LONGUEUIL, Que. — Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield says his body feels confused and banged-up by the effects of gravity after a five-month stay in space.
After floating around weightlessly for months, suddenly, he needs to keep his own head aloft. He feels dizzy. And because there are no callouses on his feet anymore, he says, he feels like he’s walking on hot coals.
A first trip to the gym was excruciating, he says, because it felt like two people had jumped on him when he was trying to do a situp.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to Earth Monday night after a five-month mission at the International Space Station that saw him become the first Canadian to command the orbiting laboratory.
The 53-year-old touched down in Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz capsule which was also carrying Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn — the same pair Hadfield blasted off with on Dec. 19, 2012.
Since the end of the Apollo era of space-flight, NASA’s manned missions have stayed within Earth’s gravity well, never escaping into the great blackness of deeper space.
That will end with the Orion mission, set for test flights in early 2014.
There was a surreal moment in outer space Thursday morning, as the man who played Captain James T. Kirk chatted with a real-life astronaut aboard the International Space Station.
William Shatner, the Canadian-born actor of Star Trek fame, spoke for a few minutes with Chris Hadfield, who is on a five-month space voyage.
The actor asked serious questions about the Canadian astronaut’s hopes for space travel, as well as his fears, and the emotions he felt as he stared out from beyond Earth. They also exchanged a few jokes.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has handed over command of the International Space Station as he prepares to return to Earth.
The first Canadian to command the station said it’s time to turn over the reins to Pavel Vinogradov, a Russian cosmonaut.
David Bowie tweeted “Hallo Spaceboy…” after Hadfield wrapped up his five-month visit to the giant laboratory by posting a rendition of Space Oddity.
CHRIS HADFIELD SINGS SPACE ODDITY IN SPACE!
The US space shuttle Endeavour on Sunday prepared to undock from the International Space Station and jet back to Earth, wrapping up its final journey before entering retirement, NASA said.Endeavour's last mission is the penultimate flight for the 30-year US shuttle program, which will end for good after the Atlantis mission to the orbiting research lab in July.The six-member crew of the Endeavour bid farewell to three astronaut colleagues on board the space station and closed the hatches between the shuttle and station at 7:23 am (1123 GMT), NASA said.