About The I.S.S
Facts and Figures
The I.S.S. (International Space Station) is in the earth’s orbit 240 miles away from the earth’s surface. It is about the size of a full football field, making it the largest space station ever constructed. The I.S.S. is an orbiting laboratory and also a spaceport for a number of international space crafts. The I.S.S. is used to do experiments you cannot do on earth.
There are a lot of different countries and people helping out and going to the I.S.S. to conduct experiments and research. It was launched into space in November 1998, involving the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, and the participating countries of the European Space Agency. It’s been visited by 14 different countries and counting.
The first expedition was launched October 31, 2000 and since November 2014 there has been 100 Russian launches, 37 space shuttle launches, 4 Japanese HTV’s (H-II Transfer Vehicle), and 5 European ATV’s (Automated Transfer Vehicle).
The I.S.S. was built to do many different experiments. On the I.S.S. they study how microgravity effects the human body and how the human body reacts to it. For example, the 'Torso Rotation Experiment' looked at eye, head and body movements and the symptoms of motion sickness that many astronauts experience in space. By doing this, they can find new ways to help astronauts on future missions. The I.S.S. is a laboratory also used for observing the earth and the solar system. The astronauts need to collect and analyze information to help us understand and be able to learn about earth and solar system.
Daily Life in Space
Daily life in space is much different than here on earth, where we have gravity. When you are in space you have to eat differently, sleep differently, exercise more, hygiene is very different, and doing activities is different too.
Eating is very different in space. How you eat, what you eat, it is all different. It would be very difficult to get used to. First of all eating with zero gravity is very unhygienic. The food can float everywhere and anywhere so they need to be cautious of where they eat and how messy the food can be. For drinks, they have to drink out of plastic bags with straws, kind of similar to Kool Aid and how it is packaged. The food they eat needs to be able to stay good for a long amount of time. The food gets packaged and tightly sealed so it lasts and does not go bad.
The hygiene in space must seem very gross to you but there are reasons. Unlike earth, there are no washing machines to wash the astronauts clothes. They have to change their clothes every three days or when they get dirty, so they try to keep as clean as possible. They do not have a lot of room in the space station so they can not bring a lot of supplies (eg. food, clothes, etc.). They have to dispose of the clothes properly to save space in the space station, so they put all their clothes in a plastic bag and into a big hamper.
Another thing that is different in space is they do not have showers. The astronauts have to use warm wet towels to wet their hair, then put shampoo in, and wash it out. With zero gravity, their hair would be flying everywhere making it very difficult.
Just like the astronauts don't have showers or washing machines, they also don't have the same kind of toilets as on Earth. The toilets in space are very odd. Instead of water, space toilets use big powerful fans to make sure it doesn't smell, and a suction hole that slides open to collect the waste.
Sleeping in space is difficult. Since there is no gravity that means when the astronauts sleep they would be floating. Instead of floating they have to be hooked to a wall. They sleep in things similar to sleeping bags but with arm holes and they sleep in 'crew cabins'. A crew cabin is a small sleeping area that can only fit one person at a time. The astronauts need to get good sleep to be able to have enough energy for the next days work. They make sure they get at least eight hours of sleep or more every night.
There is something called microgravity in space, which means there are no ups or downs. It does bad things to the human body, such as weakening their muscles and bones. To prevent that from happening, anyone who goes into space needs to exercise everyday. You would need to exercise for at least a few hours and that would be good for your body. When the astronauts exercise one of the machines they use is called a Treadmill Vibration Isolation System. As shown below the astronauts have to be strapped on to it.
This is what the exercise machine looks like
Everyday, the astronauts spend plenty of hours working on different experiments. They also do assigned tasks or perform a daily maintenance routine when they are up in space. The daily maintenance includes, checking if everything in the I.S.S. is working, seeing if everything is where it is supposed to be, cleaning, and updating technology.
The days up there get pretty busy. So after an exhausting day the astronauts usually get a little free time before bed. In that free time the things they do most are, write emails back home, go on social media, take selfies, listen to the radio, watch DVD's, and play games (not involving a lot of space). Sometimes they just want relaxation time, so they just look out the windows at the breathtaking view. These are just some things the astronauts do for fun.
Canada has done plenty of great things that help contribute to the International Space Station.
Canadarm2- The Canadarm2 has been installed permanently on to the International Space station. PDGF(Power Date Grapple Fixtures) around the station provides, power, data, and video information.
Dexter- Dexter is 'The space handyman'. He is used to kept the I.S.S. at its best. Dexter Is help repair and do maintenance work, such as changing batteries, and replacing cameras on the outside of the station. Dexter helps reduce risky spacewalk , by doing it himself.
These two robots are great helps towards the I.S.S.