It could appear like a space-based disco however this mellow astronaut “dance” is definitely an necessary pre-spacewalk process.
Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency and NASA’s Shane Kimbrough conducted their latest spacewalk aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, June 25, by which they put in the second of six of latest photo voltaic arrays as a part of ongoing work to improve the station’s energy system.
But earlier than leaving the inside of the ISS, Pesquet and Kimbrough appeared to carry out a bit of dance (beneath) whereas totally kitted out of their spacesuits.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Pesquet jokingly described the sequence as a “spacewalk dance” earlier than providing a extra full rationalization of the transient boogie.
“We were not really dancing but purging our bodies of nitrogen,” the French astronaut mentioned. “We breathe pure oxygen and slowly all the nitrogen in our bodies is replaced by oxygen, which is safer when going from high pressure (Space Station) to low pressure (spacesuit). Mild exercise makes us breathe more oxygen and gets rid of the nitrogen quicker.”
Pesquet added: “Also, it is fun to dance.”
Spacewalk dance! Happy to have completed #spacewalk season for the second with success. Deserves a bit of dance. 😊 We had 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 would result in the formation of gasoline bubbles of their bloodstream and tissues after they exit the orbiting outpost.
“These gas bubbles can cause astronauts to feel pain in their shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. This pain is called getting ‘the bends’ because it affects the places where the body bends,” NASA mentioned, including, “Scuba divers can also get the bends.”
An different approach for an astronaut to expel nitrogen is to spend a time period in one of many house station’s airlocks, the compartment situated between the principle a part of the ISS and house. The cabin stress is then decreased within the airlock, enabling astronauts to securely rid their physique of nitrogen previous to exiting the station.