What is it like to live on the International Space Station?

International Space Station, credit: https://earthkam.ucsd.edu/future_of_the_iss

International Space Station, credit: https://earthkam.ucsd.edu/future_of_the_iss

  • The ISS is about the size of two football fields, with as much habitable space as a three bedroom house
  • The ISS is our “testpad” for experiements, space effects on humans, and a great place to practice what to do when things go wrong
  • You can see it fly above you each day (see the schedule here: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/#.VA9KrMJdW5K)
  • As an astronaut, your day is scheduled (sometimes years in advance.) There are set times for sleep, exercise, eating, working, etc.
  • You can bring your own music and books, and can email and talk to family once a week
  • Everything has to be tied down, or it will float around and get lost
  • Astronauts help to keep the space station clean routinely
  • You need to exercise onboard.  Without gravity your bones lose calcium and your muscles lose mass
  • You might do scientific research on board!
  • You will need to strap in to use the toilet
  • You will rehydrate your food sometimes (but the variety is much better than it used to be!)
  • There are movie/DVD nights on the weekends
  • You will use waterless shampoo and take towel baths
  • Your crew mates will be from different countries

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