Climbing and Space Walking

Miles O'Brien Interviews Scott Parazynski About His Return to Everest

"Preparing for a space shuttle flight or an EVA is a very intense process. It's the physical training, of course, since going on a space walk is very physically demanding. There is also mental preparation and knowing your tasks. There is knowing your equipment and how it works and how the gear might fail. Then there is the process of going through everything in your head, training runs - the things that you will be doing outside on a space walk. Going to Mount Everest is quite similar. You need to be getting your body ready, your gear, mentally preparing for the rigors of summit day and what leads up to it. It takes a lot of work. There are a number of differences as well. Out on a spacewalk we are wearing what is essentially our own personal spacecraft. We a have a visor, an oxygen backpack, cooling systems, battery power, and protection from the elements. Similarly, on our summit day on Everest, for example, we will have a down suit, an oxygen system, goggles to protect us from the ultraviolet radiation that could basically fry our eyeballs in very short order. The physical workload of that summit day, in particular, is very, very intense. But when you are out on a spacewalk you are typically very comfortable. There are brief bursts of very hard physical work that. But on the mountain you have to give it everything you have got every step of the way."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on April 9, 2009 11:07 AM.

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