Imagine that feeling the morning after a bender—the nausea, the dizziness, the not-being-able-to-get-out-of-bed-ness. Now multiply it. By like a thousand. Apparently, that’s how British astronaut Tim Peake felt after returning from his six-month stint in space.
“Coming back to earth was like the world’s biggest hangover,” Peake told reporters recently.
And it will take a little more than an aspirin and a bottle of water to cure this hangover. Peake is currently at the European Astronaut Center in Germany where he faces three weeks of medical rehabilitation that will hopefully ease the extreme dizziness and vertigo he experienced upon returning to Earth.
Peake is planning to celebrate his return home with pizza and beer—hair of the dog, right?
After spending the past six months floating, Peake will need to learn to walk again. That’s a feat that will prove even more difficult because he also needs to regain his balance and sense of direction—there’s no up and down in space.
Peake is not in what you’d call peak condition. Months in space have weakened his muscles and bones and, even worse, temporarily shrunk the size of his heart. Doctors will monitor the 44-year-old astronaut’s heart and blood circulation’s response to gravity by examining him on a tilt table that rotates his body from horizontal to vertical positions. Which sounds just a tad more intense than the banana bag.
If that weren’t enough, Peake was also exposed to a radiation dose equivalent to nearly 1,200 chest X-rays while unprotected by the Earth’s magnetic field.
Doctors say Peake’s symptoms should subside in a couple of days. Stay strong, Peake. We’ve all been there. Or not, really. We suppose the nausea, dizziness and just all-around regretting of life’s choices is a lot less sad when your choice was to go to space… Yeah.
Peake says he’s planning to celebrate his return home with pizza and beer—hair of the dog, right?