...So in addition to your footprint, there’s a big bag of your excrement up there?Talk about your Moon Pies...
(Laughs.) Well no, probably not anymore. Sometimes we’d dispose of it during an EVA (extra-vehicular activity), when we were getting rid of a bunch of extra stuff. We did that on Gemini 12. I remember we were headed local horizontal, local vertical, and we opened the hatch and I had three bags worth gripped between my legs...
Three bags of…?
Yeah, yeah. And I just tossed them like this. (Pantomimes throwing bags over his shoulders.) Straight up! Being very familiar with orbital mechanics, I should have realized what I’d just done. I’d put those three bags on a free return trajectory. (Laughs.) Straight back to us!
This is starting to sound like a Farrelly Brothers comedy.
So an orbit later, we looked out the window and there were three bags in a row, heading straight for us.
Did you recognize what they were right away? A couple of years ago you hinted that you might’ve seen a UFO during a space mission. Is it possible you were just looking at floating bags of your own poo?
(Laughs.) No, not at all. They were very close. We could certainly tell what they were.