BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Reid Wiseman returns to earth! The Baltimore County native is back on solid ground after an amazing journey on the International Space Station. Touchdown was at 11 p.m. Sunday, and it was a harrowing return for the astronaut, who was ending a six-month journey in space.
Mary Bubala has more.
The Soyuz capsule reached earth. It was a dramatic landing for Wiseman on the cold ground of Kazakhstan. Recovery teams rushed to the scene, getting there seconds after it landed. Recovery teams pulled out the crew.
“That’s what you call adrenaline,” Wiseman said.
Medical teams checked his blood pressure and vital signs. Not long after, Wiseman talked about the tumultuous return to earth.
“The wind carried our parachute, tipped us over and that was actually the most dynamic event of the whole thing,” Wiseman said.
NASA called it a flawless descent.
Wiseman’s parents watched their son’s return live Sunday night from their Baltimore County home. Watching it again with me Monday, the emotion came right back.
“It was very scary,” they said. “The best thing that has ever happened to me is that he came back.”
Wiseman called his parents seconds after he landed.
“He said he was very glad to be back on earth,” they said.
Wiseman spent 165 days in space since launching from Kazakhstan on May 29. His incredible mission covered almost 70 million miles in orbit. He performed dozens of experiments on board the ISS and he brought us along for the ride, sharing incredible photos from space on Twitter. We felt like we were mission insiders as WJZ talked with Reid from space several times.
“You just take one look out at earth—you don’t need to pinch yourself—it’s so phenomenal, it’s so overwhelming to look down on the planet from up here,” he said.
Two hundred and sixty miles above earth, he always remembered where he came from. He took photos and gave shout outs to his hometown and his home team, the Baltimore Orioles. Wiseman, a Dulaney High School grad, now calls Houston home. He’s headed there to reunite with his wife and children, but he’ll be back to visit soon.
From lift-off to his successful spacewalks last month, WJZ captured his incredible journey. Now he’s back home, safe and sound.
His parents will travel to see him over Christmas, and they hope he comes to visit Baltimore soon after that. Another Maryland native, Terry Virts, heads to the International Space Station next.
Just this week, Linh Bui spoke with Wiseman in one of his final interviews on board the International Space Station.
Bui: “So your time on the ISS is coming to an end. What will you miss the most?”
Wiseman: “I think I’m going to miss everything the most. I’m going to miss weightlessness. I’m going to miss floating around up here. I will definitely miss the view outside. I’ll miss my five other crew mates. We’ve become quite a family up here. It’s great to work with these folks.”
Bui: “We got to watch your spacewalks live and it was just incredible. Can you tell us what that’s like? Walk us through it.”
Wiseman: “I’m not sure what it looks like on TV, but it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. There are moments of fear. There are moments of extreme excitement. And then looking out with just that tiny visor on at the Earth, everything is so vivid, so clear. It’s much more clear than when we look through our thick glass windows here on the station. I will say it’s a long day. We are in that suit outside for six and half hours, but even before we go outside there’s four hours of prep in the suit. So, by the end of the day you’re physically exhausted. It’s extremely hard work. Both taxing mentally and physically. “
Bui: “This was your first space flight. Did reality live up to your expectations?”
Wiseman: “I was worried that I had put way too many expectations on this, but in the end it blew them away. Just the first glimpse out right after launch of our Earth, and I already knew everything was worth it. Everything was absolutely worth it.”
Bui: “Anything surprise you up there? Anything you did not expect?”
Wiseman: “I didn’t expect 90 percent of it. I went through training for a very long time. And when you come up to the International Space Station, this is a giant machine, I came through the hatch and I realized that I didn’t know anywhere near enough because when you take gravity out of the situation and you start floating, it changes everything. So you can work upside down, it’s hard to eat your food. It’s confusing. At times you can get lost, even though you’ve walked through this thing on Earth a 100,000 times. In the end, life initially was much more difficult than I thought. But now I know how to use the lack of gravity to my advantage. Just this morning I was working on our toilet, which is a pretty routine task, and I couldn’t get this connection to go, and I thought ‘You know what? I’ll just flip upside down, put my feet on the ceiling,’ and it worked like a cake walk. I’ll miss that for sure.”
Bui: “We want to thank you for all the photos and videos that you shared with us on social media. Just these amazing photos. And the very first Vine sent from space in history–that was a big part of your journey sharing it will all of us.”
Wiseman: “It definitely was a big part, but that was the easiest part. In the end it was really fun because I almost have a journal documenting the entire time up here. I can go back and look at that feed. I was doing that the other day. I snuck on the internet on my day off, and I was just looking and it was really neat just to watch the progression the entire flight and to see people’s reaction. I really like that, so for me this was a great journaling documentation experience.”
Bui: “Once you’re back on planet Earth, what are you looking forward to most and what’s the first thing you’re going to do?”
Wiseman: “The first thing I’m going to do is get carried out of my spaceship because it will be hard to walk, and then 20 hours later I should be back in Houston at home. The first thing I want to do there is hug my wife and kids. I miss them way more than I expected, and so I am very much looking forward to that. Once life starts to settle down, I think I’m goina get a pizza, a soda perhaps because I haven’t had anything carbonated in a long time. I just want to sit down in a chair, haven’t done that in a while either.”
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