These are the hardest things to get used to when living in space, according to astronauts
Above a door on a platform standing 200 feet in the air that connects to the NASA space shuttle that ferries astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), there's a sign that holds some serious significance for astronauts. It reads: "Last bathroom on Earth."Living on the $1 billion space station that floats 260 miles above Earth is clearly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it takes a lot of getting used to.
According to Garan's book, and the experiences of other astronauts, here are some of the hardest things to get used to when living in space:1. Weightlessness
After taking advantage of the last bathroom on Earth, Garan blasted into space for the first time ever.Unfortunately his first few hours in space were full of nausea. Astronauts train extensively for zero-g, but training for a few hours is very different than living in it 24/7.Garan described the initial moments of weightlessness as pleasant, but it didn't take long for the nausea to kick in. Garan said it was as if his body was saying "'Hey, zero-g isn't suppose to last this long. Something must be wrong.'"
By the end of the first day his body had adjusted enough for the nausea to go away.
But dealing with zero-g on a day to day basis is an adjustment too. In June 2014, astronaut Reid Wiseman chronicled his first experiences in the weightless environment on Twitter:"Still adjusting to zero g. Just flipped a bag upside down to dump out its contents. #doesntworkhere."
You can't actually lay your head down to sleep in space, so it makes sense that it's a challenge to get some solid shut eye.The first night Garan spent in zero-g, he said "We staked out spots on the floor, walls and ceiling, attached our sleeping bags, and called it a night."
"We shut off most lights at bedtime - it feels right to do it," Hadfield said.3. Keeping track of timeIn space you don't keep track of the days of the week. Instead, you keep track of flight days (FD). The first day that Garan stepped on board the ISS was referred to as FD1, the day after that FD2, and so on.
American astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts who are currently living on board the ISS said that on New Year's Eve they counted down to midnight and rang in the New Year 16 different times. That's because the space station passed over a part of Earth during midnight 16 different times that night as it orbited the planet at about 17,400 miles per hour.
4. Dealing with body fluidsIn space, your nose doesn't run and you can't cry. Tears will still form, but they don't fall. Instead, they congeal into sticky balls, Hadfield said.
Like the ominous "Last bathroom on Earth" sign suggests, using the bathroom in space is an ordeal. When liquid or solid waste comes out of the body in space, it has to get sucked into the toilet for fear it would escape and float around the chamber. Urine gets purified into drinking water. Poop gets collected onto an unmanned space ship that jettisons from the space station and burns up as it returns to Earth. So yes, that shooting star may have been burning poop.
There's a windowed dome on the ISS that many astronauts have said is their favorite spot on the station.
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