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Astronaut Tim Peake Admits He Struggled Coming Back To Earth

by : Giacomo Lee on : 05 Oct 2020 17:08
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What’s it like to go into space and return to a quiet part of Little England? An answer can be found in a revealing new interview with British astronaut Tim Peake.

Peake has opened up about the readjustment needed when you return from six months on the International Space Station.

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‘Gravity sucks’ is the main takeaway from his interview with The Guardian,; Peake explained having to get used to the pull of Earth once again. Getting vertigo in the shower was another problem, but the space hero mostly realised how much he missed his two boys.

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Not that he cried while on the ISS over being so far away from them; as he told interviewer Tom Lamont, he can’t remember the last time he cried.

‘Because of my background, perhaps, I suppress those emotions. You get used to doing that… I feel the emotion. But then I put the brake on it. I think that probably comes from years of military experience.’

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It also turns out that people expect spacemen to be enlightened sages of some sort.

‘Sometimes, when people ask me about religion or spirituality… that’s just not me,’ he said. ‘I’ve got a very scientific grounding, and that’s when I sense there’s a disappointment. They want me to have had this incredible epiphany up there, this religious experience. And that just wasn’t the case.’

He added: ‘There’s a change of perspective, I suppose, and a broadening of horizons. But does that suddenly make you wise in spheres outside your expertise? People assume it does – and, of course, it doesn’t.’

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Living in a Surrey village near Guildford, Peake is definitely a man brought back down to Earth. That can lead to making more common kind of mistakes; one night in his back garden saw him misidentify a sight in the sky as Mars. Twitter Know-It-Alls who’ve never left the armchair were quick to point out his error.

‘You’re a normal person. You make mistakes,’ Peake said. ‘You’ve been just as clumsy as anybody else along the way.’

But does such skygazing mean the former astronaut wishes to return to the Great Beyond, away from the throngs on Twitter, and those expecting words of enlightenment? Doesn’t seem like it.

‘You’re looking out, every day, and you’re seeing Earth in all its glory. But you can’t appreciate that glory. The changing weather. The times of day. There’s nothing green. None of the smells. You’re viewing the Earth as a spectator, you’re not actually experiencing it.’

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More insights are no doubt available in Tim Peake’s new book, Limitless: The Autobiography, out October 15th on Cornerstone. Read his interview with The Guardian here.

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Topics: Technology, International Space Station, ISS, Now, Space

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The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Astronaut Tim Peake: ‘Coming home was a harsh transition. Gravity sucks!’