Humans are so used to being held in gravity's clutches that they barely give it a second thought (unless, of course, they are focusing upon the sags and bags that earthly flesh is heir to).
Nevertheless, there are some that manage to escape gravity's influence – if only for a little while. Such a fortunate one is Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who just completed a five-month sojourn within the International Space Station.
Irene Klotz of Reuters reports that Hadfield "became a social media rock star with his zero-gravity version of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' [13 million YouTube hits and counting…] and a continuous stream of commentary on Twitter about his life in orbit."
His expressiveness has helped to give the average earthling a feel for gravity's weighty effects.
Hadfield recently described his "rough re-introduction to gravity" in less than glowing terms. He missed his
"whole new [zero-gravity] normal," and said that his body had been "quite happy living in space…" His neck and back were particularly feeling the burden of having to once again support his head.
Upon reentry, Hadfield could actually "feel the weight" of his lips and tongue (he had gotten used to talking in
spaced with "a weightless tongue"). Getting blood back to the brain became another chore that his body had to once again contend with.
Nevertheless, Mother Earth tried to lure Hadfield back into the fold with her bountiful charms. He explained:
Our first true sense of being home was a window full of the dirt of the Earth and the smell of spring and the growing grasses in Kazakhstan wafting in through the open hatch.
Gravity or no gravity, who could resist all that?
Copyright May 18, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved