5 reasons why astronauts are awesome
Space explorers go above and beyond on the job. Here are five cool things about these pioneers.
Some move at superhero speeds.
The International Space Station barrels around Earth at 17,150 miles an hour—that means passengers circle the planet every 90 minutes. The astronauts on board orbit Earth so often that they see 16 sunrises and sunsets a day!
Astronauts shower with squirt guns.
You won’t find baths or showers in space. Instead some people aboard the International Space Station squeeze H2O from water-filled pouches into their hair. Others shoot water from squirt guns onto cloths and use the cloths to freshen up. Astronauts also use leave-in shampoo to keep hair clean.
They may munch on some really expensive meals.
Astronauts in space eat the same things that they do on Earth, including crackers, beef, corn, and brownies. The food is specially prepared and packaged so that it doesn’t spoil in space. And for every pound of food delivered to the International Space Station (grub is sent on unmanned spacecrafts) it costs about $10,000.
Astronauts grow taller.
On Earth, gravity pushes down on humans, causing our spines to compress. But gravity doesn't exist in space. Without this force, the spine expands. In fact astronauts who spend six months on the International Space Station can grow three percent taller. (They return to their normal size once back on Earth.
Their outfits are cool ... and warm.
A spacesuit weighs 280 pounds on Earth without someone inside. It’s equipped with oxygen pumps, and a heating and cooling system keeps the wearer comfy no matter the temperature outside. No wonder it takes an astronaut 45 minutes to suit up!
Photographs by: NASA; NASA; PremiumVector / Shutterstock; NASA; NASA