BOSTON (CBS) — For being an astronaut, Andrew Feustel is an incredibly down-to-earth guy. He’s been to space three times and returned home just a few weeks ago. As Feustal readjusts to life on earth, a welcome home party was held for him in Boston.
“It took me about a week and a half before I felt comfortable, like coordinated walking,” he told WBZ-TV.
Feustel spent six months aboard the International Space Station, making sure it was running smoothly. But what was his biggest challenge? “Not being able to take a shower for 197 days is a big challenge. Using the bathroom can be a challenge,” he said.
Feustel’s first space mission was to fix the Hubble telescope in 2009. That was also when he took his first spacewalk. “I remember that first instance coming out of the airlock and holding onto the handrails and the only thing I could see beneath me were my toes and earth. And earth was, in this case, was 320 miles beneath us. That was a very daunting and overwhelming in the thought that, number one, what am I doing here? This seems a little bit crazy. But the view was spectacular.”
He added, “There are moments of awe wearing the space suit and having just a visor separating you from the vacuum of space.”
So what is an astronaut to do when the work for the day is done? Feustel said there is not much to do. “Friday night movie nights, we’ll do that. Folks like taking pictures of earth. That’s an amazing sight to see.”
Feustel has always wanted to be the second man on the moon, but at 53, his days in space might be coming to an end. His mission now is to pave the way for future astronauts.
“I’ve got some good years left in me and possibly some space flights, but I don’t want to take any opportunities from anybody else,” Feustel said. He is currently on a six-month break.
After spending so much time in space, Feustel believes there are other life forms out there.