Ask ARSE: Is It Hard for Astronauts to Come Home?

We have a message from a young Astro enthusiast so we're going to go ahead and: Ask ARSE.

"Hi Space Aus, you posted on facebook that it's hard for astronauts to drive when they get home and also that they have less muscles. What does this do to them when they are home?" - Lindy, 12

Hi Laura, 
A great question.

To be perfectly honest, it is hard for astronauts to do most anything, even sleep. 

The astronauts get so used to being strapped in to sleep that they are not used to the feeling of gravity sinking them into a mattress.

A simple thing that astronauts struggle with after a stint of a few months on in zero gravity is walking. 

Not just the strength losses contribute to astronauts inability to navigate themselves through space on Earth, but their proprioception, coordination and balance.

Here is Astronaut and PhD in Geological Sciences, A.J. Feustel after 197 days on the ISS.

 

We assure you he made a full recovery!

Even with the 2-hour full body workout, the team are put through each day, there is just no physical substitute for good old solid ground.

Thanks for the question Laura and keep pushing into the deep unknown.

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