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Life in space

Life in space is, due to the missing gravity, completely different from the one on Earth. All living habits and daily tasks are concerned and must be modified to the new conditions. Everything is influenced by weightlessness. You cannot even put down things, because there is no gravity to hold it there it would just float away if it is not secured in any other way.

Eating and drinking

One can eat just normally with knife and fork or with a spoon, but the food is not supposed to crumb, that's why the meals are given with sauce, or gel is added, and instead of bread the astronauts eat tortillas.
Swallowing is possible as usual (it is not dependent from gravity), but to bring the food to the mouth the astronaut can do it in two different ways: Either he brings the fork or spoon with the food to the mouth carefully, that ithe food doesn't come loose and float away, or he lets his food float in front of him and brings his mouth to the food.

Drinking is only possible from closed containers with a straw to clamp, because drinks don't flow in zero-g. The straw must have a device to be clamped because otherwise the drink would, once it started flowing out, continue to run out and form big globules in space.


One possibility to find sleep on board of a spaceship: Hooked to the wall in a sleep restraint

Sleeping is much easier than here on Earth. The astronauts either sleep (in missions with two shifts) in bunks with a sleeping bag that can be closed, or, on one-shift missions, in a sleeping bag that could be attached in some corner.

Some sleep in free floating condition, just depending on their personal preferences.

On the ISS the astronauts have small cabins where they can go to relax and to sleep.

There are straps available so the astronauts can strap themselves to a surface, for providing a feeling of lying down on something. Some astronauts can sleep better like this.

By the way: In space the people snore less because of the zero gravity, because the flap in the palate can't fall back into the throat.

Daily life and hygiene

The astronauts on the ISS can wash themselves and even take showers, and there is a toilet on board. But the furnishings must be built for the extraordinaries of zero-g.
For example water is not supposed to float around freely in the cabin.

Because nothing can fall, the body wastes and waste water are sucked into a tank in the way of a vacuum cleaner. The shower as well sucks the water back with the help of a specially developed showering head, right after contact with the body. So this means there is no sizzling water stream.

To work the astronauts either have to anchor themselves in footloops or use a special chair that holds the body in place that it won't float off.

The effects of weightlessness on the human body

Microgravity science

The spacenight website

ESA human spaceflight


Additionally it is very important for them to exercise regularly to reduce muscle and bone loss.

This is done on special treadmills, the gravity load is simulated by the means of bungee cords that press the body onto the treadmill, in the way it can be seen in the picture above, or on a bicycle ergometer. Additionally on the ISS there is the ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device), which allows weightlifting workouts through simulated "weights" - also through pulling forces.

At the moment several other space fitness devices are in development, like the Flywheel, which allows to do a workout via a reaction wheel, or a space-adapted vibration plate. These are already common in a lot of fitness studios, which is a byproduct of the research to stay fit in space.