Spacewalking is one daring task where a decision of a millisecond can become a reason for life or death. Once a woman with the most spacewalks, Astronaut Sunita Williams revealed how spacewalking can give a fatal challenge to even the one who has decades of training. In a webinar organised by Kalam Centre, Delhi, Sunita Williams said that while spacewalking it is always on the back of the mind whether the hands are holding handrails very tight or if the feet are well adjusted in the little platforms. While speaking to Samrat Sharma of Financial Express Online, the astronaut with more than 50 hours of spacewalking experience further said that in the worst-case scenario of being flown due to unbalance, there is a small jet pack known as safer which has a limited amount of nitrogen and can help the astronaut fly back, however, no one had used it so far.
How do astronauts work while spacewalking?
Sunita Williams added that while spacewalking, hands have more work than legs as the legs are there to support while hands are used in translating from one place to another. After reaching the spot of work, the astronauts lock their feet in the small platforms and get their hands free to work. She also underlined that there is a chance to turn upside-down due to zero gravity and get confused but certain instruments like an antenna, etc, help astronauts to identify the correct direction and orient themselves accordingly.
First thought after looking at earth from space
The Indian-American astronaut also shared her thoughts that she had after seeing earth for the first time from space. She said that the first thought that passed her mind was, “Look at this amazing planet with a spectacular view! This is one earth that we have, in fact, all we have. People, planet, and animal, on a piece of rock in this universe. We should take good care of ourselves, each other, and this planet.”
Why Sunita Williams carried Bhagavad Gita, Upanishad to space
While answering to Srijan Pal Singh, who has worked closely with India’s missile man A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Sunita Williams said that she took Bhagavad Gita and Upanishad to space to derive inspiration from them. She added that these books enlightened her about what she was doing and why she was doing things, and also showed her the purpose of life. She further said that inspirations from these books help to keep the person grounded.