Next Tuesday Robert Thirsk will return to Earth on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft ending his six month stay on the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 21. In his last week in space he will be very busy with ongoing experiments but will no doubt have time to reflect on the past six months and among those thoughts will be the realization that this is most likely his last time in space.
At 56 Thirsk isn’t too old to go back into space but with the Shuttle being retired within two years it seems unlikely Thirsk will get another opportunity to head back to space.
In an interview with Canadian Press Thirsk states that he has had no problems psychological difficulty living in the isolated and noisy environment of the space station. He misses his family and looks forward to seeing them next week in Moscow.
Interestingly he states that he also misses Mother Nature, “I miss the wind, I miss the sunlight, I miss the smell of flowers and freshly cut grass.”