Now back, space station astronauts recall the view, a crisis and peppers they grew

Sat, 20 Nov 2021 23:52:39 GMT
Space Daily

Washington DC (UPI) Nov 15, 2021 NASA's Crew-2 astronauts enjoyed spectacular views, camaraderie...

NASA's Crew-2 astronauts enjoyed spectacular views, camaraderie and fresh peppers grown in microgravity, but they also encountered challenging spacewalks and a crisis when part of the International Space Station malfunctioned, the four space flyers said Monday during a teleconference.

Their capsule, the Crew Dragon Endeavour, landed under parachutes off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., after they had been on the space station for six months.

Astronauts previously grew more simple plants, like lettuce or radishes, which don't require pollination and grow faster than peppers, McArthur said.

Seeing brilliant auroras, or northern lights, from space was another highlight, said Pesquet, of the European Space Agency.

All four astronauts conducted spacewalks to connect new solar power arrays to the space station's exterior, which meant traversing the longest distances outside the airlocks, Pesquet said.

"We jokingly called it the 'Wild West' of the space station because it was all the way at the end where nobody ever goes. There's fewer handrails to grab... it's a really challenging environment."

The crew lived through an unexpected crisis July 29 when a new arrival at the orbiting facility, the Russian Nauka science module, fired its thrusters in error and flipped the station around 1 1/2 times.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, was able to correct the problem quickly, but people on board had to take emergency action, Kimbrough said.

In the end, nobody was hurt, and there appeared to be no permanent damage to the space station.

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