When the primary school teacher asks her pupils what they would like to be when they grow up, a few tiny but enthusiastic children’s hands will go up, who want to be an astronaut. But with less than one thousand people in the history of billions ever reaching space- it’s a pretty unlikely career path to realise. That does not take away from the fact that us mere earth habiting mortals are fascinated and likely very simplistic about what life in space is really like.
So what is life really like for astronauts in space? We uncover a few fun facts about the absolute basics of being an astronaut on a day to day basis.
One reason few people make the grade of becoming astronauts is that you have to be phenomenally intelligent and physically fit. Not just that they are hard workers too. And they are there to do a job.
Each astronaut will have their own advanced are of expertise and will either be carrying out repairs to the space station, or they will be conducting advanced experiments in the fields of astrobiology, physics and astronomy. There’s no room for slouching around, space is not a holiday.
Astronaut Work Day
Just keeping alive and fit in space takes effort. Here’s a typical workday on board the International space station:
- 06:00 – Wake Up, morning inspection, breakfast, conference with Mission Control
- 08:10 – Work begins including first exercise of the day
- 13:05 – Lunch break for 1 hour
- 14:05 – Work and more exercise
- 19:30 – pre-sleep activities, dinner and conference with Mission Control
Bedtime At 21:30!
It’s a 55 hour working week on board a space station. With 10 hours each day, and 5 hours on a Saturday. Except with space station inspection beginning at 6 am and a meeting after 7:30 pm it seems like a very long day! On Sunday, astronauts are free to relax or catch up on their work loads.
While many people love the idea of zero gravity, that’s before you have thought the whole thing through. A bathroom break during office hours (or any other time) holds challenges with gender specific urine funnel adapters used in the toilets. Astronauts need to strap themselves down to the toilet before attempting to relieve themselves. And astronauts do not relish food breaks. The gravity and environment affect the tastebuds, and a crumb can be uber dangerous. Soups and drinks need to sipped from straws in pouches. And spiced up meals are often eaten from cans that are held firmly in place with magnets.
Still want to be an astronaut, boys and girls?