Although the International Space Station (ISS) is an exotic environment, it is the astronauts’ home for months at a time. They must still eat, sleep, work, and exercise just as they would on Earth. The ISS was designed to make life as comfortable as possible for the astronauts within the space constraints of about two football fields. The atmosphere is bright and spacious. The temperature is maintained at a cool 70 degrees.
Each crew member has a private area where they sleep about 8.5 hours daily anchored down in their bed so they won’t float away. The weightless environment makes personal hygiene difficult. Astronauts use a freshwater hose to take showers, shampoo, and rinse off—then a second vacuum hose to suction off the dirty water. A modified toilet uses flowing air instead of water to dispose of waste. Astronauts wear regular clothing on the ISS. The space station is equipped with microwave ovens and refrigerators that allow astronauts to eat regular foods.
Tomorrow, Space Does a Body Good? Rita Bay