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Stationed in the Stars
Inside a Spacesuit:
Jim Newman

Back to Astronauts in Hard Hats

"Training in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab [a swimming pool used for instruction before spaceflight] is very good training. It's harder in some ways than actually going outside, because of the gravity effects in the pool. Once we're in the pool, they put us in a spacesuit, a real spacesuit, and pressurize us ... and that's what really makes a lot of spacewalking difficult, because your hands are in this balloon. And you know that if you want to bend a balloon, it takes work. So every time you close your fingers or open your hands, you're actually working against the suit...The training in the tank is very important because it doesn't pay to fight the suit. The suit will win, so you have to learn how to be one with the suit."

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