Living in Space

Peyton M

How People Live in Space

Living in space sounds pretty bizarre, but many people are willing to do it.

The International Space Station (ISS) is what makes living in space possible. This is where the astronauts live. Human space flight all started in 1961, and now it's almost normal to hear that people are spending years in space. Astronauts started living up there for shorter periods like months, but as years went on their staying time got longer. In November of 2003, people had been living in the ISS for 3 years. That was a big deal for NASA and astronaut history.

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Building the ISS

Many countries contributed to the building of the ISS. It was built to fit 7 astronauts at a time. This station weighs 500 tons and is as tall as a 14 story building! But the ISS isn't actually the first space station, "Salyut" was. Salyut was built in 1971. It was launched into space and attempted to dock, but the hatch failed. So it was sent home. The ISS was the first successful space station.

More about Living in Space

The first expedition to live in space was on October 31, 2000. It was a successful mission. Three astronauts were involved. Their names were William Shepherd, Yuri Idzenko, and Sergei Krikalev. Their journey in space lasted 4 months. This was a very important event for not only these astronauts, but for the study of space as well.

As you've probably seen, astronauts have to wear special suits. The suits are made from Kevlar, ceramic fabrics, and various other materials. All of these materials are then surrounded by aluminum. Another addition to their suit is what connects them to their station. Robotic like arms help connect them and other tools help the process too. Staying connected to the station is one of the most important parts about living in space.

Another very important detail is the Robonaut. This robot is controlled by the astronauts. It is a "helper" to the space station. The Robonaut is the size of an actual astronaut. It works outside of the ISS to make sure everything is functioning properly and lays out tools to help out the astronauts. Overall, the Robonaut is very helpful for the ISS.

Many people would say Microgravity is the most important concept to living in space. Microgravity means there is a little amount of gravity. This occurs on the ISS. This makes the heaviest of things very easy to move. In the ISS you could move 100 pounds by just your fingertip. Microgravity is very different than what we experience daily.

The astronauts that go up to space have to be very fit and strong. When living in space their bones thin out and their muscles become weak. This requires them to work out daily. Other daily tasks like showering and brushing their teeth and eating are different than how we do it. When they brush their teeth, the only difference is they spit into a cloth. And their showers don't require water, they use special soap and shampoos that hospitals sometimes use. As for eating, they eat three meals a day. Their food is typically packed and have other differences from food on Earth. All in all, their daily tasks differ from ours.

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All Alone in the Night - Time-lapse footage of the Earth as seen from the ISS


All Alone in the Night - Time-lapse Footage of the Earth as Seen from the ISS. Dir. David Peterson. 2011.

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"Eating in Space." NASA. Ed. Sandra May. NASA, 8 June 2015. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.

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NASA. NASA-STS-114. Digital image. NASA. Nasa, 23 Dec. 2010. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

NASA. Scott Kelly on the Second Spacewalk of Expedition 45. Digital image. NASA. NASA, 6 Nov. 2015. Web. 13 Dec. 2015.