A Day in the Life of a Private Astronaut (Part 1)
A small group of lucky (and very successful) people have launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on flights arranged by Space Adventures. In the coming years Space Adventures has opportunities to fly to the ISS on both the Russian Soyuz and the Boeing Starliner. We are often asked what there is to do on the ISS – while the view is phenomenal (and the pictures don’t lie!) surely visitors don’t just spend all day looking out of the window. So in this two-part blog post we aim to provide some insight into everyday life in space.
Time on the ISS is set to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) and the day begins around 6:00 a.m. And just like on Earth, everyone starts the day getting cleaned-up and refreshed. Being in a weightless environment there are no such thing as running water from a faucet or a nice warm shower, so you must make do with a lot of wet towels and no-rinse shampoo.
Shaving in space
Brushing teeth in space
Washing hair in space
The ISS is fundamentally a science laboratory with experiments being conducted in fields as diverse as physical & life sciences, remote sensing and technology development. Even the crew are subject to experiments to see how the human body reacts to living in space for extended periods of time. Our clients have taken the time to participate in some of the these ongoing studies. They have also conducted their own science experiments using some of the ISS equipment (after receiving the full and proper training of course!)
Using NASA communications
Communication assets on the ISS are really very good. The ISS is outfitted with Wi-Fi allowing connection to high speed (600 Mbps) internet via the TEDRIS satellite system. Through special arrangements with NASA, our clients have been able to make use of this system for voice, video, and e-mail communication. There are also direct-to-ground radio and video communication systems, so you’re never out of touch!
Everyone’s gotta eat! And just like on Earth meal times in space are a time to catch-up and socialize. The ISS galley has an array of food from the different countries that make up the ISS partnership so all tastes can be catered for.
However in weightlessness there is no natural convection, meaning food must be heated in a slightly different way, either with hot water or using a forced air convention oven.
Recent experiments have successfully grown mixed greens like lettuce and cabbage in space. While these are not yet available for astronauts to eat, they will be in the future.
That concludes the first part of our Day in the Life of a Private Astronaut blog. In Part Two, we will look at how private astronauts can take photographs of Earth, use an old school “ham-radio”, and how they sleep in space.