New Boots for Walking on Mars



How will future space suits differ from the current ones? As space is explored, footwear for astronauts is keeping pace. NASA claims their new soft boots are designed for real walking.

Currently, astronauts don’t “walk” in space. They hover and float, or their feet are placed into foot restraints so they don’t drift away. Space suits are somewhat flexible; they can bend at the knees and rotate at the waist. But no nuanced space shuffles or relay races quite yet.

Ever ahead in their thinking, NASA envisions that astronauts will go to Mars one day. With that prospect, they need to be suited up to explore alien terrain on foot or in their vehicles. NASA’s soft boots will take them there.

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Staying Physical Fit in Space


Maintaining strong muscles is a big enough challenge on Earth. It is much harder to do in space where there is no gravity. 

So, how do astronauts stay fit in space? They can’t simply lift dumbbells. To minimize the physiological effects of microgravity, NASA has equipped the International Space Station (ISS) with specialized fitness equipment:

  • COLBERT –  a space treadmill  
  • CEVIS –  a stationary bike
  • ARED –  a device that simulates weightlifting

Astronauts spend up two-and-a-half hours a day working out on the ISS. Even with this regime, those who spend long periods in space return to Earth with muscular atrophy, cardiovascular deconditioning, and bone loss that can be difficult to reverse. According to NASA, 180 days in space can decrease:

  • muscular strength by 11 to 17 percent
  • muscular endurance by 10 percent
  • bone mineral density by two to seven percent.


Quoting and photo source:,2817,2422096,00.asp

Overcoming Fear before Walking in Space


As a young Canadian boy, Chris Hadfield had dreamt of becoming an astronaut and walking in space. Before realizing this goal, he had to confront his very real fear of danger. Now a retired astronaut, Chris Hadfield reminisces about his experience:

“I was outside on my first spacewalk when suddenly my left eye slammed shut and was in great pain – some substance had leaked into it, and it had gone blind. I thought, ‘Well, maybe that’s why we have two eyes.’ So I kept working, but unfortunately without gravity, tears don’t fall. You just get a bigger and bigger ball of whatever got into your eye mixed with your tears until the surface tension takes it across the bridge of your nose like a tiny waterfall into your other eye. Now I was completely blind outside the spaceship.”

Using a bizarre ‘walking’ strategy, Hadfield had trained for this face-to-face encounter with danger. He offered details at the TED Conference in Vancouver.  Check the link below for his recommended training on how to overcome fear.

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What Was the First Spacewalk Really Like?



About six and a half hours after the landing, Neil Armstrong opened the hatch of the four-legged lunar module and slowly made his way down the ladder to the lunar surface. His initial footprint was photographed. A television camera followed his every step.

Buzz Aldrin joined Neil Armstrong on the moon surface.  The men bounded like kangaroos in the low lunar gravity, one sixth that of Earth’s.

The moonwalk lasted 2 hours and 19 minutes, long enough to let the astronauts test their footing in the fine and powdery surface — Mr. Armstrong noted that his boot print was less than an inch deep.

Human footsteps are noiseless on lunar soil; never to be erased for perhaps a million years.

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Announcing the First Footstep on the Moon


 “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

July 20, 1969: Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon. He and his co-pilot, Col. Buzz Aldrin planted an American flag on the lunar surface and a plaque which reads, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”



Walking Down the Aisle



To Honour Your Wedding May 17, 2014…


“The flowers in my hand tremble as I walk down the aisle.

Through watery eyes I’m seeing you smile.

Lifting me up – presenting me clean

Reflecting God’s love and His covenant to thee.

Bring Him honor and glory with our most sacred vow –

Love each other as only God will allow.

Sweet things of these – a reflection of love

‘Tween husband and wife – a gift from above.

By the grace of our shepherd sweet peace do we find

And the glory and honor of our Father, most high.

I’m seeing His promise in your eyes, so sweet

That though we may stumble, if in Him do we seek –

Our path will be true, our hearts will be sure

And our love will reflect our Father, so pure.”


Covenant to Thee’, written by Jody Gomez

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Did You Have To Think On Your Feet Today?


Here is the last of the fifty feet-related idioms. By now you are an expert.  Some week soon this blog will focus on the prevalence of footwork idioms in political headlines in major newspapers.  This week’s list is just the warm-up.

Here are ten more expressions that refer to feet or legs along with their meanings. Pick one to use today! (I recommend the one in the title.)

41. To put one’s foot to the floor is to suddenly hurry or increase one’s speed.

42. To set foot somewhere is to go into that place.

43. To shoot oneself in the foot is to do or say something disadvantageous to one’s own interests.

44. To stand on one’s own two feet is to act or live independently.

45. To step, or tread, on someone’s toes is to impinge on that person’s authority or responsibility or interfere with the person’s actions.

46. “The shoe is on the other foot” means that a situation has been reversed so that one who had been responsible for another’s misfortune is now suffering the same misfortune.

47. To think on one’s feet is to solve a problem reflexively or spontaneously.

48. To toe the line is to remain within the bounds of proper behavior or conduct.

49. To wait for the other shoe to drop is to be in expectation of receiving further developments or news.

50. To wait on someone hand and foot is to serve that person continuously.

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Put Your Best Foot Forward


Have you found yourself paying attention to the symbolic aspects of feet more than usual? 

Feet and shoes, as well as all the idioms that have developed over time in our language, deliver all kinds of messages.

Here are ten more expressions that refer to feet or legs.  Check out the meanings.

31. “My foot” is an idiom for expressing scepticism.

32. One who is on his or her last legs is in a state of exhaustion or near the point of giving up.

33. To pull someone’s leg is to deceive them for humorous effect.

34. To pull the rug from under one’s feet is to be deprived of support or disoriented by a sudden action; to have the rug pulled under one’s feet is to be the victim of such an action. “Have the ground cut out from under one’s feet” has the same meaning.

35. To put one’s best foot forward is to make a good impression.

36. To put one foot in front of the other is to begin a laborious undertaking.

37. To put one’s foot in it is to do or say something that gets one into an unfortunate situation, suggestive of stepping into an unpleasant substance.

38. To put one’s foot in one’s mouth is to say something awkward or inappropriate.

39. To put one’s feet up is to relax.

40. To put one’s foot down is to be insistent.

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Itchy Feet?


Continuing from yesterday – here is a third batch of idioms.

Are you becoming more aware of footy expressions?  When you start paying attention to speech and writing patterns, you find feet – usually fitted out as idioms and even clichés – deliver all kinds of messages.

Here are ten expressions that refer to feet or legs.  Check out the meanings. Some may be more familiar than others. Have you heard or used one of these idioms recently?


21. To have feet of clay is to have a hidden flaw or weakness (an allusion to the fragility of clay).

22. To have itchy feet is to be restless.

23. To have one foot in the grave is to be in poor health or near death.

24. To have two left feet is to feel clumsy.

25. To have the world at one’s feet is to be afforded an opportunity for rewarding experiences.

26. “Head to toe” means “entirely” or “thoroughly.”

27. To keep one’s feet on the ground is to remain realistic and responsible.

28. To keep someone on one’s toes is to do or say one or more things that cause the person to remain alert or attentive.

29. “Knee-high to a grasshopper” is a colorfully exaggerated expression referring to being a small child.

30. To land on one’s feet is to recover from a setback.

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Do You Have a Foot in the Door?


Continuing from yesterday – here is second batch.

You probably refer to feet more than you think you do.  When you start paying attention to speech and writing patterns, you find feet – usually fitted out as idioms or expressions – deliver all kinds of messages.

Here are ten expressions that refer to feet or legs.  Check out the meanings. Have you heard or used one of these idioms recently?


11. To foot the bill is to accept financial responsibility.

12. To get down on your knees means to figuratively submit or ask for forgiveness.

13.–14. To get one’s feet wet is to have a modest or mild introductory experience; to put one’s toe in the water is to do so even more hesitantly.

15.–16. To get or start off on the right foot is to make a good first impression or to act productively soon after beginning an endeavor, and to get or start off on the wrong foot is to leave a poor first impression or act counterproductively soon after beginning an endeavor.

17. To get one’s sea legs to become accustomed to the pitch and roll of a marine vessel or, by extension, to become used to a situation.

18. To have a foot in the door is to have an advantage that will enable one to obtain a desired result.

19. To have foot-in-mouth disease is to habitually make awkward or inappropriate comments.

20. To have one’s feet in both camps is to be opportunistically sympathetic to two opposing viewpoints.

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