Here’s a SpaceX waltz you won’t see every day.
A fun (and acrobatic) video of astronauts on the International Space Station reveals the lighter side of space travel as the fly in formation in SpaceX spacesuits as it prepares to return to Earth.
The new video, shared by European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, shows the four astronauts from NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission as they took a break while checking their spacesuits last week. The video is set to the music of Johann Strauss II’s waltz “The Blue Danube” and shows the astronauts performing intricate choreography as they navigate each other in weightlessness.
“In case anyone is wondering how astronauts check their spacesuits,” Maurer wrote while shared the video on Twitter. “We call it the ‘suit-fitting waltz.’ I think I might miss the microgravity and these antics with @Astro_Raja, @AstroMarshburn & Kayla.”
Strauss’ “Blue Danube” waltz has a long history of being set for spaceflight shenanigans. In the 1968 science fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” director Stanley Kubrick combined the music with a space plane trip to a space station to showcase the intricate ballet of space flight.
And in a more humorous take, Homer Simpson gracefully floated through a space shuttle while chasing potato chips in the 1994 episode Deep Space Homer, with Strauss’ iconic music playing in the background.
The Crew-3 astronauts apparently also performed a photo shoot in their SpaceX suits, taking a portrait while in a wheel formation.
Maurer and his Crew-3 crewmates – NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron – returned to Earth on May 6 on SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance to finish a six-month mission to the International Space Station. The astronauts spent 176 days in space and landed off the coast of Tampa, Florida to end their spaceflight.
Crew-3 astronauts returned to Earth just over a week after SpaceX launched another crew to the space station for NASA. That mission, called Crew-4, launched three NASA astronauts and a European astronaut to the station on April 27 to begin its own six-month journey.