It could appear like a space-based disco however this mellow astronaut “dance” is definitely an vital pre-spacewalk process.
Thomas Pesquet of the European House Company and NASA’s Shane Kimbrough carried out their newest spacewalk aboard the Worldwide House Station (ISS) on Friday, June 25, through which they put in the second of six of recent photo voltaic arrays as a part of ongoing work to improve the station’s energy system.
However earlier than leaving the inside of the ISS, Pesquet and Kimbrough appeared to carry out a bit dance (beneath) whereas totally kitted out of their spacesuits.
In a Fb publish on Friday, Pesquet jokingly described the sequence as a “spacewalk dance” earlier than providing a extra full clarification of the temporary boogie.
“We have been not likely dancing however purging our our bodies of nitrogen,” the French astronaut stated. “We breathe pure oxygen and slowly all of the nitrogen in our our bodies is changed by oxygen, which is safer when going from excessive strain (House Station) to low strain (spacesuit). Delicate train makes us breathe extra oxygen and removes the nitrogen faster.”
Pesquet added: “Additionally, it’s enjoyable to bounce.”
Spacewalk dance! Blissful to have completed #spacewalk season for the second with success. Deserves a bit dance. 😊 We have been not likely dancing although, however purging our our bodies of nitrogen! 🕺 #MissionAlpha https://t.co/AJ7YPYugPD pic.twitter.com/Ab6pFSVeKB
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) June 26, 2021
Elaborating on the process, NASA explains on its web site that astronauts climb into their spacesuits a number of hours earlier than a spacewalk is because of start, with the fits pressurized and full of pure oxygen.
Inside their spacesuits, the astronauts breathe the oxygen to rid their physique of nitrogen that might result in the formation of gasoline bubbles of their bloodstream and tissues once they exit the orbiting outpost.
“These gasoline bubbles may cause astronauts to really feel ache of their shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. This ache is known as getting ‘the bends’ as a result of it impacts the locations the place the physique bends,” NASA stated, including, “Scuba divers may get the bends.”
Another approach for an astronaut to expel nitrogen is to spend a time frame in one of many area station’s airlocks, the compartment positioned between the primary a part of the ISS and area. The cabin strain is then decreased within the airlock, enabling astronauts to soundly rid their physique of nitrogen previous to exiting the station.