Being an astronaut isn’t easy.
Exploring the wonders of space comes with its own set of challenges.
With only a 0.65% applicant acceptance rate and two years of intense training, it’s hard for most to make the cut, and the challenges don’t stop there.
Though there are plenty of astronaut secrets to get them by, there are bound to be some growing pains when you’re the first string explorers of the space frontier. Learning how to walk on the Moon is just one of them.
Here’s some insane footage of Apollo astronauts bumbling around on our closest neighbor like clumsy toddlers.
Up in limited gravity, even the most basic movements are difficult. Although astronauts constantly train with zero-G simulation, it’s hard to accurately replicate the real conditions of the Moon. On top of that, those bulky suits are far from mobile. While the Moon might reduce the weight of the 280 to 300 pound suit, it still measures up to about 81 pounds in lunar gravity. Imagine trying to hop, skip, and jump while carrying around two four-year-olds, and you’re pretty close to replicating the astronaut experience.
Sometimes, these conditions have led to astronauts getting themselves into serious danger. During the Apollo 16 mission, astronaut Charlie Duke tried to beat the 1972 jumping record by using lunar gravity to his advantage. Though Duke was able to jump four feet high, a sudden shift midair set him plummeting down to the Moon’s surface at a disastrous angle. In an interview with Business Insider, Duke revealed what happened next, and the results are not pretty.
“The backpack weighed as much as I did. So I went over backwards.
It’s a fiberglass shell, and it contained all your life-support systems.
If it broke, I was dead.”
Duke managed to roll over and break his fall at the last minute, he still bounced on the life-supporting backpack. Luckily, the device survived the impact.
Still, it’s undeniable how hilarious it is to watch astronauts bumble around the Moon. That is, when their stumbling isn’t life-threatening.
With NASA’s Artemis mission in full swing, we’re likely to see more astronauts on the Moon in the near future. Our understanding of the Moon has improved since the 1960s and 1970s, but there are sure to be some mishaps. After all, no person has actually set foot on the Moon since 1972. With the final leg of Artemis planned for 2024, that’s over 40 years of lost practice.
It’s safe to say that we won’t be seeing graceful lunar dancers anytime soon, but the potential for discovery is well worth the awkward learning curve.
What are some of your favorite videos of astronauts? Share them with us in the comments below!