French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet is going for a swim, but this is one dip with a difference. Pesquet is taking his last training session in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
The pool is home to giant replicas of the International Space Station and provides perhaps the best simulation of what working on the ISS might feel like. The water replicates the zero gravity conditions Pesquet will encounter when working in space.
#space: Next #astronaut for
esa</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/Thom_astro">Thom_astro. #blog
Space_Station</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/science?src=hash">#science</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/human?src=hash">#human</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/exploration?src=hash">#exploration</a> <a href="https://t.co/CBPZXyMzIu">https://t.co/CBPZXyMzIu</a> <a href="https://t.co/et9EQGai5r">pic.twitter.com/et9EQGai5r</a></p>— Alexander Biebricher (alexbiebricher) September 27, 2016
“It’s physically difficult, it’s one of the most challenging parts of the training, it’s also one of the most realistic. When you’re in the pool for six hours, you get tired, but at some point you really think you’re on the ISS. You look around you and there’s a structure everywhere, sometimes you even get disorientated because that’s what happens in space, it’s like a 3D labyrinth of technology, a maze of technology.”
After a full seven years of training for he is preparing for a hectic schedule in orbit.