a gorilla costume aboard the International Space Station in 2016, a gift from his twin, Mark, a former astronaut.

Scott Kelly

Flew four missions for NASA between 1999 and 2016; spent almost a year on the International Space Station; retired Navy captain

On the gorilla costume he wore in space: I was this kid that couldn't pay attention in school. So you're always look for the little thing that gets some people to pay attention and be inspired or motivated. I'll go up sometimes in front of a class of hundreds of kids and there's always a few outliers who don't want to pay attention — they're looking out the window. You know it's just like you when you were in school. Sometimes even the astronaut can't command full attention. You know what does command full attention from everybody? Space gorilla. You put a gorilla flying around in space, and there's nobody that doesn't pay attention to that.

What’s it really like to live in space? © NASA/NASA Front, from left: Thomas Reiter, Nicholas Patrick, Joan Higginbotham and William Oefelein. Center row: Robert Curbeam Jr., Christer Fuglesang and Mark Polansky. Back row: Michael Lopez-Alegria, Mikhail Tyurin and Sunita Williams.

Joan Higginbotham

Flew on a space shuttle mission for NASA to the International Space Station in 2006

The shuttle crew was probably one of the most, if not the most, diverse crew ever. It just kind of happened that way. The crew was made up of two African American astronauts. That's the first time two African American astronauts have ever flown together. We had one person of Russian-Korean descent, although he was American, but that was his heritage. Suni [Williams] — her parents are from India. Nick [Patrick] was British-born but became a U.S. citizen so he could become an astronaut. We have Christer [Fuglesang] who was the first Scandinavian astronaut. And then when we attached ourselves to the station, the station crew consisted of a Russian cosmonaut, a German astronaut, and then Mike L.A. [Lopez-Alegria], who is a U.S. astronaut but he's of Spanish descent, and it dawned on me: Oh my gosh, we have literally like seven nationalities, we have four countries and we're speaking like seven languages. And I'm thinking: If we can all get along and accomplish this mission in this little sardine can, why can't we all get along on Earth?

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