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  • It's been said that there's nothing more  noble that humanity does than spaceflight-  

  • and it's us. We're the ones that  said that, just right now. Sure,  

  • humans do a lot of great things, but we  do a ton of completely awful things too.  

  • The challenge of space travel though forces  us to pool together the best of humanity,  

  • because space wants nothing more than to  kill you in the most horrible ways possible.

  • After visiting the moon though the rest of the  world decided that sitting parked in low earth  

  • orbit was good enough for humanity, but that  doesn't mean that our most recent, and greatest  

  • accomplishment in space- the International  Space Station- isn't any less of a wonder.  

  • Weighing in at 925,335 pounds- or 419,725  kilograms for nations who didn't land on  

  • the moon- the ISS is 73 meters long and  109 meters wide. Aside from the earth,  

  • the ISS is the single largest human inhabited  structure in the entire universe. In fact,  

  • it's the largest thing built by humans  to ever exist outside of the planet.

  • But as awesome an accomplishment as the ISS is,  

  • the simple fact is that life in space is  tough. Turns out humans are pretty badly  

  • adapted by evolution for living outside the  earth's protective atmosphere- who knew? So if  

  • your dream is to become an astronaut, get ready  to learn why life on the ISS absolutely sucks.

  • -Working Out, All The Time

  • Humans evolved on earth, but in  the last sixty or so years we  

  • decided that earth wasn't good enough  anymore and just like the Jeffersons,  

  • we moved on up to a deluxe apartment in the  sky. Sort of. Turns out though that trying  

  • to live somewhere you didn't evolve to habitate  comes with some pretty serious health effects.

  • On earth we have the gentle but constant  pull of gravity keeping us firmly in place  

  • and occasionally reminding us that flying  through the sky in giant metal tubes is  

  • blasphemy (animator, include scene ofplane going down here). All that gravity  

  • had a pretty profound effect on the evolution of  our physiology, and very quickly after starting  

  • their respective space programs, both the USSR  and the United States discovered that fact.

  • Gravity's incessant pull keeps our bones strong as  our body constantly reinforces them with calcium  

  • so that we don't collapse into a heap whenever we  try to stand up. It also has a myriad of unknown  

  • effects on the way that blood circulates and  even how organs operate, and we're still learning  

  • about these effects as NASA prepares for long-term  human habitation of the moon, and eventually Mars.

  • If you don't like exercisingthen space is not for you,  

  • because if you want to live in space you're  going to have to do a whole lot of exercising.  

  • Each day astronauts exercise for at least two  and a half hours using specialized equipment  

  • meant to help them combat the effect of zero  gravity on their bodies. Without exercise,  

  • astronauts start losing both muscle and bone mass  because the body has nothing to fight against.

  • But it's not just becoming a smaller, shrimpier  version of yourself that you have to worry about,  

  • because low gravity makes it harder  for blood to get around your body,  

  • making you at risk of extreme  fatigue and passing out.

  • Fatigue, loss of bone mass and musclesand the threat of constantly fainting-  

  • the ISS definitely sounds like a place it sucks  to live in. But if you have a sensitive nose,  

  • you won't like our next reason  why living in the ISS sucks.

  • -Recycled Farts-

  • Take in a deep breath. Odds are you probably  smell whatever's immediately around you-  

  • but even if that scent is bad, you know  it's just not going to linger for long.  

  • If your brother starts gettingbad case of the bottom-end grumps,  

  • you know all you have to do is open a window  and the stink is nothing more than a memory.  

  • Now imagine that you can't open a windowOr, that you can never get fresh air.

  • That's the ISS.

  • One of the chief concerns of spaceflight  is ensuring that astronauts have enough  

  • breathable oxygen, because after extensive  scientific research man's greatest minds  

  • deduced that breathing is pretty important for  keeping people alive. But getting things into  

  • space is extremely expensive, so expensive  that getting a few months worth of oxygen  

  • up to the ISS is simply a non-starter  without bankrupting a small nation.

  • That's why the ISS uses state of  the art oxygen recycling systems,  

  • which can reuse oxygen over and over againIt does this by first splitting water brought  

  • up in resupply missions into oxygen and hydrogenThat hydrogen is recombined back into water using  

  • black magic- or, science, we guess- which  in turn means you can create more oxygen.

  • But that also means that you're going to be  re-breathing the same fart for a very long time.  

  • Like Astronaut Scott Kelly- who spentyear in space- said in an interview once,  

  • smells linger on the ISS, specially because  without gravity, scents can more freely spread.

  • But bad smells isn't all, because aboard the ISS  everything- not just air- has to be recycled,  

  • and that means water... as in the water that  you pee out. As another astronaut put it,  

  • yesterday's coffee is tomorrow's coffee.  

  • You'll be drinking so much of your own pee  in space that you'll make Bear Grylls proud.

  • -Showers Can And Will Kill You-

  • Who doesn't love a nice hot shower? Wellon the ISS taking a shower is not just  

  • practically impossible, but  also potentially deadly-  

  • as American astronauts found  out back in the Skylab days.

  • During the early days of space flight when  crews would be in space for a few days,  

  • they had no chance to clean themselves, and it was  said that the smell of returning astronauts and  

  • cosmonauts was so strong that it was like running  into a wall for the crews that recovered them.  

  • When the US put its first space station  into orbit, Skylab, one of the things that  

  • NASA determined would be important was crew  comfort, and so it included a sort of shower.

  • The Skylab shower consisted of a special curtain  you could pull up around you which cocooned you in  

  • a small tube-like structure. Then you turned  on water which shot down on you from above-  

  • above of course being an extremely  relative term in space. You would  

  • then lather up and wipe yourself clean with  floating water, before vacuuming it all up.

  • The problem though is that in zero gravity water  behaves more like Jello than... well, water,  

  • and tends to clump together. Also, it has nowhere  to 'fall' to, so it just sort of floats around  

  • heading wherever it last had momentum towardsThis proved to be particularly dangerous as large  

  • clumps of water could easily be inhaled or float  directly over an astronaut's mouth or nose. Also,  

  • there was the ever-present threat of water  getting loose and floating everywhere,  

  • and on a space station jam-packed  with delicate electronic equipment  

  • the last thing you want is an electrical short.

  • Skylab's shower risks were so bad  that when it came time for the ISS,  

  • NASA said astronauts would just have to resort  to wiping down manually. While many astronauts  

  • will attest that you can get decently clean  in space wiping yourself down with wet towels,  

  • the truth is that you can only get so clean  when you can't run soap and water over you.

  • -Radiation Everywhere-

  • On earth radiation is only a concern when ordering  sushi fished up off the coast of Fukushima,  

  • or when one is trying to get the superpowers  of a spider. Space however is pretty much  

  • lousy with radiation, and at such extreme  altitudes, astronauts on the ISS don't enjoy  

  • as many of the benefits of the earth's  magnetic field to protect them as we do.

  • You'll pretty much notice immediately that  you're suddenly smack-dab in the middle of  

  • a cosmic radioactive shooting gallery the  first time you close your eyes. With your  

  • eyes closed you'll start seeing flashes of  light like some sort of disco resurgence,  

  • but it's not terrible 70s music making a comebackits the universe trying to murder you to death.

  • Stars, black holes, and all kinds of other  celestial phenomena do science stuff all the  

  • time. A lot of that nerd science stuff creates  radiation. That radiation then travels across the  

  • universe until it finds your soft, squishy body  full of DNA to destroy. The awesome light show  

  • you're enjoying with your eyes closed is highly  charged particles smacking into your eyeballs and  

  • tricking your brain into believing it's receiving  a signal telling it that your eyes see light.

  • And the flashes are just from  the radiation hitting your eyes-  

  • imagine how much more blasts the rest  of your body and you can't even see.

  • But of course the ISS is well  shielded against radiation,  

  • but nobody knows just how well protected you  would be in the ISS from a particularly energetic  

  • release of radiation by the sun or a nearby  star. Even with low levels of radiation though,  

  • the fact is your DNA's still being cooked  over weeks, months, or even years in space.

  • What does all that radiation do to your  body? Well, we haven't observed enough  

  • individuals for long enough who've endured  long-term spaceflight to really know yet.  

  • Most scientists agree that astronauts  have a higher chance for cancer,  

  • and maybe like a .01% chance of superpowers, but  just how big a chance for the big C is unknown.

  • What is for sure though is that if the ISS's  shielding ever failed or was damaged somehow,  

  • and a strong blast of radiation washed over ityou'd be cooked faster than popcorn on high.  

  • Speaking of cooking though, if  going to space makes you hungry,  

  • enjoy your food while you still can  here on earth because in space...

  • -The Food Is Terrible-

  • You can't really cook in space, at least not  in the conventional sense- we're pretty sure  

  • most of our fans already knew that. Lugging  up the supplies for making a home cooked meal  

  • in space would be pretty wasteful use of  very limited space on cargo flights. Plus,  

  • how would you even keep pancakes  from just floating off a pan?

  • Instead, all space food comes in plastic  packaging, and while you may have an oven to  

  • heat it up, it's all pre-cooked. NASA does try  to provide variety in order to keep morale up,  

  • but the simple fact is that pre-cooked meals  taste universally terrible, and even more so  

  • when the actual food you can serve on the ISS  has to be something that won't make a giant mess.  

  • Macaroni and spaghetti with meatballs is a staple  item, but forget about a nice stew or lentil soup.

  • Condiments are available, though  salt and pepper come in liquid form-  

  • and we have no idea what that even  means nor do we want to find out.  

  • The reasoning is solid though- salt and  pepper in their normal forms would simply  

  • float away and get just everywhere. It's a  good thing that condiments are available,  

  • because you simply won't taste much of your food  unless its lathered in pounds of condiments.

  • If you've ever seen footage of astronauts in the  ISS, no doubt you've noticed they all look a bit  

  • puffy in the face. That's because without gravity  all the fluids in your head go on a free-for-all,  

  • floating around wherever they like. In  turn, this makes astronauts congested,  

  • and if you've ever had a really bad  cold then you know that unless you're  

  • eating wasabi by the spoonfulyou really can't taste much.

  • Terrible food, radiation that  will kill you, recycled farts,  

  • and showers that'll drown you- life on the  ISS definitely sucks, which only makes us  

  • admire more the men and women who are even right  now pushing the limits of the final frontier.

  • Since space will probably kill youfind out what happens if you die  

  • in space- or watch this other video instead!

It's been said that there's nothing more  noble that humanity does than spaceflight-  

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B1 space radiation gravity water earth oxygen

Why Life on the International Space Station Sucks

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/08
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