NASA Astronaut Readapts to Life on Earth
American astronaut Garrett Reisman is getting reacquainted with gravity and baseball as he readjusts to life on Earth after three months living in space.
Reisman, 40, is looking forward seeing his beloved New York Yankees play the Boston Red Sox in New York on Sunday, just over three weeks after returning on Earth following his 95-day trek to the International Space Station (ISS).
?I?m looking forward to coming back and having a real slice of pizza, and seeing my friends and family in New Jersey and New York,? said Reisman, a Parsippany, N.J.-native, in a recent televised interview.
Reisman launched to the space station in March aboard NASA?s shuttle Endeavour and returned June 14 aboard the shuttle Discovery. Despite months of weightlessness, in which the lack of gravity leads to muscle and bone loss, the first-time spaceflyer was well enough to walk out onto Discovery?s runway and take a close look at the spacecraft after it landed at NASA?s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
?It?s been a relatively easy adjustment coming back home and I?m very thankful for that,? Reisman told SPACE.com, adding that even he was surprised by his resilience. ?I was surprised. I was prepared for the worst.?
Just three days after setting foot back on terra firma, Reisman received medical clearance to drive his car again, something he expected would take at least a month.
?It turns out, I am somewhat of a physiological freak,? he said with a laugh. ?It wasn?t perfect, I was still very wobbly.?
He chalked his success up to regular exercise in space, the fact that his three-month mission was half the length of those flown by his core Expedition 16 and Expedition 17 crewmates and perhaps his short stature, which anecdotal evidence suggested might make a space homecoming a bit easier.
?I?ve been referring to my missions as the Goldilocks flight,? Reisman said in a televised interview. ?It wasn?t too short and it wasn?t too long.?
Reisman said he was proud to be the first Jewish long duration crewmember aboard the space station. The distinction, he added, was short-lived since his replacement Gregory Chamitoff of NASA is also Jewish. Reisman also worked to reach out to people on Earth, tossing out the first pitch at a Yankees-Red Sox game from space, appearing on the Comedy Channel?s The Colbert Report and taping a high-definition video of a day in the life aboard the station.
There?s a tremendous amount of curiosity out there of what life is like about the space station on a very human level, on a day to day basis,? he said. "I hope I was successful in that.?
During his flight, Reisman helped to install and activate a massive Japanese laboratory the size of a tour bus and its smaller, attic-like storage room. He also performed one spacewalk during the mission, an excursion that proved to among the highlights of the spaceflight. Floating in weightlessness, was a close second, Reisman added.
?I?m a fan of Battlestar Galactica, and I was watching that and wondering why these people weren?t floating,? he told SPACE.com. ?Why would you deny yourself that??
Reisman said he reveled in being back home with his wife Simone and their cat Fuzzy.
?It?s been great being back home,? he said, adding that little things like lounging with his family have surprised him most. ?The three of us were on the couch and I picked up the remote and started flipping channels. It sounds like a bit of lazy relaxation, but it felt great.?
- New Video: Back to the Moon with NASA's Constellation
- Video: Shuttle Discovery's Space Station Victory Lap
- Video: Grand Opening for Station's Kibo Lab
MORE FROM SPACE.com