The International Space Station (A.K.A The I.S.S)
What is the I.S.S.?
The I.S.S is a space station that is also a science laboratory and a place for astronauts to live. The I.S.S started construction on the 20th of November 1998. 16 countries were involved including Canada, Japan, Russia, The United States Of America, and 12 others. The space station took 13 years to create at an estimated cost of $100 billion dollars. The I.S.S orbits earth every 90 minutes at 7.66 kms a second.
There is a wide assortment of food on the I.S.S. Most of the food is dehydrated and need to be rehydrated. To rehydrate the food, the astronaut has to use a machine that injects water into the package. Food is carefully contained and drinks are packaged as dehydrated powders. The astronauts add water to beverages through a special tube before drinking. To heat up their food, they put the food in a forced-air convection oven that's kept between 160 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to rehydrate and heat an average meal.
Exercising is very important in space. If you don’t exercise, it could be very bad for your body. It could even lead to muscles dissolving, and bones will be reabsorbed into your body. To stay fit, they use special space equipment such as: The T2 or Treadmill #2, and The Cycle Ergometer. The T2 works like a regular treadmill, but has a bungee cord attached so the astronaut doesn’t float away. The Cycle Ergometer is like a stationary bicycle but has straps attached to the pedals so the astronauts feet don’t float away. The astronauts also have a choice to hold onto handles or have a backrest.
People in space have the same hygiene needs as the people on earth. They wash their hair, shower, brush their teeth, use the washroom, and shave, just like we would do. But due to their micro-gravity environment, they use different methods to take care of themselves.
To shower, astronauts would wet a washcloth, or towel with a wash less body wash. They would then wipe themselves with the wet towel or washcloth to get clean.
(Hygiene) Washing Hair
To wash their hair, the astronauts would wet a washcloth, or towel with a washless shampoo. They would then wipe their hair with the wet towel or washcloth to get clean.
(Hygiene) Brushing Teeth
To brush their teeth, the astronaut would brush their teeth like usual, only not spitting the toothpaste into a sink, but swallowing it or spitting it out into towel.
(Hygiene) The Washroom
Ok so this may not so amusing, but for number 1, they do it in a tube. The tube has a little suction so everything goes the right direction. For number 2, they sit on a space toilet. The only difference between a normal toilet and a space toilet is that the space toilet has a seat belt so you don’t float away while your trying to do your business. Also, the space toilet has a little suction so your business doesn’t float everywhere and keeps everything going the right way. Fun Fact: Did you know, that astronauts can chose between a variety of toilet paper?
Its hard to sleep in space when there's zero gravity, because you could float everywhere or collide with something. That is why The I.S.S, has sleeping bags with strings on them. They use a sleeping bag because its light weight, and if it floats somewhere, it can’t hurt an astronaut. Also because sleeping bags are also small and are not big like a bed. The sleeping bags also have strings that are tied to the wall, to avoid the astronaut from floating around.
The Dextere is also a remote controlled mechanical arm, that does maintenance work such as, changing batteries, and replacing cameras.
The Canadarm is a remote controlled mechanical arm, that repairs satellites, moves cargo, maintains equipment, and positions astronauts.
Interesting Facts about the I.S.S
There have been 187 International Space Station spacewalks. ISS is larger than a six-bedroom house. 52 computers control the systems on the ISS. Eight miles of wire connects the electrical power system. The ISS weighs almost one million pounds (approximately 925,000 pounds). That’s the equivalent of more than 320 automobiles.