Or then you can read my Launch Blog and my Inflight experience write-up.
Ok, now that you are all up-to-BTS1; So after we sent our last communication back, we landed in the swampy grass/water of the Sabine Wildlife Refuge. The landing wasn't as hard as expected but the chute dragged us a few feet. Skye Blue was going "Wheee Wheee Wheee". We did a quick crew check and we were all fine. Then it was time to check our hardware and "Inspiration" really held up well. Just at that time the last of the three cameras stopped taking images. The two video cameras had run out of battery power even before the balloon popped.
We were not worried about our situation, despite the fact that we didn't really know where we were, what kind of environment we were in and when we would be found. See, astronauts go through a lot of training and one important part is survival training.
Astronauts have to be prepared and ready for almost everything and any situation in space. But not only there. Each trip to space starts and ends on Earth. Spacecrafts leaving for the ISS may encounter a problem after launch and may be forced to come down in the sea, desert, tropical rain forest or a glacier; summer or winter.
But there is more to it. Our astronauts train and fly the T-38 Talon aircraft a minimum of 48 hours per year to maintain aviation and navigation proficiency. Their flights takes them over mountains, deserts and water. If they had to eject from the aircraft, the may have to fend for themselves for at least a few hours and possibly longer.
Furthermore, the training in the wilderness also provides an unique and challenging team building environment. Astronaut candidates (ASCAN) spend a lot of time together. These ASCANs bring a wide variety of experiences, ideas and philosophies together and learning teamwork and leadership skills when dealing with adverse situation out in the nature is extremely valuable.
Three astronauts float down river during training at the Panama Jungle Survival School. Left to right, are Astronauts Edgar D. Mitchell, Ronald E. Evans, and Scientist-Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt.
|ESA Astronauts being introduced to climbing techniques
by a professional mountaineer during survival training, June 2010
For us it was time to make a fire and start singing camp fire songs. It would be a few days until we saw anyone else besides the three of us, the gators and some other very interesting animals...