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Taking a shot at setting a “galactic record”

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Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang
Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang

Staff Reporter

Chennai: Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang, who spacewalked with astronaut Sunita Williams during the STS – 116 mission, regaled students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, with a space travelogue on Wednesday.

Mr. Fuglesang, a European Space Agency astronaut, served as mission specialist on STS – 116 to assemble a space station, rewire its power system and exchange crew members. His visit coincides with Sweden’s Nobel Memorial Week. He is scheduled to participate in the Indian Space Week celebrations to be held in Thiruvananthapuram.

The physicist – astronaut raised the most laughs when he answered a student’s question: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in space? Mr. Fuglesang said he had spun a Frisbee in space for a “galactic record,” as it was set out of the world! Low gravity helped a lot, said the astronaut who is an avid Frisbee player.

Responding to a question on time schedules in space, Mr. Fuglesang said the astronauts follow a 24-hour schedule (with eight hours of sleep) and they usually stay on Greenwich Mean Time.

One of the challenges that the astronaut and his teammates overcame was to retract and fix a solar panel that would provide power for the space station.

The space station assembling mission was completed in 12 days.

“I would have loved to stay longer to conduct experiments, but my primary task was to install the space station and fix problems,” Mr. Fuglesang said. He is the first Swede to travel in space.

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