The everyday life on the International Space Station

The International Space Spatial is a spatial station where astronauts live for 6 months of the year. In the International Space Station (ISS) the astronauts carry out scientific investigations that can only be made in presence of micro-gravity, either related to botanic, medicine or realising extravehicular activities. Their everyday life in the station is very varied.

But, apart from investigating and working, they have to do very important different tasks for their health.

The extravehicular activities

When they go out from the ISS, the astronauts wear a spacesuit. Thanks to this, the astronaut is protected from the temperature changes, from space, and from the rays coming from the Sun. In their back, they carry oxygen bottles. When they go out, both the astronauts and their devices are tied to the station, to prevent them from going away floating through space.

The extravehicular activities are destined to repairs, operations of assembly of new pieces or, simply, for the training of the astronauts. During the training of the astronauts before going to space, they make simulations of the extravehicular activities in gigantic swimming pools, where they reach a very similar sensation to the one that they get in space.

The training onboard

In space, the muscles and the bones are more inactive than on Earth, as they do not have to do so much effort. For this reason, the astronaut loses muscular and bony mass. With the objective of maintaining the mass and remaining fit, the astronaut has to do many physical training. In their everyday life, the astronaut do a minimum of two hours of exercise. The different devices that he uses to keep its muscular and bony mass are a kind of interior bicycle, a running machine and different devices to exercise the muscles, among others.

However, when they return to the Earth, the astronauts are weak and have to keep exercising. Additionally, they have also to accustom themselves another time to terrestrial gravity, as they have been during many time in a micro-gravity environment.

Work onboard

Work is also a part of their everyday life. The astronauts work essentially on scientific projects in the laboratories of the ISS. When they finish experimenting with any product, either if it is solid or liquid, they take care of putting it in a well sealed recipient so that the materials don’t float through the air.

For the better functioning of the station, the crew effectuates maintenance works, prepares food, and, one time per week, between all of them, they clean the ISS in order to live in a clean place. From time to time they also repair and improve the systems of the ISS.

Time to eat

The astronauts eat humidified food that sticks to utensils. When they go away from the Earth, they take with them food in dehydrated bags. Once they are in the space, they rehydrate the food before consuming it. To eat, the astronauts use plates that can be fixed on the knees or on the wall, as well as magnetised cutlery to avoid it to float. In the case of the drinks, they drink from some bags where they put a straw in to be able to drink without having all the liquid floating through the room.

The shower

The astronauts use sponges or a cloth to clean themselves. This avoids the water to stick on their skin, as the water does in presence of micro-gravity. They clean their hair using a special shampoo that doesn’t require water, and, when they cut their hair, they use a vacuum to prevent the cut hair from spreading throughout all the ISS.


In space, the astronauts don’t need a mattress. They sleep in a sleeping bag. Each astronaut has a place, near where he sleeps, to leave some of his personal belongings, as books, devices to listen to music… Sometimes, they use sleeping masks and earplugs, to isolate themselves from the light and of any sound. In the ISS the astronauts establish their sleeping hours in a common timetable.

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