It seems like everyone’s dream job. Pretty much every kid has pretended that a cardboard box is a spaceship – but what’s it really like to be an astronaut?
Scott Kelly returned from his year in space at around 11:45pm EST on Tuesday, and has revealed that it’s not as great as it sounds.
He spoke at his first press conference and described how gravity is now proving painful. He has found that his skin is unexpectedly sensitive, and feels like it’s ‘burning’ whenever he sits down or walks.
The Daily Mail reports that he said: “‘I flew 159 days last time and when I got back, I felt like was pretty good.
“There is always a certain amount of soreness and fatigue.
“Initially this time I felt better than last time, but now my level of muscle soreness and fatigue is worse.
“I also have an issue with my skin, so it’s very sensitive. It feels like it’s burning.
“Adjusting to space was a lot easier than adjusting to Earth.”
He was also apparently 1.5 inches taller due to his time in space. Which is weird, as he has an identical twin brother. Cue bragging rights at the Sunday dinner table.
Not only that, but due to an effect caused by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, he is around 1/100th of a second younger. According to ‘time dilation’, if two objects are moving at different speeds, then time runs faster for the slower object.
The reason behind the 340-day mission at the International Space Station was essentially to trial a ‘dry run’ by Nasa for eventual trips to Mars.