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The International Space Station is the most complex spacecraft ever built by man

kind.
With its more than 400 tons of mass,
100 m of length, and more than 100 kW of power,
it is also the heaviest and largest.
It has been inhabited continuously for more than 15 years now.
In all this time, it has housed more than 200 visitors from more than 15 countri
es,
usually for periods of six months.
As you know from previous videos,
the ISS is composed of several pressurized modules,
progressively built and launched by NASA, ROSCOSMOS,
ESA,
CSA and JAXA.
Below this video you will find a list of these modules and a brief description o
f their main roles.
Life at the ISS is not simple,
but engineers have done their best to facilitate a comfortable
stay for the astronauts in the station.
Let s take a look at a typical astronaut s day.
Astronauts have a tight work schedule.
Each day, they work for approximately 10 hours, and on Saturdays they work for 5
.
Work is planned in advance by ground control,
and the daily routine is reviewed everyday
by the morning teleconference
between the crew members and the ground.
After waking up at 6:00 am
and doing their morning hygiene,
astronauts have a breakfast.
Space food is nowadays not much different from food on the ground.
It comes in its natural form, in the case of fruits and bread, for example,
while in other cases it is prepared and dehydrated on the ground,
and cold or warm water has to be added before consuming it.
A small oven exists at the ISS to warm food.
Drinks are taken from sealed bags
using a straw, to avoid spilling droplets of liquid that could damage the machin
es and equipment.
Hygiene is not easy in microgravity, so certain workarounds have to be found
for common activities on the ground.
To wash oneself,
wet towels are used instead of a shower.
Special shampoos are used that do not require rinsing.
Washing your teeth and shaving
works pretty much like on Earth,
except
that there is no sink, and disposable towels have to be used to spit the tooth p
aste
and clean up your face.
The toilet is essentially a small vacuum cleaner,
with straps to hold your legs,
to avoid that the astronaut floats away while using it.
In general,
navigating the station is simple,
once the inner ear of the astronaut has become accustomed to being in space.
The different modules have numerous handgrips.
Also,
Velcro is used on the walls to place removable tools and hardware
and avoid their floating away.
The work routine is pretty intense, and usually covers different tasks, from ins

pecting the station, to fixing some equipment,


or running experiments onboard the station.
Experiments are the main goal of the station,
and they are housed in standardized racks
that live
in some of the modules of the ISS.
These experiments have been carefully designed on the ground,
with clear instructions for the astronauts to follow.
Astronauts work on those that require some input from them, and monitor that eve
rything is running smoothly.
Astronauts make breaks during the day to exercise and have lunch.
Exercise is a vital part of life in space,
since microgravity tends to weaken your muscles and bones,
since the mechanical load on them is far less intense than on the ground.
To partially compensate for this,
astronauts exercise themselves for about 2 hours per day.
A treadmill with an elastic harness, to hold the astronaut in place,
and an ergometer
(basically a stationary bike)
are available in the station.
The station is periodically resupplied with consumables like food, water and gas
es;
new science experiments to be installed;
and parts and supplies for the station repairs.
This is achieved
using unmanned resupply vehicles, which nowadays include the Russian Progress sp
acecraft,
the European automated transfer vehicle,
the Japanese Kounotori,
and the American Dragon and Cygnus spacecraft.
Except for some heavy-duty tasks,
clothes for the astronauts in the station are simply cotton t-shirts and shorts.
Since there is no washing machine in the ISS,
astronauts must reuse their clothes for three days.
These clothes are then disposed as trash, together with other garbage, into an e
mpty resupply vehicle,
before they are undocked from the station, and burn upon reentry in the atmosphe
re.
Sleeping in the station is done in sleeping bags,
strapped to one of the walls to prevent floating around.
Most astronauts also keep their arms folded or strapped;
otherwise,
these tend to float in front of their face uncomfortably.
The continuous humming noise of the equipment in the station
makes some of them use earplugs.
Astronauts have an allocated 8 hours per day for sleeping.
Every astronaut
also has some free time every day, in which they can relax and enjoy.
The most common pastime is simply looking out the window, of course:
astronauts can enjoy a sunset or sunrise every 45 minutes!
Astronauts also like to watch the movies,
play games, and talk to their families.
The free time is necessary to recover from their busy schedules,
but many of them like to continue working during these hours,
to finish some task, or perform their own microgravity experiments.
Medical care in the station, as you can expect,
includes standard medication for all common illnesses.
All crews have a medical officer, in charge of attending medical emergencies:
first-aids,
stitching wounds up,
giving injections, etc.

All astronauts are trained in first-aids,


so they can take control
in most common situations.
Ground control always keeps an eye
on the astronauts
health and monitors any medical treatment or procedure.
Serious illnesses or traumas
would require evacuating the affected astronaut
back to the Earth, for proper treatment.
Finally, regarding emergencies that would require to evacuate the space station,
the ISS counts with two Soyuz TMA capsules,
ready at all times.
The two capsules can serve as the lifeboat for up to six people in total,
and therefore, this limits the crew size of the ISS.
As an anecdote, in recent past,
the astronauts
had to rush into the Soyuz escape capsules,
due to the warning of a possible collision with space debris,
pieces of old satellites and launchers
that float uncontrolled in orbit.
Luckily, they did not have to abandon the station eventually,
as the dangerous piece of debris passed away at (only) 3 km distance from it.