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  Adjusting to life after long duration spaceflight

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Author Topic:   Adjusting to life after long duration spaceflight
ASCAN1984
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Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-04-2012 03:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just wondering if there have been any insights given of how astronauts have found it adjusting to life after a long duration spaceflight?

ea757grrl
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Posts: 555
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 10-04-2012 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Pogue gave some brief answers (which escape me at the moment, and my copy's not readily handly) based on his 84 days aboard Skylab in his book "How Do You Go To The Bathroom in Space?" (Which is a neat book to have, if you can find one.)

onesmallstep
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Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 10-05-2012 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Other good sources would be 'Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story' published by the Univ. of Nebraska Outward Odyssey series; among its authors are Skylab astronauts Owen Garriott and Joe Kerwin; 'Around the World in 84 Days: The Authorized Biography of Gerald Carr' (Skylab 3 Commander); and 'But for the Grace of God: The Autobiography of an Aviator and Astronaut' by Bill Pogue (Skylab 3 Pilot).

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 10-05-2012 06:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jerry Linenger's "Off the Planet" also provides insight as to his adjustment period after returning from Mir. Even doing rigorous fitness on the station, he still had to go through a period of adjustment back to one gee living. Granted, his experience on Mir was... how should I say it... "unique" as it were. But his descriptions for his post flight physical work match up pretty well with from what I've heard from other astronauts who have done long duration flights.

jasonelam
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From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 10-05-2012 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember one of the astronauts from a Skylab mission telling the story of how after his return he put some aftershave on, then left it to "float" in front of him, only to have it fall and smash into the sink .

pokey
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From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-06-2012 08:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reisman wanted to walk with the shuttle crew out on the tarmac after he came back from the ISS, which I was told was very unexpected. Reisman said he was able to adjust quickly because of his short stature. This may be why Heidemarie S-P passed out a few times during her Houston crew return. She's at least 6 ft. tall if not more.

Krikalev (Krikalyov) told me after he came back from ISS-1 that each time he returned from a flight he recovered quicker than the time before. He said his body learned each time how to adjust better than the time before. He should know. He's the king of long duration.

Magnus was signing at the Houston crew return for her long duration flight. Her flight surgeon was standing behind her in case she had problems. She told us that she was OK as long as she didn't turn her head.

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 10-08-2012 11:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ASCAN1984:
I was just wondering if there have been any insights given of how astronauts have found it adjusting to life after a long duration spaceflight?

Did you mean physically or psychologically?

ASCAN1984
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Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-11-2012 01:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Both would be great.

ASCAN1984
Member

Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-14-2012 05:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember reading in "Dragonfly" that on orbit Jerry Linenger became isolated and distant from the Mir crew. Do long duration spaceflight crews have trouble adjusting to life back on earth in a similar way, e.g. taking time out for the world, or do they embrace a new found appreciation for the ways of life?

Skylon
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posted 10-14-2012 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The appreciation viewpoint applies to even short duration space fliers. Especially the Apollo Lunar crews. Mike Mullane stated he felt anything but distant, that he kept talking and talking about his experiences after his first flight.

The early NASA astronauts sent to Mir crew suffered from issues with training, support on the ground and the science that was their mission objectives. Linenger always struck me as a case of issues with crew compatibility.

John Blaha suffered from depression during his Mir mission but he "came around" later in the flight when he adjusted his work schedule (he had tried to work in breakneck, "shuttle-mode", like he had two weeks to get everything done) but was probably just happy to be home after his flight.

Thagard had almost no science to do on Mir because Spekter wasn't launched on time, and that was to contain most of his assigned work, leaving him bored and there is a difference of opinion as to what he could have done then. The Russian managers feel he didn't take enough initiative to help the crew on basic tasks on Mir, Thagard, and even the cosmonauts statements make it sound like they were cautious of letting Thagard do much on Mir, as the first American up there.

In any case — Thagard, Blaha and Linenger always struck me as some of the rare cases where astronauts were just happy to be home after their flights.

On a side note, I recall "Dragonfly" stating that John Blaha was the only Shuttle-Mir astronaut who agreed to be taken off the shuttle by stretcher (which the life sciences division preferred they'd do). I find it ironic that all the MS's who were scientists played it tough and walked off, while the Test Pilot/Shuttle Commander accommodated the scientists.

ASCAN1984
Member

Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-16-2012 04:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't remember who it was but remember reading one if the Apollo astronauts said that during their flight it was mild worry a lot if the time and only when they returned to earth could they really relax and realise how great it all way. Think it was Al Worden but not 100%.

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