Answers to burning questions about life in space.
Astronaut Scott Kelly has now spent over 300 days of his current year-long mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). On January 24, he answered Reddit users’ questions in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Here are some of the interesting facts he revealed.
1. He always seems to have his arms crossed in pictures because of the microgravity.
Kelly says that it feels weird to have his arms floating around so it’s more comfortable to fold them. Even when he sleeps, he sticks them inside his sleeping bag. It has nothing to do with him being a ”No-G gangsta,” as a reader suggested.
2. Calluses on astronauts’ feet change locations
Kelly says that, because he doesn’t use his feet to walk around, the calluses on the bottom of them have all peeled off. However, he does use the top of his feet to get around — by grabbing onto foot rails — so he has developed calluses there instead.
3. Space toilets contain acid
When asked about the creepiest thing he has experienced on the ISS, Kelly mentioned having to clean up “a gallon-sized ball of urine mixed with acid.” Further questions revealed that acid is added to the urine so the particles in it don’t clog up the machinery and cause damage.
4. Kelly is a child at heart
When answering a question from a class of kindergarteners, Kelly revealed that he enjoys playing with his food. Then again, who can blame him. It looks like so much fun to do so in microgravity!
5. It is even more important to cover your mouth and nose in space than it is on Earth.
This one is fairly self-explanatory. Just image “the sneeze […] found floating in another module” Ewwww!
6. Astronauts get special perks
They got a special early preview of the film The Martian on the ISS before the rest of us got to see it. Unfortunately, Kelly didn’t answer one reader’s key question: “Was it legal though? Cause if not, he'd literally be a space pirate.”
7. If given the chance, Kelly would return to space for the right mission.
Even though a year is a long time to be away from Earth, Kelly would not hesitate to return for a mission to Mars or the moon.