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IN Science & Technology ON 18 Oct, 2016
People dream of being an astronaut, but they don't know much about the life in space. We did some serious digging and collected data to be your guide to becoming an Astronaut. Sit tight and pay attention to the details.
There were age and height restrictions to qualify as an astronaut. The restrictions now stay removed. It's like come one and come all. To be an astronaut you need to go through a vigorous training. You need to train yourself according to the life of space. The training lasts for five years and is more or less like military training.
NASA has its training destination at Johnson Space Centre Texas. It's a huge building that's used as the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility. A trainee astronaut spends a significant part of his day at this facility. They receive their Spaceflight education here.
The International Space Station is an astronaut's home in space. It's the largest human-made structure into space. The station flies 248 miles above the earth and trips around the globe every 90 minutes. It travels at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour.
The size of ISS is about the size of a 5 bedroom house. It's a very long and narrow setup. The station has Wi-Fi but is not as efficient as on earth. A radio or a walkie-talkie is an astronaut's way to sat Hello back to the earth.
A trip to space is a 6 hours journey up with the speed of the rockets we have. An astronaut gets a training to spend about 165 days in space, but some of them have dared to stay further. The American record is with Jeff Williams who stayed in space for 534 days, while the world record is with Russian cosmologist Gennady Padal. He spent almost thousand days in space.
The maximum time of a spacewalk that an astronaut is trained for is six and a half hour which is the allowed limit. But again the longest space walk is for about 8 hours and 54 minutes.
Life in space is not easy. It has its challenges. The temperature of space is +200F to -200F. In the space station, they maintain a temperature of 72 degrees. You get there in 6 hours and can get back in 3 hours via your vehicle. You get there with a five or six member team. You need to remain strapped to the wall in the narrow thing you house in. Also, you age a bit faster in space.
You need to inject your food with warm water or use food warmer for cooking. You can read, write, watch television or do anything you want on the space station. You don't get any beds because you can't stick to one and you can talk to your people once in a week.
The workout includes weight training and treadmill running. The treadmill in space station remains attached to the wall you run towards the earth. You need to make yourself stay with the help of Bungee cords while you run. You burn more calories in space as your brain always remains active. Your sweat in space sticks to you, and you can get bubbles of sweat in hairy places. An astronaut baths with a towel that is impregnated with soap and he has to pee in a funnel. The liquid waste after some processing goes back recycled to the drinking water. Laundry in space is throwing the clothes out. An astronaut in space consumes the same amount of water as he does on earth.
It takes 45 minutes for an astronaut to suit up in a 300 pounds heavy spacesuit. A spacesuit is warm and comfy with thermal protections. An astronomer can put on the suit himself, and it needs to be cleaned after every walk. You always have to be careful and disciplined as a minor mistake can ruin the 100 billion dollar spacecraft.
Astronauts in space also run out of things. To supply the needful, we have cargo ships. Companies like SpaceX and Orbital have developed many such vehicles. Also, we have Russian resupply vehicles and Japanese HTV spacecraft.
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