NASA Astronaut Who Lost $100,000 Bag In Space Opens Up About Experience

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After returning from a grueling six month stay in microgravity, astronauts part of NASA’s Crew-7 mission shared their experiences onboard the International Space Station (ISS) earlier today. The Crew-7 crew of four astronauts returned to Earth earlier this month, and the event saw NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa all shared difficulties adjusting to life back on Earth due to slow adaptation to gravity.

Their mission was marked by multiple surprises, such as the delay of a resupply mission to the station and Moghbeli losing track of a tool bag during a six hour spacewalk.

NASA Astronaut Describes Extreme Gravity During Return To Earth On SpaceX’s Crew Dragon

The astronauts’ media talk as they recover from the effects of spending extended durations in space revolved around their experiences on the station, inside SpaceX’s vehicle and the recovery process. Crew Dragon is the only U.S. spacecraft rated and capable of taking astronauts to the ISS and space, as Boeing works on its Starliner ship for a maiden crewed test flight in May and NASA waits for the first operational rotation of Orion.

Some of the astronauts’ favorite experiments that have taken place or will take place on ISS covered manufacturing science and biotechnology. Unlike Furukava and Moghbeli, whose experiments have been performed, ESA astronaut Mogensen was hopeful that the Crew-8 rotation currently on the ISS would be able to run a 3D printer in space for in-space manufacturing, particularly in the context of sustaining space stations through items manufactured on board.

Returning to Earth and re-acclimitization to the conditions of gravity has proven to be a slow process for the astronauts. All three faced difficulties orienting themselves, with Furukawa finding it hard to tie his shoes and Mogensen discovering that playing basketball is harder after returning from space.

The Crew-7 astronauts describe their stay on the ISS. Image: NASA TV

All astronauts described the Crew Dragon’s landing as smooth, and Moghbeli added that she had not anticipated the ‘strength’ of normal g-loads during re-entry. Mogensen described the reorientation to Earth’s gravity by sharing that the human brain takes time to “re-insert that sensor into its suite of sensors.

The sensor is the vestibular system, and the astronaut explained that since the eyes are the only primary organs that enable him and others to maintain balance in space, it takes time for the body to start using the vestibular system on Earth. After returning, astronauts test their senses by trying to walk with their eyes closed to bring their vestibular system up to speed.

Moghbeli’s maiden spaceflight, which lasted for six hours, created news last year when a tool bag was misplaced. According to NASA estimates, the bag costs roughly $100,000, and the astronaut described her experience when she shared:

First spacewalk, Loral and I go out the door, and you know, you’ve trained years for this, it’s a highlight, highlight of your career, and to go out there and, you know, most importantly we made it back in successfully and we accomplished the task. But losing that bag, and I’ll tell you what happened from my perspective is, I went, I stowed that bag, and they have built in hooks on them, and I put it on a hand rail that I told the ground team beforehand I was going to stow it own.

And I remember it was even getting in my way, and I pushed it out of my way a few times, and then you know I was buy doing my task on the camera on at that point. An external camera on space station. And when I turned around, the bag was not there and that was honestly very, like my heart sank at that moment because I knew exactly where I’d put that bag down and it was no longer there which is obviously a big deal.

Furukawa caught the bag while taking a picture of Japan, and during re-entry, Moghbeli described initially feeling 0.2g of forces as 2g instead. The crew will continue their rehabilitation, reflect on their experiences on the ISS and spend time resting.

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