If you ever wondered how you would fare on the space station currently in orbit around Earth, astronaut Scott Kelly shows the general public how life on the ISS is really like. His insights on space life were released during an AMA on Reddit where the astronaut attempted to answer all fan questions sent at him by aspiring astronauts and curious people alike.
If at first glance life on the ISS may seem fun and easy, it is only so because the astronauts portray it like that. Tons of work has to be done on board the ISS, as well as back home on Earth, in order to make sure that each and every machine and device works perfectly.
On the reason why astronauts are usually portrayed having their arms crossed, this is because the microgravity environment present on the ISS. Without any gravity, your arms don’t hang just like they do on Earth, they just float in front of you in an awkward manner. Even while sleeping, some astronauts choose to keep their arms inside their sleeping bags, because they tend to float above you once you fall asleep.
In regards to your feet, they act differently in comparison to how they do on Earth when talking about callouses. Your soles will be smooth and silky while the upper area of your foot will become tougher and more rugged because you are required to hang by this side when using foot rails in order to stop yourself from floating away.
Sleep is also a problem when on board the ISS. You can’t necessarily change your sleeping position because you will basically be in the same position, even when on your side. It feels like you are constantly floating in water, without any notion or sense in regards to where up and down is, so you should expect dreams where you are flying or floating.
When walking outside the ISS, the feeling described by Scott Kelly is of supreme surrealism, with just a thin layer of material between you and instantaneous death. It’s like floating in a small, body-sized spaceship.
One of the biggest fears encountered by astronauts when on the ISS comes from the teams back on Earth when transmissions come with privatized audio. This usually signals that something bad has happened either on the ISS or back home, making astronauts fear the worst. Fortunately, everything has been more or less smooth until now.
Seeing how life on the ISS is really like, some people might exercice a little bit more caution when opting to lead the life of an astronaut. But these small sacrifices in terms of comfort and direct social interactions with your loved ones are worth it, given the fact that you will be able to walk in space and see some of the most beautiful sceneries available to the human eye.