10 Things About Life in Space You May Not Know

Posted on Other Stuff 111

Living in space may seem a grand idea, but there are many points about living with weightlessness that can make life difficult. Have you ever had dreams of going into space? Do you think someday humanity will finally live out its dream of exploring the galaxy? Well here are 10 points to think about before strapping on your space suit!

Changes To Your Body

Changes To Your Body in space

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The zero-g environment can have wide reaching influences on our body, although not life threatening, are still very fascinating. In space the lack of gravity can lengthen our spine adding over 2 inches to our height. Various muscles are allowed to enter a more relaxed state which helps outline definition making us look more buff. Body fat is distributed more evenly making us look skinnier, while inside our body organs tend to move higher up in the abdomen and blood flow becomes more consistent.

Space Sickness

Space Sickness

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This feeling of weightlessness in space can trick our bodies into feeling a sickness akin to the type some of us feel while at sea. Around 50% of us that go into space can experience up to 3 days of abdominal discomfort, nausea and in extreme cases vomiting and even hallucinations. The cause of this sickness is contributed to the change in spatial orientation, some of us may feel it when playing video games or if we spin around on the spot for a minute.

Trouble Sleeping

Trouble Sleeping

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Space beds are designed like a straight jacket, they buckle you into a set spot, preventing you from floating around and hitting your head. A space shuttle has a lot of ambient noise with one team working while the other sleeps, so there can be many distractions making sleep difficult. Our bodyclock quickly becomes irrelevant as the sun is always up, yet the surroundings of space are always dark. However on the plus side the weightlessness can help with snoring!

Maintaining Hygiene

Maintaining Hygiene

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Personal grooming might not be your first thought when you think “space mission,” but it sure does present an interesting challenge for astronauts! Each astronaut has a hygiene kit that can be fixed to a wall that includes rinse-free shampoo, a sponge, toothbrush and other tools. They have to be careful while shaving, combing hair, and brushing their teeth to keep particles from escaping into the air too.A difficult aspect of life in space is keeping track of everything! You can’t have objects flying around so everything needs it’s own little area to be stored in. Each astronaut gets their own personal hygiene kit which is a custom case equipped with all sorts of items from toothbrushes to shaving cream. Each item is secured via things like velcro and straps to the inside of this case.

The Lavatory

The Lavatory

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This is complex piece of kit for an astronaut! Doing your number 1s and 2s in space can be quite the affair. Sitting down on the toilet is like being strapped into some sort of futuristic life support system. FIrstly your legs get strapped in and there are bars either side to keep you pressed to the toilet bowl, emptying your bowels is assisted via vacuum suction that sucks up your faeces, whisking it away to be frozen onboard the space shuttle for later tests back on earth!

Dressing Like An Astronaut

Dressing Like An Astronaut

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Astronauts don’t do laundry! They bring all the underwear they will need for the journey, they go for many days without changing clothes and prefer plain cotton tops in greys and blues. They wear a specific orange flight suit for launch and reentry and use a different suit entirely when going out into space. The space suit can take over 40 minutes to get into and is a highly advanced piece of equipment.

Muscle Degeneration

Muscle Degeneration

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Our bodies don’t have to work as hard in space, there is no need for heavy lifting and walking up stairs, all we need is a gentle nudge to do the bulk of activities in a weightless environment. Because of this our muscles are prone to falling into disrepair, they need constant reminders that they won’t always be in a zero-g environment. So Astronauts are required to exercise in a custom gym for a couple of hours each day.

Breaking Wind

Breaking Wind

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Farting in a space shuttle isn’t as big of a deal as you may think. The smell doesn’t linger too long as the shuttles catalytic converters turn it into methane, water and carbon dioxide! Unlike the early years of space exploration crews are less worried about flatulence and eat a comfortable range of foods while in space.

Effects On The Brain

Effects On The Brain

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There are many ways space affects the brain that science is still trying to understand. Brain scans on astronauts who have spent months in space reveal damage to brain tissue. Most of the cause for this is weightlessness the body feels causing the brain to kind of, ‘bounce around’. Other environmental factors such as radiation are also a concern but are much harder to measure and understand.

Mutant Mold

Mutant Mold

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Microorganisms can literally grow anywhere. As much as space travellers try to keep things clean before leaving the earth, they inevitably will get stuck somewhere. Russian Astronauts on the space station Mir have in recent times discovered mutant lethal fungi growing in various nooks and crannies. Experiments have also revealed that Salmonella bacteria grown in space are much more virulent than those on earth. With all the different kinds of radiation flying around out there, who knows what microbes in space could turn into!

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