Author Topic: Scott Kelly Book Extract  (Read 59 times)

Recusant

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Scott Kelly Book Extract
« on: October 09, 2017, 11:54:37 AM »
Scott Kelly and Mikhail "Misha" Kornienko spent nearly a year on board the International Space Station to help learn about the effect on the human body of long periods of time in space. This is very important in planning a mission to Mars and for the future of human space exploration. Below is an extract from Scott Kelly's book about his experience on the space station and his return to Earth.

"Astronaut Scott Kelly on the devastating effects of a year in space" | The Age

Quote
It's March 2016, and I've been back on Earth, after a year in space, for precisely 48 hours. I push back from the table and struggle to stand up, feeling like a very old man getting out of a recliner.

"Stick a fork in me, I'm done," I announce. Everyone laughs and encourages me to get some rest. I start the journey to my bedroom: about 20 steps from the chair to the bed. On the third step, the floor seems to lurch under me, and I stumble into a planter. Of course, it isn't the floor – it's my vestibular system trying to readjust to Earth's gravity. I'm getting used to walking again.

"That's the first time I've seen you stumble," Mark says. "You're doing pretty good." A former astronaut, Mark knows from personal experience what it's like to come back to Earth. As I walk by Samantha, I put my hand on her shoulder and she smiles up at me.

I make it to my bedroom without incident and close the door behind me. Every part of my body hurts. All my joints and all of my muscles are protesting the crushing pressure of gravity. I'm also nauseated, though I haven't thrown up. I strip off my clothes and get into bed, relishing the feeling of sheets, the light pressure of the blanket over me, the fluff of the pillow under my head.

All these are things I've missed dearly for the past year. I can hear the happy chatter of my family behind the door, voices I haven't heard for a long time without the distortion of phones bouncing signals off satellites. I drift off to sleep to the comforting sound of their talking and laughing.

A crack of light wakes me: Is it morning? No, it's just Amiko coming to bed. I've only been asleep for a couple of hours but I feel delirious. It's a struggle to come to consciousness enough to move, to tell her how awful I feel. I'm seriously nauseated now, feverish, and my pain has gotten worse. This isn't like how I felt after my last mission. This is much, much worse.

"Amiko," I finally manage to say. She is alarmed by the sound of my voice.

"What is it?" Her hand is on my arm, then on my forehead.

Her skin feels chilled, but it's just that I'm so hot. "I don't feel good," I say.

[Continues . . .]
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 02:34:26 PM by Recusant »
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Tank

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Re: Scott Kelly Book Extract
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 12:08:16 PM »
That sounds like a really good read!
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Re: Scott Kelly Book Extract
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 02:00:32 PM »
It does sound fascinating even tho it finally kills all my fantasies of living in outer space.
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Recusant

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Re: Scott Kelly Book Extract
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 02:13:29 PM »
With better shielding it may be possible to live safely in space for extended periods of time. The problem right now is in returning to a full gravity environment. However, using centripetal acceleration (a rotating wheel) to create at least partial-g for living quarters could help alleviate that. NASA proposed adding a partial-g module to the ISS for sleeping quarters, but it doesn't seem like it's going to happen.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Dave

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Re: Scott Kelly Book Extract
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 02:28:18 PM »
Not quite "2010 . . ." yet then . . . Bit behind.
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Re: Scott Kelly Book Extract
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 04:25:33 PM »
Sounds very interesting!
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