European Space Agency (ESA) project astronaut Marcus Wandt, who recently returned to the Earth after spending approximately three weeks on the International Space Station, has shared a video of him performing ‘space waltz’. Wandt, who was a part of the Axiom Mission 3, the first all-European commercial flight to the space station, returned to the Earth on February 9. In the video, Wandt, who is a Swedish astronaut, can be seen leveraging microgravity to dance and swirl in the air.
In an Instagram post, he wrote that training prepared him for most of the tasks he performed during his first mission to space, called the Muninn mission. He also said that one thing which was difficult to train was to get accustomed to the feeling of microgravity, and to determine how much he had to push himself to get his body translating into the velocity he wanted. It was also challenging to understand how he should turn into a corner, or he must reposition himself.
Since all this was difficult to learn on the Earth, he had to practise a bit in the space station, the astronaut wrote.
Wandt has also shared a video of how thunderstorms appear from space. He wrote in a separate Instagram post that thunderstorms are powerful and beautiful phenomena to witness, especially from space. These observations can help scientists better understand upper-atmosphere dynamics and chemistry in a changing climate.
Such results can improve climate, atmosphere, and weather models.
Earlier, the Swedish astronaut also shared four pictures of the space station captured from inside the orbital laboratory.
In two of the pictures, one can see the Earth, clouds, and some modules of the space station. The other pictures are of the space station parts viewed through a window.
Wandt is the second Swedish ESA astronaut to fly to the ISS, after Christer Fuglesang, who went to the orbital laboratory in 2006 and 2009.
Axiom Mission 3 crew members other than Wandt were Michael López-Alegría, and Alper GezaravcI.
Wandt and GezaravcI were mission specialists.
GezaravcI is a fighter pilot with the Turkish Air Force, and the first Turkish astronaut to fly to space.
Therefore, Axiom Mission 3 is also the first mission to send a Turkish astronaut to space.
Villadei is the eighth Italian astronaut to go to space.
Axiom Mission 3 is an important mission for Axiom Space because it will pave the way towards building Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station.