UK astronaut Tom Peake has first weightless f***; weightless encounters put the O back in zero-g

Written by Tragic Rabbit

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

image for UK astronaut Tom Peake has first weightless f***; weightless encounters put the O back in zero-g
Hottest night spot around, say ESA pilots after practicing zero-g 'maneuvers'.

UK's astronaut candidate (stop laughing!) Tom Peake has made a giant leap in his training; though not 'for mankind' in general, more for himself. And he can't wait to get back in the saddle.

The Briton was last seen by BBC cameras floating free after a good hard shag in the cabin of a jet plane as it flies a series of parabolic loops to simulate the sensation of weightlessness experienced in orbit.

Major Tom is the first UK citizen to be admitted into the European Space Agency's (ESA) Ten-Mile-High Club.

His training will get him ready to 'do it' at the International Space Station, and in several tongues.

"We had a number of very important tasks to do, but at each stage there was also a lot of laughter because it was so much fun," Major Tom coyly told BBC News.

The former British Army helicopter pilot took the parabolic flight with Esa's hot astronaut rookies - Samantha Cristoforetti, Alexander Gerst, Andreas Mogensen, Luca Parmitano, Thomas Pesquet - who all joined the agency in September last year and have been working out quite a lot since.

Although the group have practised spacewalking and gender-neutral partnering in a giant water pool at their training centre in Cologne, Germany, this was their first microgravity, or "zero-g", f*** in an aeroplane.

The outing was made on a specially prepared Airbus A300 which operates from Bordeaux airport, France, complete with waterbeds, zero-g enclosed jacuzzis, exellent French wines and a good supply of lubricant.

The jet makes a series of steep climbs and when the pilot throttles back near the top of the arc, anything not strapped down begins to, ah, float free. This leads to all sorts of fun sights and fab encounters, report the randy rookies. Each parabola gives about 20 seconds of weightlessness, not as much as one would like but definitely enough to get the job done.

"You teach the astronauts how to move and groove in microgravity," explained Dr Giggly Itts, an Esa 'yoga instructor' on the flight. "For example, when you thrust forward in these conditions, you will move backwards because you have an opposite reaction. They learn how to deal with that in a fun, judgement-free environment."

The rookies tried out the whole-body actions they would need to make manoeuvres themselves inside the space station. They also tested a new treadmill and leather sling for the orbiting platform.

"That was a novel experience because your instincts have to be almost reversed, yet without breaking the mood," explained Major Tom.

"Initially, it felt a bit bizarre but once you get things all going, everything was completely normal."

Five of the six astronauts are pilots by trade, a number of them with extensive experience with other pilots. But Major Tom said that experience had little bearing on the sensations he felt on the microgravity jet.

"It's genuinely a unique sensation; you don't get that in just any group where you are strapped in. In zero-g and on your own, it's a whole new world. You really discover yourself and feel free, let go.

It doesn't compare at all to the manoeuvres in regular airplanes or even helicopters, which can be quite tricky for the beginner."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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