05Nov2017

What Living In Space Does To Your Body

Tim

As one of only seven British citizens to have ever flown into space, astronaut Tim Peake is worshipped in his home country. Peake spent six months aboard the Space Station in 2016, has 1.6 million Twitter followers.

Tim says his fans are always blasting off questions about his experiences. “I hadn’t appreciated just how much impact the mission had had,” Peake, 45, told The Post of his recent fame. “To carry that torch now and bring the UK into space exploration is a really important role.”

Peake has now set out to answer his followers’ most burning queries about life among the stars in his new book, “Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space” (Little, Brown), which explores the routine perks and strange quirks of a weightless existence. Many of the entries were generated on Twitter, using the hashtag #AskAnAstronaut.

What’s the funniest question Peake has ever received?

“A young lad, maybe 10 years old, asked, ‘Is there a protocol for first contact with aliens?’ ” he recalled.

“I thought it was a brilliant question! I thought it was a question an adult would’ve been to embarrassed to ask.”

His answer?

“No. There is no briefing in that,” he says. “I’d have to wing it.”

Here are some other truths out there from Peake’s new book . . .

Does space smell?

Astronauts are totally convinced that space smells. When crewmates return to the ISS from a space walk, their colleagues onboard get a whiff of what’s outside. Some have said it smells like a steak searing, while others insist it’s more like hot metal. Peake believes they’re picking up the scent of ozone — a static-electricity-like odor caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays hitting oxygen molecules.

Cutting your hair is really cool

During a haircut, loose ends go just about everywhere, even on earth. On the ISS, to prevent a cabin loaded with hair, astronauts are provided with a specially retrofitted set of clippers with a vacuum tube attached to suck up the shavings. Peake would cut his own hair every two weeks. Just remember to turn the vacuum on.

Your sense of taste changes

Food tastes different in space, but the amount varies from person to person. This is because astronauts don’t smell food as strongly as they do on earth, which hugely affects taste. Peake also says the station’s atmosphere — clinical, bright-white, artificial — does not lend itself to the overall dining experience.

Your sense of time doesn’t change

When aboard the ISS, astronauts witness 16 sunrises and sunsets every day. Nonetheless, Peake still awoke regularly at 6 a.m. and worked for 12 hours. He owes this to the body’s natural circadian rhythm, which dictates when we feel tired or alert. The station is on Greenwich Mean Time — the same as the UK — so, for Peake, it was hardly more trying than jet lag.

No. 1 grossest thing about living in space

Because everyone floats inside the space station, no one is using their feet to move around except during exercise, like stationary cycling and running on a treadmill that they’re strapped to using a harness. As a result, the soles of the astronauts’ feet start to shed from lack of use after the first couple of months. If a crewmate removes his or her socks too quickly, a flurry of dead skin flakes will fill the cabin.

No. 2 grossest thing about living in space

Water is too precious to waste on laundry, so astronauts do not wash, dry or fold their clothes while in space. Instead, they wear the same clothes for several days until tossing the outfit and exchanging it for a new one. “We change underwear every two to three days, T-shirt and socks every week and trousers or shorts every month,” Peake says.

tion, no one is using their feet to move around except during exercise, like stationary cycling and running on a treadmill that they’re strapped to using a harness. As a result, the soles of the astronauts’ feet start to shed from lack of use after the first couple of months.

If a crewmate removes his or her socks too quickly, a flurry of dead skin flakes will fill the cabin.No. 2 grossest thing about living in spaceWater is too precious to waste on laundry, so astronauts do not wash, dry or fold their clothes while in space. Instead, they wear the same clothes for several days until tossing the outfit and exchanging it for a new one. “We change underwear every two to three days, T-shirt and socks every week and trousers or shorts every month,” Peake says.Source: New York Post

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