While there has been speculation about someday having moon colonies, there are a select few astronauts who have gotten the chance to live in space for shuttle and space station missions. What we’ve learned is there are adaptations we need to make in order to stay in space for long periods of time.
10. Physical Changes
Space’s microgravity can have a huge impact on our bodies that starts with the spine straightening enough to add up to 2.25 inches in height. Not only that but internal organs shift higher in the torso and blood distribution evens out. This means that the torso begins to look more buff, the leg girth shrinks, and waist shrinks by several inches. Most of these changes are cosmetic and mostly harmless.
9. Space Adaptation Syndrome
You’ve heard of sea sickness, but have you heard of space sickness? As gravity dissipates space visitors experience 2-3 days of sickness including nausea, mild discomfort, uncontrollable vomiting, and hallucinations. This is the brains way of adjusting to the microgravity in space which messes with our spatial orientation.
8. Sleeping Issues
Sleeping in space can have some benefits, but only if you can get around a few issues first. The first obstacle is strapping yourself in place to keep from floating into things in tight quarters, another is adjusting to new daylight times, which in space can be only 90-minutes at a time. Beyond that, space shuttles and stations are extremely noisy, making it difficult to fall asleep in the first place. Still, if you can avoid all these issues sleeping in a weightless state helps reduce sleep apnea and snoring – there’s a bonus for you!
7. Personal Grooming Problems
Personal grooming might not be your first thought when you think “space mission,” but it sure does present an interesting challenge for astronauts! Each astronaut has a hygiene kit that can be fixed to a wall that includes rinse-free shampoo, a sponge, toothbrush and other tools. They have to be careful while shaving, combing hair, and brushing their teeth to keep particles from escaping into the air too.
6. The Toilet
Toilets have been important devices on space ships and have seem many innovations to collect and dispose of waste. This became more interesting as women came onto the space scene. While the toilet itself is sophisticated – with fans, storage methods, tubes, etc – the funniest fact is that astronauts have to be trained to use the toilet pre-flight.