Being an astronaut sounds like an amazing job, yet for many of these people, going to space was not their first choice. This is why many early astronauts as well as current ones have military, medical, or flight experience with normal aircraft. Yet once you’re involved in the space program, regardless of which one, it is tough to do anything else. For many, returning to Earth came with a ton of problems. Life after space is rarely easy for an astronaut.
You might hear of billionaires spending a ton of money for just a few minutes in space, but astronauts spend several weeks to several months up there. Most will spend time at the International Space Station but some have gone on extra missions as well as the Moon. Others are sent up to make repairs to things like government satellites. Regardless of why you’re sent up there, coming back does a lot to a person mentally and physically. These are the stories of astronaut life after space.
Chris Hadfield’s Weightless Tongue
Most people who watch Discovery or Science Channel might know about Chris Hadfield. The Expedition 35 Commander for the Canadian Space Agency has been to space twice. It was his second Space Shuttle mission where he held the command on the ISS. Between those two missions, he spent a total of 166 days in space. That does a lot to a person because it takes a bit to get adjusted to everything in space. Now, your body has gotten used to everything and you have to readjust yet again.
Life after space can be a tough adjustment for many astronauts. Hadfield referenced how talking back on Earth was a bit difficult for him at first, but he had an odd problem very few discuss. He claimed: “Right after I landed, I could feel the weight of my lips and tongue and I had to change how I was talking. I hadn’t realized that I learned to talk with a weightless tongue.” This is one of the first times someone mentioned how a weightless tongue affected how one spoke.