What You Don't Know About Living in Space


Code Monkey
Staff member
ABC News has an article describing some of the things that you may not have known about living in space.

- iPods: The normal lithium batteries used in iPods are not certified for space travel so specially modified iPods are used instead that take standard akaline AA batteries.

- Silverware: Each astronaut is issued one set of silverware per mission. Since there are no dishwashers yet in space the silverware is cleaned after each meal with antiseptic wipes.

- Pizza: It seems that 'astronaut food' pizza has not yet perfected. The traditional dry freezing methods of food have not yet been able to cope with finding a solution for dealing with the difference facets of a slice of pizza.

- Padlocks: After a mission where a crew member was feared to be "volatile" it was proposed that a padlock be installed on the space shuttle hatch to prevent anybody from opening it.

- Laundry: You better like the style of clothes that you get assigned because that is one & only outfit for the entire trip.

- Garbage: Every try compressing the trash from 7 astronauts of three meals day over a period of 12 days into the space of a small kitchen trash can?

- Money: Those skills learned in middle school of bartering your Mom packed lunch for something better? Amazing how many lessons learned from our childhood can be applied to living in space. When there is no money and lunch is on the line, bartering is the way to go.

(Visit ABC News for full article)

Personally I find the iPods thing the most interesting since a lot of Earth bound customers would likely find an iPod that could run on AA batteries quite useful.
With my pocket pc I have a slim case that takes 4x rechargeable AA's to "extend" the life of the machine away from charging. The battery pack puts enough power through to prevent the main onboard battery running down. But it isn't as convenient obviously, due to having a wire and a firm cable and an extra plastic object to carry around!

Padlocking fire exits? The Health and Safety department will go ballistic about that :)