Astronaut Tom Peake Calls Life After Space "The World's Worst Hangover"

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 - 11:14AM
ESA
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 - 11:14AM
Astronaut Tom Peake Calls Life After Space "The World's Worst Hangover"
Tim Peake is having the "worst hangover of his life" after spending six months in space. The ESA astronaut safely returned to Earth last week, and now faces weeks of tests and medical checks to recuperate from the effects of long-term space travel.

After his launch on December 15 of last year, Peake took off from the ISS with Russian Soyuz commander Yuri Malenchenko in a Soyuz spacecraft. The two astronauts landed on our home planet three hours later, and now will need to spend at least three weeks in intense rehabilitation to return to normal.

Opening quote
"You're excited to be back, but you can't fully enjoy the experience because, to be quite frank, you feel pretty terrible," Peake told ITV News. "It can only be described as something akin to the world's worst hangover in terms of the everything that is going on in your head."
Closing quote

In the next few weeks, Peake will undergo a strict exercise regimen, and will undergo a battery of tests to determine the physical and psychological effects of space travel. These will include blood tests, MRIs, psychological evaluation, and heart circulation monitoring. The effects of re-acclimating to Earth gravity will be a particular focus, which will be tested on a tilt table, which rapidly takes a person from a vertical to a horizontal position to measure the body's response to gravity. Hopefully, these tests will provide an answer to the nausea, dizziness, and vertigo Peake has been experiencing since he returned to Earth.

Opening quote
"His work will be far from finished," the European Space Agency (ESA) told the press. "Many scientists will be eager to get more data on how his body and mind have reacted to his time in space. But first, Tim must adapt to living on Earth again."
Closing quote

The microgravity on the ISS is known to have many deleterious effects on the body. After six months in space, Peake's blood levels will likely have decreased by about a pint, and his bones may have weakened considerably. He was able to run a marathon in space, so he did all he could to mitigate the effects of the low-gravity environment, but space is inevitably hard on the human body.
Science
Space
ESA

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