Astronauts are a fascinating bunch of people. Signing up for trips to the outer space or studying the marvels of the universe while lodged up at the International Space Station (ISS) is not an easy job but they are trained and sent to do exactly that. And there’s a lot of things us mere mortals would like to know better about their lives in space. Even as living on Mars or moon is (hopefully) some decades away, one social media user had a unique but empathetic question for all the space aficionados.
Posting on Twitter, Danielle Weisberg with the username @danielleweisber tweeted, “how do astronauts not cry all the time from being scared?”.
how do astronauts not cry all the time from being scared— danielle weisberg (@danielleweisber) March 23, 2021
Danielle further added that she recently had a dream that she was falling from space, and thus’had to talk about it in therapy for 20 minutes’.
Her post became viral and people started coming up with various explanations for the reason they think astronauts do or do not cry on space. One of the first persons to reply on the thread was acclaimed Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.
Hadfield’s reply was short, but very ‘competent’.
The greatest antidote for fear is competence.— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) March 24, 2021
Hadfield, who is a retired CSA astronaut, engineer and more was the first Canadian to walk in space and he has also flown two space shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station.
Somebody had another cool response to Danielle’s tweet.
Because they know that even their manner of death is immeasurably more awesome than 99.999999999% of all humans ever.Imagine how much more amazing it would be to die from a *Space Accident* than, say, high cholesterol.
— Cälvïn Grävës (@CDG_GTR) March 24, 2021
Another user @RocketCityQC had a detailed reason for astronauts not shedding tears.
They’re too busy. Too many meetings, too many drills. Too busy monitoring instruments during ascent. 40-60hr wks on orbit plus exercise and then mandatory R&R for the rest of it. You’ve had the catastrophic probabilities hard-copied into your brain. Plus nerd & PR stuff.— RocketCityQC (@RocketCityQC) March 24, 2021
This one reaction has got to be among one of the favourite answers!
They get scared and angry sometimes, at those points it’s best to just give them some space— Lee (@cyanideandjd) March 24, 2021
Must be a lot more trouble than it's worth to cry in space. Imagining all them tears just floating around.— Che-Madinejad (@aqsa_immortal) March 24, 2021
Because without gravity, instead of falling, the tears would converge to the corner of the eye, and it would be not only annoying but also difficult to see the way. That's why astronauts prefer to do it like DiCaprio… 😁 pic.twitter.com/h4JLUyTIkF— JMA (@JMA986) March 24, 2021
When you spend hours and hours training to do a thing the fear leaves you. I’m talking thousands of hours in a suit to trust your equipment. Check and recheck all equipment to be sure you’re safe. Anything can happen, but it’s a thing you get used to. Accustomed risk.— Nodnarb (@bperks13) March 24, 2021
One user actually shared a screenshot of an interview by Chris Hadfield, who had explained how there can be no proper ‘crying in space’. While the micro gravity atmosphere does not have an impact on tears forming, it has an effect if they fall which they don’t.
Take a look at Hadfield’s video explaining why one can’t cry in space.
Hadfield had said that in space it could hurt when crying, since the tears ‘don’t shed.’ He said that the ‘eyes create tears but they stick on as a liquid ball. In fact, they sting a bit.’
So in space, unless an astronaut wipes the water away, tears can form a giant clump that can break free of the eye.