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  • Astronauts are some of the most fascinating people on the planet; or technically, off

  • it.

  • It's a profession most people admire, but few have the courage or desire to do.

  • But turns out, theres a lot of weird, somewhat uncool things about being an astronaut that

  • NASA doesn't want you to know.

  • For example

  • Being an astronaut can have an alarming amount in common with being a toddler.

  • Think we're exaggerating?

  • Well, maybe if you also had to pull on a diaper before going out on your spacewalk, you would

  • believe us.

  • That's right, astronauts have to wear diapers.

  • Why?

  • Well, those spacesuits that look incredibly cool can't really easily be removed for

  • a quick squat.

  • This is great for preventing astronauts from dying in the hostile, cold black silence of

  • space, but not so great for bathroom breaks.

  • So astronauts essentially get Depends adult diapers, or their own, slightly cooler sounding

  • version called MAG; aka maximum absorbency garment.

  • No matter how they brand it, it doesn't change the fact that these fully grown, extensively

  • trained, often phD holding or ex-military adults are forced to wear diapers on the clock.

  • If that kind of infantilization weren't enough, rookie astronauts are known for banging

  • into things left and right on spaceships, like pre teens whose limbs are growing too

  • rapidly for their brains to process.

  • Most beginner astronauts find it difficult to adjust to constantly floating in space.

  • All the pool training in the world that astronauts undergo can't precisely simulate, or prepare

  • people for true zero gravity in space.

  • Therefore, astronauts starting out are frequently nicknamedbulls in China shops”, an accurate

  • description of the grace and ease with which they move through their ships.

  • This clumsiness is such a common experience for trainees that astronauts have formed their

  • own little rituals around smashing things.

  • While astronauts are training, one of the most frequent accidents involves breaking

  • their visors.

  • It's then traditional for fellow astronauts to hold a big ceremony on the next Monday

  • morning meeting, where they present the broken visor to the astronaut unlucky enough to crack

  • it.

  • That's right, just a bit of astronaut hazing.

  • The second most frequent accident for trainees involves getting caught in their tethers.

  • As astronaut Scott Parazynski says, “they push with full velocity and bang their head,

  • and get caught in cables and things like that, so that's a source of great entertainment”.

  • Astronauts: more like your least mature bros than you'd think.

  • These coordination issues aren't helped by the fact that astronauts' heights change

  • while in space.

  • That's right!

  • Without the gravity of Earth holding them down, frustratingly unable to reach that top

  • shelf, their spine takes a nice long break to decompress and stretch.

  • In space, people have been known to gain more than an inch of height in less than...three

  • hours in space.

  • However, those hoping this boost will help them make their local basketball team back

  • on Earth are out of luck.

  • That extra height gets lost almost immediately upon return.

  • In fact, astronauts go through a full 45-day reconditioning period, in which their body

  • has to readjust to life on Earth.

  • During this time, muscles and bones painfully reacclimate to the concept of gravity, causing

  • severe back pain and other skeletomuscular issues while your body rebuilds muscle strength

  • and bone mass.

  • Not to mention, astronauts' sense of balance is completely destroyed.

  • They feel woozy, fall relatively easily, and constantly feel like they want to throw up

  • for their first days back on Earth.

  • Basically like the world's longest, most annoying hangover.

  • These symptoms shouldn't be too much for them to handle, however, as astronauts throw

  • up pretty frequently in space as well.

  • That's right, NASA includes barf bags on all space missions, because they know each

  • and every one of those will probably be used.

  • The bags have big towels attached that astronauts can use to wipe themselves off and toss out

  • with the bag.

  • Unfortunately, there's no such bag people can use to catch their sneezes.

  • Astronaut David Wolf disclosed his profession's special sneezing technique: “aim low, off

  • the windshield, because it can mess up your view and there's no way to clear it.

  • That's how you do it.”

  • The last thing anyone wants is to wander off into space because they couldn't see their

  • way back to the ship through a mucus-covered visor.

  • One last downside of an astronaut's work environment?

  • Everything smells.

  • And we mean, everything.

  • All the time.

  • The environment inside the rockets, the International Space Station, the air inside their suit.

  • Oh that's right; because there's no gravity, the liquids, solids and gases in their stomachs

  • don't settle in the same way, which makes burping impossible.

  • So what's the only available way left for all that gas to come out?

  • That's right, farting.

  • Astronauts fart a lot.

  • We can only imagine the agony of this happening while wearing a spacesuit that traps everything

  • inside.

  • But why does the shuttle smell?

  • Well, we really hoped this quirky video about astronauts wouldn't involve quite so many

  • bodily functions, but clearly there's no way around them.

  • There is one toilet in a tiny little ship, and it's located right in the middle of

  • everything.

  • Keep in mind, missions can involve up to seven people.

  • Have you ever used a bathroom shared by an entire dorm hall?

  • Imagine that, but with no window ever open for the air to escape.

  • No Febreze or scented candle in the world is strong enough to handle that.

  • The International Space Station, a major stop for most astronauts, is better smelling, with

  • a couple of exceptions.

  • The culprit in the ISS however, isn't toilets; it's food.

  • Especially seafood.

  • All seafood carries a certain odor when prepared, but imagine how much worse it is in a sealed

  • off, closed environment like the ISS.

  • Commanders are especially rankled by the presence of seafood gumbo.

  • Astronaut Clayton Anderson explains, “eating a fish dish often produced the most pungent

  • odor, especially the US version of seafood gumbo.

  • It might take a couple of hours topurgethat smell from the airflow of the ISS.”

  • The smell is so bad that commanders will actually ban gumbo and other seafood dishes from even

  • being made on board.

  • Apparently, after a long time in space, even the car-exhaust-laden atmosphere of Los Angeles

  • must be, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.

  • We've heard about the smells, the lack of coordination, the farting, the diapers; everything

  • that makes us want to avoid space forever, in addition to the general constant threat

  • of space debris ripping apart your space ship.

  • Now let's take a look at a couple of surprisingly sweet and fun things about being an astronaut.

  • Every morning, the crew members of the International Space Station will get customized wake-up

  • music to wish them a pleasant day.

  • The sounds are often picked by crew members' family and friends, and can be anything from

  • songs to famous movie or TV show dialogue.

  • This offers a sweet little memento from loved ones, and a much needed reminder of life back

  • home.

  • Unless an astronaut's partner just found out about their secret bank account and mistress,

  • in which case we assume they get woken up by the Apollo 13 soundtrack piped in directly

  • from Earth.

  • However, this thankfully hasn't happened so far.

  • Also, there's no denying that astronauts, while having to function a lot like kids in

  • space, also get to have fun like kids as well.

  • People have always looked up to the brave men and women who fly off into space to learn

  • about our universe and help expand the boundaries of modern science; but there's plenty of

  • downtime while they find themselves floating through the air, so who can resist a little

  • entertainment?

  • Chris Hadfield got famous for entertaining people from thousands of miles above the Earth's

  • surface.

  • His rendition of David Bowie's “Space Oddity”, sung while floating and circling

  • the planet in a shuttle, was uploaded to YouTube and quickly went viral.

  • South Korean astronaut Soyeon Yi said she and her fellow astronauts would sometimes

  • hold relay races while working in the ISS.

  • They would break off into two teams, fly from one end of the space station to the other,

  • and return to send the next person racing off.

  • A kind of interstellar Field Day, but with no teachers to ever stop the fun.

  • Meanwhile, pranks abound on board a spaceship.

  • For example, thanks to the weightlessness of space, some crew members like to sneak

  • up on their crewmates and loudly ask questions right next to their ears.

  • Since there are no steps or stair squeaks, they can't hear anyone else approaching

  • while their back is turned.

  • Astronaut Jerry Linenger fondly recalled a few of those pranks, saying "I'd keep a straight

  • face and I'd go to the other module and I'd just start laughing about how the guy got

  • totally scared.”

  • Overall, there are definitely some gross parts and plenty of fun parts to being an astronaut,

  • but maybe it's time to talk about some more serious effects astronauts experience after

  • their trips into space that are rarely talked about.

  • First of all, some astronauts initially find life back on Earth a little difficult.

  • And not just because of the aforementioned back pain and spinal cord shenanigans.

  • After silently barreling through the majestic expanse of our solar system, life on Earth

  • can seem noisy and full of distractions.

  • There are no passing ambulances or drunk sorority girls screaming late into the night in space

  • - we assume.

  • But even simple things like the sound of constantly passing cars and wildlife can seem overwhelming

  • after a long time away.

  • So many, though not all astronauts, have trouble adjusting back to their previous daily life.

  • However, astronauts also definitely take nothing on Earth for granted after a long mission.

  • Linenger once shared how something as simple as the color green struck him when he returned

  • home.

  • He said, “it's just such a beautiful, soothing color and I could just sit in my

  • backyard and just look up at the trees and the wind blowing and just be totally content."

  • Perhaps the most universal and profound experience all astronauts feel in space is a deep humbling.

  • They realize the tiny place the planet they call home occupies in this universe.

  • And everything we take for granted - even the atmosphere and oxygen around us - are

  • suddenly not seen as givens anymore.

  • Chris Hadfield described the experience of seeing a shooting star in space, and the intense

  • emotion and fear it gave him.

  • "If you want to just talk raw fear, to watch a shooting star from the other side of the

  • sky is a humbling thing to see, because it's no longer just a pretty sparkler like a free

  • firework in the sky.”

  • Meanwhile Lininger experienced a complete paradigm shift in his time up in space while

  • experiencing the carefully controlled and closedecosystemof the space shuttle.

  • As he said, “you look down at the Earth, you see the same basic thingyou're a

  • closed ecosystem.

  • That perspective shift is probably the greatest gift that I received being in space.”

  • It made him and many of his fellow astronauts realize the fragility of our own ecosystem

  • right here on Earth.

  • Astronauts have fascinated us for decades; possibly because space is a relatively newly

  • conquered frontier and space travel is something only a select group of people will ever get

  • to experience in their lifetimes.

  • However, there are many aspects to being an astronaut - the great, the bad, and the flat

  • out weird - that most people don't think about.

  • What surprised you most from the facts they don't tell you about being an astronaut?

  • Comment below!

  • And if you'd like to keep discovering more weird and fascinating things you haven't

  • been told, we're here to share all those secrets!

  • So click on this video here, or this one instead!

Astronauts are some of the most fascinating people on the planet; or technically, off

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Weird Secrets Astronauts Don't Want You to Know

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    Summer posted on 2021/10/22
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