Outer space is cool and all, but in our universe it's gravity that holds everything together. And while the visual of astronauts floating through the International Space Station is so common as to have become a trope now, most people don't realize that these floating fancies come at a high price.
Astronauts returning to earth after an extended period in space have temporary problems with simple activites like walking, thanks to most muscles not being used for long periods (that's also why astronauts are required to also work out for at least two hours every day that they're in outer space).
Following the recent successful return to earth of the three-person crew of the SoyuzMS09, who spent 200 days in space, NASA astronaut A.J. (Drew) Feustel congratulated the mission's success, while also noting the problems the cosmonauts would be facing since their return.
Faustel, who returned to Earth after a literally staggering 197 days on-board the International Space Station, posted a video of himself struggling to walk as he tried to adapt to Earth’s gravity.
He tweeted, “Welcome home #SoyuzMS09 ! On October 5th this is what I looked like walking heel-toe eyes closed after 197 days on @Space_Station during the Field Test experiment…I hope the newly returned crew feels a lot better. Video credit @IndiraFeustel.”
Welcome home #SoyuzMS09 ! On October 5th this is what I looked like walking heel-toe eyes closed after 197 days on @Space_Station during the Field Test experiment...I hope the newly returned crew feels a lot better. Video credit @IndiraFeustel pic.twitter.com/KsFuJgoYXh— A.J. (Drew) Feustel (@Astro_Feustel) December 20, 2018