40+ Stellar Photos That Portray Life As An AstronautBy Luis G
People have often dreamed about going to space since the beginning of time. It has been a timeless aspiration for many since the dawn of mankind. It is undeniable that there has always been a connection between man and what is “out there.” It has been a very long journey, but humankind has accomplished at least the main goal of setting foot in outer space. Now that we have been there, or at least to the utmost basic form of space traveling, many occurrences and interrogatives have surfaced, since only a very sparse number of individuals (both human, and non-human) have been there. They have figured out how to launch a rocket from the ground up to how astronauts prevent objects from floating all around the space station, as it usually tends to happen. For the time being, before space travel becomes commonplace amongst “everyday people”, we can only hope to receive feedback from our astronaut friends who have been there, and tell us how living in that void really feels. It is only a matter of time and resources before more people start to travel there. Therefore, for the time being, enjoy some amazing photos that portray life as an astronaut!
Sunrise every hour and a half
There are many captivating things about space. It is quite common to perceive time as a fixed and linear concept, where we have “x” amount of hours in a day, and “y” amount of sunlight time. Yet, this concept can be erroneous.
Given that in space, rockets travel at very high speeds, the daytime and nighttime idea become extremely blurry there, since astronauts get to see the sun “set” and “rise” every hour and a half. Imagine minding your space business and seeing the sun rise like five times a day.
“Night and day” in controlled environments
Picture yourself going through a hard day’s work, and all you want to do is go home, pop a beer, and sit on a comfy couch to watch Monday night football. Well, astronauts, unfortunately, don’t have it that easy when it boils down to “after work shenanigans.”
Given what was said about seeing the sunrise every hour and a half, it is normal to experience something similar to “jet lag” syndrome. The way astronauts fix this is by controlling their environment with the use of curtains and alarm clocks to mimic life on Earth.
Periodicity of outfit changes
When we think about space, other than “flying” all over the place, the second thing that comes to our minds (and we also bet yours too) is the garment and outfits side of the equation. What do astronauts wear? And for how long?
Space people usually don’t need too many clothing items. Well, looking all hip and trendy shouldn’t be your main concern when you are miles away from home, where people don’t see you. So, their disposable garments are replaced every three days.
What makes space debris so dangerous
As we humans do on Earth, astronauts discard certain things and waste in space, having no other choice, which is also known as “space debris.” The problem with this is that it can cause serious trouble for future space goers, and such.
This byproduct of temporary human inhabitation happens because of the need to dispose of junk, but it can wreak havoc on space trips, as sometimes even astronauts have to go out of their way (in the most literal way possible) in order to avoid collisions.
Not all forms of life are welcome in space (germs, etc.)
As we said before, not all forms of life are welcome in space, including viruses and bacteria. Before taking off, space shuttles are thoroughly disinfected with the objective of avoiding the presence of diverse fungi and undesired Earth biological residues.
Why is that so? Because many of them have the capability of growing exponentially and affecting delicate equipment that can transform the dreamlike journey into a very tangible nightmare. With aims to avoid all of this, overall cleanliness is a must.
Internet connection in outer space
Picture this scenario: It is 2002. Britney Spears is the IT girl of the moment. You turn on your computer to play some music. You ask your mom to hang up the phone. Why? Because you need to use the Internet, duh. If only…
Well, as tempted as we feel to deem dial-up technology completely obsolete, it is still used by astronauts to do weird science stuff with it. If you were born in the 2000’s, please don’t try to understand. Because you won’t.
Disposability of clothing
One of the things we most definitely take for granted here on Earth is the capability of being able to use washing machines and their incredible efficiency. If you believe this and ever go to space, you are going to face a cold and dry reality.
As we already said before, washing machines are not used in space, as they can not have such a large amount of fluids building up around the shuttle. Hence, there are no (usable) washing machines inside space shuttles for astronauts to use.
Peeing with nozzles
Another thing we can also append to the already extensive list of things we take for granted on Earth is the convenience (especially for men) of peeing on Earth. We don’t even think about using a toilet. Now, we are going to tell you why astronauts can’t.
When astronauts are in space, a major hassle they have to overcome is the way in which the bodily residues are eliminated and evacuated afterward. What they do is use a nozzle that vacuums pee to be used later on for hydrating purposes (but not in a Bear Grylls fashion).
Flames in space
Now, we are onto something really cool over here. Science really makes us ponder about many wonders in life. Combustion is an unlikely one, but please bear with us for a minute or two. You’ll not be disappointed. You’ll see.
As we already know, flames tend to go in an upward direction, taking wind resistance out of consideration if there is any. In space, flames take the form of a sphere, because of the difference in atmospheric pressure than on Earth.
The “downside” of floating around
One of the things most of us have always dreamed of doing at some point in life is to be able to float around. We tend to believe that it would be some kind of ethereal feeling that would make us feel light, like flying.
The ugly reality is, that floating in space isn’t as pretty or comfortable as it is commonly believed or portrayed, due to the fact that there is a substantial difference in the gravitational pull, and the body does not take that lightly (pun intended).
Fresh fruits makes for a good mood
As highly trained and capable as astronauts can be, they are still humans that have their own psychological wellbeing to take care of, as it happens with the rest of us. Sometimes, seeing colorful things make us feel better during the bad days.
Astronauts receive packages of fruit in space constantly as to keep their spirits (and overall health) high, as being in space with many different people and away from loved ones can take a toll on them. Even a little pop of color can go a long way.
Early hours music
Don’t allow yourself to be deceived by the mighty appearance of people in space suits. They are people just like you and me, after all. As trivial as it sounds, sometimes even listening to music can help space travelers get all cheered up.
For that reason, music is an elemental component for astronauts. It is a simple, yet highly effective way of keeping them happy and “grounded.” It is commonplace to find music being played in shuttles at various times and in many genres.
Sleeping with a towel on your head
As many disadvantages as space trips can have, it does come with some perks that you may not be able to find on Earth. It does involve sleep, and the different occasioned and annoying byproduct sounds (not talking about passing gas, though).
For undisclosed reasons, snoring in space is noticeably reduced. Some say it happens because of the “achieved” body position which is usually upright, or because they are busy having space-related dreams. Giving the “sleep tight” expression a whole new meaning.
Getting taller in space
Here’s another advantage that can be ticked off the sparse “space perks” list. Being in space for a determined period of time can physically make you taller. Not in appearance, but for real. Like, biologically. Now let us do the explaining.
Since there is almost zero gravity in space, the spine becomes decompressed, as well as the muscles in the adjacent areas become more relaxed. The resulting effect is that you really become taller, at least for a given period of time.
Upside down drop of water
As idyllic as the idea of weightlessness is, gravity is a massive ally to us on a daily basis. Why? Because it keeps fluids from traveling upwards in our bodies and makes sure the fluids don’t return to where they came from. Here’s the reason why…
The perception of weight exists because the force of gravity “pulls down” on the bodily fluids, such as blood, water, and others. When we don’t have that, the body starts working inefficiently and diverse health problems may ensue, such strokes.
Physical exercise in space shuttle
This can be a huge downside to those that are couch potatoes. This is because if you want to be in space, you need to work out like your life depends on it and keep your cardiovascular health in check. We are being somewhat serious with you.
When you are in space, the heart doesn’t have a way to pump blood as strongly as it has to on Earth, because of the lack of gravity. Because of that, the heart gets “lazy.” This is the reason for the need for space workouts daily.
Preparation time for astronauts
It is a misconception ushered upon us by the lights of Hollywood that astronauts casually get into their space suits and hop outside like it’s normal. This is the farthest thing from the truth, as any simple mistake putting on the suit can end an astronaut’s life quickly.
Since there is no oxygen or gravity out there, they have to undergo several suit procedures so as to ensure that the it is working accordingly and properly. As the saying goes, “It is better to be safe than sorry.”
Trouble of sleeping in space
Not so long ago, here in this article, it was seen as a beneficial upside to sleep in space, as snoring is ostensibly reduced. But, there are still some inconveniences when it comes to space (as in room space) for sleeping.
The lack of space, and the different noises that can be heard inside a shuttle can really make the astronauts feel like they “are sleeping in a literal vacuum cleaner.” This also happens due to some oxygen-related nerdy stuff that occurs.
Space and photography
It is known that astronauts like to enjoy their free time in the shuttle too, doing things like every other average joe also enjoys doing typical activities. This includes listening to music, singing, and photography. Photographers, this is your jam right here.
It is undeniable that space pictures are as cool as they can get. They always leave us staring in awe because of their unparalleled beauty. Now, you can only imagine not only being able to take those sweet pics, but being able to observe the landscape live.
Limbs feel limp
The most considerable, and likely inevitably bad aspect of space travelling is the lack of gravity. It makes the body weak, the heart lazy, and the blood gets stuck close to the head. Didn’t we make it sound bad, huh.
Muscle atrophy is probably going to occur, as many muscles that are frequently used in every day motions don’t have the same amount of work in space. This will make most limbs lose a major part of their overall strength for a period of time.
Smuggling objects inside the shuttle
As you might think, going to outer space is a perilous activity that entails a lot of checklists, and that also includes every day objects that must be brought along. You are inclined to think that bringing a Subway sandwich with you can do no harm, but it actually can.
Let’s not be that drastic here. What we mean is that most objects that enter space shuttles with their passengers are painstakingly examined before takeoff, as small and seemingly inoffensive things can bring upon big trouble, especially during the blastoff period.
Lost objects in shuttle
When you were a kid, were you ever in a situation where you find something that doesn’t belong to you and you put it inside some sort of lost-and-found type of box? Well, as an adult, this can occur just as often too. But still, you get the idea.
Well, in space, things like that are done differently. Since daily objects cannot be flying all over the place, they are placed inside a storage compartment where things are securely kept in there just in case. Very, very wise indeed.
Humans like to do many things. One activity that is universally enjoyed by many is the act of watching a good film. It doesn’t matter the which genre, casted actors, or directors. Everybody enjoys their own personal genre of films. And space-themed films too.
That’s why astronauts in space mostly have different films with different genres on rotation so as to combat boredom or repetition. A very discussed topic is space-themed films amongst astronauts, as they can offer a firsthand opinion about how realistic they are.
Romantic relationships in space
There is a very well-known song by a singer named John Paul Young which is named Love Is In The Air. We are enticed to think that people can develop relationships while being confined inside a small place like a rocket ship. Go figure.
As of lately, many space agencies discourage or even outright forbid the amorous relationships between space goers, as it is believed it can be detrimental to the overall success of the different space missions. So, no love shacks in space.
Hygiene in space
It takes two plus two to realize that while being cloistered together inside a very reduced space with a whole bunch of people for vast periods of time, things can get ugly (or smelly) if proper hygiene is not addressed or put in place.
Astronauts don’t actually shower in space, but they still have their own personal hygiene items they can bring with them to keep things clean. As Del Tha Funky Homosapien once said, “It’s important to practice good hygiene, at least if you wanna run with my team.”
All you can eat
If you enjoy food as much as we do, you would probably be bummed out if you couldn’t get to eat all of the amazingly tasty foods enjoyed here on earth. When we link “space” to “food”, the two don’t seem to merge well together. In reality, they do.
You may be tempted to think otherwise, but actually, space people get to savor many foods that can also be found around here on land. One caveat though, is that they often lack in texture, as it is not the same as on our planet.
Mental pressure during trips
If you were put inside astronauts’ shoes (or boots, if you will), you would realize that going to space can place a huge burden on the astronauts’ shoulders. Thus, astronauts are not solely picked upon their physical attributes, but upon their mental ones too.
It is alluring to believe that things like “cosmic radiation” are invented for Marvel comic books only, but it actually does exist, and it can affect the human brain in different ways. So, being in good mental shape is crucial as well.
There are different types of walks that a human can put into practice that take up several hours to learn. One of them is the glorious moonwalk. The other one, which is not a dance move but looks cool too, is the spacewalk. Hee-hee!
In a rather “serious” tone, spacewalking, as good as it seems, takes hundreds of hours of practice, as it can become mortal very quick if the safety procedures are not met by the crew beforehand. Don’t forget to suit up and walk the walk!
One of the pretty small but beautiful things about living life on Earth is being able to witness the changes of seasons. You may think, “O.K., nice. But what does this have anything to do with space?” We will tell you why now.
Astronauts are able to witness season changes from space by looking at the way in which auroras form when this befalls. In this way, they can notice when the seasons are changing on Earth while not being there to witness them.
Tied up astronaut sleeping horizontally
We all know how annoying finding comfortable ways to sleep is. We can all picture that bothersome mosquito flying next to our ear at 3 a.m. when we have to get up only four hours after that. We have covered a few scenarios, but out there, it’s worse.
If you have problems sleeping at night, imagine how troublesome it could be trying to gasp for fresh oxygen as you are dozing off. In order to prevent this from happening, shuttles are equipped with fans to keep air fresh during bedtime.
Social media in space
It is part of the present – the constant usage of social media. Every day, we are constantly bombarded with random posts from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and many more. It takes over a lot of moments in our daily lives, like it or not.
The good thing is that sometimes this type of exposition can be used for the better of mankind, as astronauts use diverse types of social media in order to reach out to loved ones and other people so as to connect and inspire them.
As awesome as going to space sounds, we unfortunately need to add an extra element to the matter of not-so-awesome things that can happen in space. Interesting coincidence (or is it?) that most of them belong in the list of bodily hazards.
One of them is temporarily space blindness. They say it can be caused by a large number of unknown factors that stem from all of the other not-so-awesome occurrences stated above. The picture shows astronaut, Chris Hadfield, displaying some side effects from them.
Feeling sick in space
Have you ever hopped onto a carrousel, or one of those cups that spin super fast in circles? If you have, we are positive that you must be familiar with those sickening sensations of loss of balance and overall orientation.
That happens in space because of the lack of gravity, which cause the nervous system to become off-balance for a couple of days until you return to normal. Or are we obliged to say, “outer space normal”? Decide that for yourselves.
Space people like spicy food
Losing your sense of taste kind of sucks. The upside is that you can eat almost everything you want, but the downside is that you cannot taste anything properly, including tasty things like ice-cream, or chocolate. This can happen when you are far to out there.
Sure, you are likely to eat a Carolina Reaper like it’s a slice of cake. But we strongly advise you against doing this, unless you want to spend a part of your week sitting on the toilet scrolling on Instagram in pain.
Problems with eyeballs
Imagine having your eyeballs as flat as that cupola, with your own tears pressing against your eyes? Trippy, right? Well, we are sorry to tell you this it can happen, and pretty often. We told you going to space ain’t easy.
This type of ocular oppression is also caused by our dear friend, gravity (or lack thereof), who we are all familiar with by now. If this takes place, the condition needs to be treated ASAP as it can cause the person who develops this to go blind.
How astronauts observe sunsets and sunrises
There are many beautiful sights to witness on this planet, and one of them is being able to witness both sunsets and sunrises. This is even prettier if it happens in the presence of loved ones. Aren’t we sounding like hopeless romantics?
There is an even sweeter place to observe these occurrences; In space, you can get yourself the VIP seats for the show. And you can watch that pretty show on replay, as it happens many times throughout a single “day.”
Silent but deadly
One of the greatest pleasures in life is being able to “rip one off,” and getting away with it. It makes people wonder where just hit ’em, with that trademark look of disgust in their faces, all while you try to dissimulate your grin.
Well, in space, you might wanna not do that. Why is that so? Because farts in space are dangerous! They contain flammable gases that can turn the fetid experience into an even more dreadful one. Don’t let one rip in space, kids!
There has been more than enough talking here about how going “number 1” is done. Now, the burning question is, “Why don’t you guys mention what happens with number two?” Well, be careful what you ask for. It will become mighty dirty.
What they specifically do in space is that they use a different kind of toilet than the ones we are accustomed to using. Since they cannot have water flushed all over the place, they use a device that collects the waste.
Dropping objects on Earth
Picture yourself in this crazy scenario. Every time you let go of something, it floats around with you. As uncanny as this sounds, it happens to astronauts all the time. They just let things go and they just go floating around.
But what happens when they return to planet Earth? They just get so used to letting go of things that they forget that on Earth, things actually drop to the ground. You better grab that cellphone really well, our fellow floater.
The actual use for Velcro technology
Let’s face it. Velcro is awesome. It makes things stick together, it makes a funny sound when you split it, and it makes life easier overall. It may not look as fly when applied onto shoes, unless you are a middle schooler, though.
What are some of the uses for Velcro technology in space? It has quite a few of them. It obviously keeps stuff together. Why is it useful? Well, go figure. Things in space are all over the place, so why not secure them with nifty Velcro?
Voting in space
Obliging to our civic duties can be quite an issue at times, since we have to put aside some of the errands that we usually run daily to comply with them. How does that work in space? Do they also have to vote and go to jury duty?
YES! They do. At least in Texas. It doesn’t matter if you are in space, you still have to vote. No ifs, ands, or buts. Through a couple of rather complex procedures and protocols, they manage to do this there too.
Drinking water in space
There are many, many things that we take for granted on Earth. Animals in danger of extinction, tasty meals, and a seemingly unlimited supply of drinkable water. But in reality, the latter is the farthest from the truth, particularly in space.
While staying within the shuttle’s walls, they must collect all of the water possible. What do we mean by this? All. Of. It. It can come from urine, sweat, or other sources. As long as it can be filtered and purified, it is good to go.
Burping in space
This one can be a little hard to explain unless you’re a hardcore geek. Sorry, not sorry. Let’s say you really like to drink Coke. One of the guilty pleasures that comes with this is being able to burp your guts out from all the suds.
The thing is that in space, you won’t do it, because of nerdy reasons. Leaving jokes aside, the gas remains inside the drink and goes straight into your system without even having the possibility of burping, creating discomfort for the drinkers.
Foot skin shedding in space
As we have read so far, going to space isn’t all about glamour and prestige like films make us believe. Some pretty yucky stuff takes place in the depths of space. Foot skin shedding is no exception to this phenomenon.
What happens is that because of the lack of gravity, we don’t need our feet as much to transport ourselves through the different places in a shuttle, as we can use our strength to leverage the body through it. So foot shedding occurs naturally.
Exercising in zero gravity
It is no news to you how important physical exercise is to us, and it is even more relevant in space, as it helps hinder muscle atrophy, as well as heart malfunction. So, make sure to also lift those weights and not just run.
Depicted in the image above, it can be observed that an astronaut is performing lunges to keep his legs strong. There is no way around it. If you want to become an astronaut, you’re gonna have to lift those weights around!