Earlier this summer, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle returned to Earth after spending 168 days living and working in low-Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station. During a six-month mission, Tingle and his crewmates completed hundreds of experiments, welcomed four cargo spacecraft delivering several tons of supplies and experiments, and performed spacewalks. To document the happenings aboard NASA’s orbiting laboratory, Tingle kept a journal that provides his real-time reflections about his first spaceflight, including this Captain Log that mentions the five things he will miss about being in space. Starting at 3 p.m. EDT on Sept. 12, you can ask him anything about adjusting to being back on our home planet!

Proof: https://twitter.com/NASA/status/1039228526619189251

Thanks for joining today's AMA! I'm signing off, but appreciate all the fun questions!

Comments: 877 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

mugenhunt672 karma

How long did it take to remember to catch things after letting go of them?

nasa909 karma

Ha! Well, in space, we actually train our selves to not let go of things because the airflow moves them away from us.....and then we lose them! But it did take a week or two to react what we would define as normal on Earth.

YuriTheRussianBot565 karma

What food were you craving the most upon return home after eating space food?

nasa1005 karma

I wanted a hamburger! And I had one :-)

haffy-1223472 karma

What do you think while on the launchpad about to launch?

nasa755 karma

I was really just thinking about doing my job and making sure I did everything correctly.

JBstrikesagain343 karma

Hi Mr. Tingle,

In February I spoke with you from Moore Square Magnet Middle School in Raleigh, NC along with several very lucky students through ARISS and ham radio. I was the ham radio operator who initiated the contact with you, John Brier KG4AKV. Will you be speaking in public any time in the future so I can thank you in person for your wonderful conversation with us from space? Regardless, thank you!

73, John Brier KG4AKV

Video from our contact: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbWUywvZrMw

nasa405 karma

Hello John! It is great to hear from you here, as it was on HAM last February - THANK YOU!!! Not sure when I'll get to NC, but look forward to meeting you in person if we can make it happen. Please be safe in the hurricane, and we are thinking about you and the Moore Square Magnet Middle School as you weather the storm!

sdfiddler1984341 karma

How do you cope with the trip to and from the ISS. I know its incredibly cramped quarters and I imagine you're unable to move around much (if at all). How do you pass the time? What do you do to remain somewhat comfortable? If I remember correctly, its about a 2 day trip each way.

nasa497 karma

Yes, Soyuz is very tight. It takes almost 9 minutes to get to low earth orbit. After main engine cutoff, we have a couple hours of procedures to do and then we can get out of our suits for a few hours and stretch out in the bO (living compartment). Two and a half days sounds like a long time to in the space vehicle, but it wasn't too bad and I enjoyed the time with my crewmates. I slept for a few hours upside down - which slowed the fluid shift to my head as well :-) (ie., the Soyuz is in solar spin).

Sockdotgif57 karma

Hoping on this comment, I gotta know what you do to pass the time

nasa161 karma

By the time we get there - we have had several days of preparation and are a little sleep deprived.....so we eat, and we sleep.

VGooseV259 karma

How did you feel physically after returning to earth? And has it been hard readjusting?

nasa598 karma

Initially I felt great. But after my back started adjusting to gravity, I began to feel fatigue and a little pain. We have a wonderful reconditioning program, though, and our professionals at the astronaut gym got me fully back up to speed in approx 7 weeks.

VyRo_Shark155 karma

What was the coolest thing you ever saw/did while up there? Like what took you back and just completely stunned you?

nasa344 karma

I didn't have any real big surprises, but I was honored to be working with a team with such great talent and capability. Seeing Earth through the Cupola windows reaffirmed my knowledge of how wonderful our planet is.

Lilyhunter1992111 karma

Is there anything you missed being able to do or see that you did after you got back (after you recovered enough)? Like hiking or a favorite spot in nature? Going to see a movie? etc. Thank you for answering my question and for what you do.

nasa188 karma

I rode my motorcycle :-)

BaneWraith107 karma

Are you related to chuck tingle?

nasa96 karma

Not that I know of!

Kaytlyn3891 karma

How's the PR and media piece after returning to earth? What portion of your time/career is dedicated to telling NASA's story, and how is that perceived in the public's eye?

nasa110 karma

Outreach events are going great....we have a wonderful team that helps us tell the public about all of the great things we are doing to advance space exploration. It's always a rewarding experience to meet and talk with the diverse audiences that we get to meet after flying in space!

TozZu8987 karma

Not really about adjusting to earth but: I would think you try to exercise when able to in space to not lose too much muscle mass. How do you do that? Powerball? Elastic bands?

nasa168 karma

Yes - we exercise for 2.5 hours every day while on International Space Station (ISS). Our resistive exercise device (ARED) provides us with excellent weight training activity that minimizes bone loss and keeps our muscles conditioned.

zachdeuz84 karma

Was it hard to get used to sleep in space?

nasa171 karma

No. We are very busy working long hard days on ISS, and falling alseep was very easy. There is lots of white noise on station, and I slept very soundly.

holthaum73 karma

What do you miss the most from space being back on earth?

nasa140 karma

There are five things I'll miss about space. I wrote about them in a journal entry - while I was actually in space! https://nasa.tumblr.com/post/174436148699/astronaut-journal-entry-the-last-week

iFlyAllTheTime67 karma

Thank you for your service to humanity! I have two questions:

  • What was something about the whole experience that was completely different to what you expected it would be despite all the training?

  • What did you personally learn/how did you personally grow from this experience?

nasa82 karma

Our training was very accurate and we are very good about operating in space right now. So, nothing unexpected occured for me. I love working with the incredible team that makes this program operate as well as it does - this was my most special reward.

Mezotronix62 karma

How great was it to go back to using regular gravity-powered toilets?

nasa92 karma

It was good to be back on Earth for sure. The toilet we use in space, though, is very easy to use.

SamiWinchester51 karma

It's beautiful out there. Do you feel kind of "homesick" for space?

nasa120 karma

Yes, I miss the unique environment of space and I hope to return again someday. There is nothing like being home, though, on beautiful Earth!

marklibrarian43 karma

Now you've been in space where would you most like to go next?

nasa106 karma

Honestly, living quietly and enjoying some quality time with my family is what we will do.

TheTrueLordHumungous41 karma

So I have to know, did you see any UFO's while in orbit?

nasa75 karma


Austowannab11536 karma

How could I start a career to be an astronaut? I am fresh out of high school.

nasa96 karma

You'll need to get a really good education. So work very hard to do well in a STEM curriculum and try to get some operational experience too (Peace Corps, Flying, Team Sports, Rock Climbing, Camping...etc).

Mlezer33 karma

Hi Scott,

So you mentioned 5 things you’d miss about being in space. What are 5 things that you’re glad to not have to do or things you won’t miss from space?


nasa75 karma

Not sure that I have five, but I am happy to not be in the middle of VERY busy schedules as we typically have in an operational environment. Also happy that I can find my socks without digging through 5 layers of stowage.

SpacyBoy32 karma

How much time it takes for your leg's muscles to become healthy again? ☺️

nasa65 karma

Our recovery program is 6.5 weeks. We are generally in great shape after this recovery period where we workout and stretch every day at the gym.

Rush22425 karma

Hi Maker,

What was it like going back to a normal work schedule without the red line?

Also, did you ever get a copy of the Saturn V poster that I got you to sign in Huntsville?

nasa43 karma

Yes - getting back on a normal schedule takes a little time to adjust to. Sometimes I pace a little - but I'm always excited about STEM and flying in space anyway. Yep - got the poster. THANK YOU!

AeternumFlame23 karma

How did it feel to spacewalk?
Did you have any unexpected challenges adjusting back to life on Earth?

nasa56 karma

The spacewalk was very cool! We all work very hard for years training to spacewalk safely and efficiently. Going out the hatch was a great feeling of accomplishment after all of the training. No unexpected challenges back on Earth, and the recovery went as planned.

klbdl623 karma

How does it feel not to swallow your toothpaste again?

nasa67 karma

I never swallowed my toothpaste on orbit. Most of us just spit it out into a dry wipe and throw it away.