NASA's unearthed 'outtakes' reveal moonwalking astronauts' comical struggles as they cope with the planet's reduced gravity.
For most people, going to outer space seems like a complete dream. Fortunately, science and technology have progressed fast enough to allow humans to undertake many missions in space. One of the most successful expeditions has been to the moon. Astronauts who are selected for the mission undergo rigorous training to prepare for the journey and the exploration of the celestial body. The missions have been largely successful, but training can only prepare you so much for any scenario.
The outtakes of NASA astronauts trying to walk on the moon are amazing. pic.twitter.com/MVviyifDQF— Sahil Bloom (@SahilBloom) September 7, 2022
Despite the intense training they go through, NASA astronauts hilariously struggled to walk correctly on the moon. It almost seems like they are newborn babies figuring out how to walk for the first time. Of course, this is because the moon's gravity is less than that of the Earth, specifically one-sixth of it. Moreover, the astronauts are weighed down with heavy spacesuits that are not too easy to move around in. They also cannot shed these suits as they are crucial to providing them with life support while they explore the moon.
Sorry but watching astronauts sped up on the moon will never get old pic.twitter.com/9J9birPXWM— TJ Cooney 🚀 (@TJ_Cooney) October 15, 2020
As humans, we are born to get used to Earth's gravity over our lifetime and even then, we sometimes end up falling or losing balance. While celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 missions, Charlie Duke spoke to Business Insider about one of the scariest moments that he experienced while walking on the moon. Duke happened to be the youngest person to walk on the moon. He said, "It was 1972 and there was going to be the Olympics in Munich that year, so we were going to do the 'Moon Olympics.'"
Duke revealed that he and his commander, John Young, would make use of their spacewalk to overcome great feats of human athleticism done easily on Earth. They decided to attempt a very high jump. The astronaut said that he was able to leap 4 feet in the air but straightened out his body halfway through the maneuver. This was a problematic move because the spacesuit had more weight on the upper body because of its backpack.
He talked about the mistake, saying, "The backpack weighed as much as I did. So I went over backward. It's a fiberglass shell and it contains all your life-support systems. If it broke, I was dead." He managed to roll right in order to break his fall, but that resulted in him landing on his backpack, which housed important life-support systems. His commander came up to check on him and said, "That wasn't very smart, Charlie."
Thankfully, nothing got damaged and he survived the slight mishap. In case something had happened, it would have resulted in either the life-support systems malfunctioning or a tear in his suit, both of which would have caused a loss of breathable air within the suit. This would have rendered him unconscious and there would have been very little chance for Young to be able to save him.
Thank you for a sorely needed laugh. I just got out of the hospital after six days in, not covid, cause still unknown. And they ran a lot of tests! My nose is still sore from so many nasal swabs too. It hurts to laugh, but it feels so good!— Frank Earl (@FranklyEarl) October 16, 2020
Having learned his lesson, he said, "Never do anything in space that you haven't practiced. And we had not practiced the high jump." Future missions will have to ensure more flexible and lightweight suits to make lives easier for astronauts to move around and maybe even do a few athletic feats. Needless to say, the spacesuits that were initially designed had many improvements that had to be made, even though they got the job done.