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heights in space?


Axe
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this question has bugged and bugged me for years...its abit silly but i can't hold it in any longer lol (maybe its best to ask an astronaut, who knows :D) lol

anyway ...i am terrified of heights so looking up at the stars generally gives me the wobbles, but i have always wondered if i were to step out of say the ISS, would i also get this gut wrenching, fear gripping feeling as im looking down towards earth or up at stars?. I understand if no-one can answer, but just hoping someone may have come across anything about this.

(i also can't look up as my legs give way lol i have to lean against an object like a car or fence!)

Axe

Edited by Axe
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Once you have escaped the earth's gravitational pull and have entered into orbit/space there is no up or down. The last thing on my mind would be falling ( as it is impossible ) stepping tut of the ISS, but the thought of suddenly hanging there in there in the loneness of space.

In fact, I fear moreso the possibility of finding myself somehow on some distant lonely planet with the earth billions of miles away!

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axe now youve said it youve got me going with that horrible empty feeling like when youre on a swing. i totally understand what you mean about that feeling. I would have to guess that you would feel that feeling - its the feeling of openness that gets me, and nothings more open than space..

worst fear would be in an astronauts suit, so still alive etc, but slowly floating away from the space rocket thingy i was meant to be in, with no hope of being recovered. just slowly drifting, just out of reach. eugh, makes my spine shiver everytime.

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I suspect you would get that feeling. Technically the ISS and astronauts are constantly falling towards the earth, but they are travelling fast enough so that they always miss. I vaguely remember rating something about vertigo feelings in space - sure a google search would turn something up.

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Jerry Linenger while participating in an EVA on Mir had bad vertigo when he looked out of the AirLock,he said in a book that he clung on for dear life and at one point couldn't move from the doorway,

his Russian counterpart thought it was funny and left him holding on while he went off to the work site :D:p

JJ..

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Once you have escaped the earth's gravitational pull and have entered into orbit/space there is no up or down. The last thing on my mind would be falling ( as it is impossible ) stepping tut of the ISS, but the thought of suddenly hanging there in there in the loneness of space.

In fact, I fear moreso the possibility of finding myself somehow on some distant lonely planet with the earth billions of miles away!

I thought that the ISS was constantly falling and that is what is keeping it in orbit? Also, I'm not sure it's out of the earth's gravitational pull either. I mean the ISS isn't past the moon and that's affected by the earth's gravity.

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I thought that the ISS was constantly falling and that is what is keeping it in orbit? Also, I'm not sure it's out of the earth's gravitational pull either. I mean the ISS isn't past the moon and that's affected by the earth's gravity.

Everything in the Universe is affected by the Earth's gravity field, as gravity's affect does not disappear with distance (only gets weaker and harder to measure) :D.

Yes, the ISS is affected by the Earth's gravity, and is constantly falling to Earth....however the curvature of the Earth's surface means that it never gets there (hence the term "free-fall").

A lot of astronauts speak of vertigo when doing EVAs. Linegar (previously mentioned) had a real struggle, and some reports talk of him being "frozen" for up to an hour. Some other astronauts do not get vertigo.... it seems to be a familiarity thing. Also, having something other than the Earth to focus on apparently helps.

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axe now youve said it youve got me going with that horrible empty feeling like when youre on a swing. i totally understand what you mean about that feeling. I would have to guess that you would feel that feeling - its the feeling of openness that gets me, and nothings more open than space..

worst fear would be in an astronauts suit, so still alive etc, but slowly floating away from the space rocket thingy i was meant to be in, with no hope of being recovered. just slowly drifting, just out of reach. eugh, makes my spine shiver everytime.

I'm riddled with fears of all sorts of things but this one has crossed my mind a few times before- slipping free of the anchor that holds me, drifting off, unable to be brought back and as you say, alive and conscious that thats it, doomed.

Of course in the end you could choose to 'end it' somehow, but what an unenviable position to find yourself in!

I'd be scared of everything I think in space, not least that medical help it a long long way away. And accidents happen...

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I thought that the ISS was constantly falling and that is what is keeping it in orbit? Also, I'm not sure it's out of the earth's gravitational pull either. I mean the ISS isn't past the moon and that's affected by the earth's gravity.

youre right it IS under earths gravitational pull, and it IS constantly falling. A diagram explaining escape velocity will be alot clearer than i could explain, but basically because it is travelling fast enough, every second it falls it falls 'past' the earth so to speak, and it continues to fall 'past' the earth, and this is called orbit.

I think i remember reading somewhere that eventually all satellites slow down and therefore fall into the earths atmosphere and burn up.

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When I was parachuting I has a similar feeling looking out of the jump door at low level but found that the feeling went above about a couple of thousand feet - it was as though the connection with the ground is broken. I suspect it would be similar in orbit.

I tend to get a little wobbly the first time up a high ladder or on a roof if I have not been up in a while but that this fades reasonably quickly. I guess it is something you get used to (as commented by other people) but that somebody with bad vertigo may never get over it.

My 2p.

J.

Edited by jamespels
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worst fear would be in an astronauts suit, so still alive etc, but slowly floating away from the space rocket thingy i was meant to be in, with no hope of being recovered. just slowly drifting, just out of reach. eugh, makes my spine shiver everytime.

hasnt it been calculated that within a few hours the gravity of the ISS or other space ship would reel you back in (assuming that you werent travelling in such a way that you would go into "orbit" around the ship!!)

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hasnt it been calculated that within a few hours the gravity of the ISS or other space ship would reel you back in (assuming that you werent travelling in such a way that you would go into "orbit" around the ship!!)

oh that sounds comforting! :D

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worst fear would be in an astronauts suit, so still alive etc, but slowly floating away from the space rocket thingy i was meant to be in, with no hope of being recovered. just slowly drifting, just out of reach. eugh, makes my spine shiver everytime.

That would be mine also , when it happens to the guy on deep impact i always thought about what would you do ,wait to die a slow death or take off your space helmet & you know, being out there to long wouldn't you freeze , nasa should make it so the visors when pulled down are like tv screens would be nice to pass the time

drifting in space :D

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hasnt it been calculated that within a few hours the gravity of the ISS or other space ship would reel you back in (assuming that you werent travelling in such a way that you would go into "orbit" around the ship!!)

Do you have a source for that? Sounds interesting :D

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Try watching the nasa live feed and see whether that gives you a strange effect. They show outside shots with the earth in the background.

i have one altho when there still shots im fine but when its moving footage thats when my nerves pep up abit.

thanks for the replies guys ..yeah another one was about floating off into space but i think they have some way to relese oxygen from there tank to propell them back

)All ISS astronauts wear a special propulsion kit, named "SAFER"/Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue.)

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I feel much better about the whole floating away situation, thanks guys. There'd just be the anxiety of landing safely and whether I remembered to switch off the iron before I left home.

Somehow I doubt NASA are going to come knocking on my door!

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Do you have a source for that? Sounds interesting :D

No, I saw it on a tv prog a few months ago (so it must be true!) the program was debunking sic fi film myths, one myth was floating away in space, another was seeing laser beams fired from space ships or laser guns ( as in battles in star wars) - clearly you wouldn't see the laser until it hit you, another was the sound the laser guns made (by the time the laser hit you, you wouldnt be worried about the sound reaching you some time later). Another was space ships banking into turns like aeroplanes do - with no atmosphere you wouldnt need to bank into turns. There were others too, but these are the ones I remember.

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No, I saw it on a tv prog a few months ago (so it must be true!) the program was debunking sic fi film myths, one myth was floating away in space, another was seeing laser beams fired from space ships or laser guns ( as in battles in star wars) - clearly you wouldn't see the laser until it hit you, another was the sound the laser guns made (by the time the laser hit you, you wouldnt be worried about the sound reaching you some time later). Another was space ships banking into turns like aeroplanes do - with no atmosphere you wouldnt need to bank into turns. There were others too, but these are the ones I remember.

Ha, i remember a Mass Effect 'easter egg' line from the pilot:

It takes skill to make a ship bank in a vacuum. Don't think it doesn't.

But yeah, a bit of artistic license? Definitely worth looking into though, hmm...

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The whole question is pretty interesting because I once invited the village baker's wife to come up to our observatories with her husband and children. She said that the thought horrified her, that the thought of looking up was bad enough. Looking at Saturn or the moon, she said, would terrify her. This was vertigo without leaving the ground...

With an effort of the imagination I think you can get a sense of her discomfort.

Olly

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