Rookie astronaut Victor Glover, a Navy F / A-18 carrier pilot, is used for high-speed maneuvers and sharp accelerations to fly high-performance jets. But nothing prepared him for the sounds, the sensations, and the extended acceleration that seemed to go into orbit..
Or view 260 miles above. Or sensitivity to weight loss.
“I’m constantly trying to figure out where my brain is,” he told reporters at a news conference at the International Space Station. His arrival at a sleep station within the confines of the lab’s harmony module probably did not help.
“I don’t know if it’s because I’m a newbie, they made me sleep on the ceiling,” he laughed. “So every time I go head out, the whole space station is upside down. So I stand upside down as much as I can.”
He said the day-to-day work itself takes more time to adapt to the environment, “but it’s a fun challenge, I find it really fun. So it’s a bunch of emotions, honestly, I’m still processing it.”
Glover, Commander Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Sochi Noguchi landed on the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday night.
They arrived at the space station Monday night after a 27.5-hour meeting. Expedition 64 Commander Sergei Rishikov, Sergei Kud-Sverkov and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins arrived on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft on October 14.
The crew marked the launch of the Dragon as the first operational use of a commercially developed spacecraft to help end NASA’s dependence on Russia’s post-shuttle dependence.
Hopkins said the crew straps before refueling so you can hear the propellants pumping into the tanks below and “tell me you want to get off the ground.”
“It jumped off the pad,” he said. “It was amazing. About 40 seconds into the flight, you (the engines) were moving a little backwards, you definitely noticed it, but then when it was time to go back again, it really took off and yes, it really did move.”
The separation of the first and second stages of the rocket is “always very exciting, it’s no different on any rocket.”
“Then at GS this slow and steady orbit enters orbit. We were all very excited. At 100 km point (marking the boundary of the lower atmosphere) we all ‘welcome into space’.”
Glover’s employees jokingly call him, “I know everything.” Describing his impression of the launch, Glover, the first African American to make a long-distance station flight, said, “The short answer is, it was awesome.”
“I could have told you I could be here the whole time for this conference,” he said. “But the staging was dynamic. The second stage was very close to our spacecraft, so you felt it was personal and personal.
“And when that engine was cut off, when we were in orbit, it’s supernatural. I ‘ve seen tons of pictures, but you know, when I first looked at the window on the ground, it’s hard to describe. There are no words, no words to describe it.
Rubins said: “I’m so excited to see Ike’s face coming through that hatch. We’ve been thinking about this moment with two surgeons, waiting for our four Chromats … We’re really, really excited to see them unfold.
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