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SpaceX Crew-7 astronauts break down the highs and lows of life on the ISS and their return to Earth

Published Mar 27th, 2024 8:17PM EDT
astronaut conducts ISS spacewalk
Image: NASA

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The International Space Station is a symbol of greatness when it comes to the lengths that we as humans have pushed to reach in regards to space travel and exploration. But, spending six months on the ISS isn’t as easy as it might seem, and the SpaceX Crew-7 astronauts who recently returned to Earth helped highlight some of the struggles of coming back down the gravity well.

During a post-flight news conference held on March 25, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, and JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa sat down to discuss the highs and lows of life on the space station, and the experience they had returning to Earth this month.

All three astronauts traveled back down the gravity well on March 12, alongside Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, returning to their lives on Earth happily, though with some sadness. Borisov was, unfortunately, not at the conference with the other SpaceX Crew-7 members because he had already returned home.

The three attending astronauts discussed their drop back to Earth, including how it felt to land in the ocean. Moghbeli says that she couldn’t help but feel that everything was shaking side-to-side despite the water being relatively calm when the capsule landed that day.

Once they got to dry land, the side-to-side shaking didn’t stop, either. The astronauts said that they had no trouble walking with their eyes open, but when they closed them, they struggled to walk straight because their bodies hadn’t had to rely on the sense of balance in their ears for six months.

As such, it took some time for the SpaceX Crew-7 members to get that sense of balance back. They also discussed some of the struggles of life on the ISS. While they do a lot of great work up there, helping to push science even further, they also say that some of the tasks aren’t as rewarding as you’d hope. And that sometimes you just have a bad day and wish you were back on Earth.

Now that they’re all back home, though, they do miss their time on the station, and each one says that it was been one of the greatest moments of their lives. Of course, it will be intriguing to see just how the lack of gravity up there wreaked havoc on their bodies, too, something that NASA and others are studying heavily to find ways to make deep space travel possible for humans.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.