Far-out Housekeeping on the ISS
Life in space is a daring adventure, but somebody still has to cook dinner
and take out the trash. Science@NASA interviews two astronauts about
the thrill and routine of daily life in orbit.
29, 2000 -- It's open for business! And even though the construction
crews aren't done yet, the International Space Station's first occupants
have moved in and set up housekeeping. If all goes as planned, the
arrival of Expedition 1 in orbit earlier this month signaled the
beginning of a new era. From now on, there will always be humans
Living in space is a daunting adventure with plenty of derring-do and glamour. Hollywood
spacefarers rarely have to take out the trash or clean the kitchen
(when was the last time you saw Captain Jean-Luc Picard struggling
with the twisty-tie on a garbage bag?). But, what about real-life
astronauts? Are there chores to do on the ISS? In a recent interview
with Science@NASA, Dr. Edward Lu and Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Daniel
Burbank -- two astronauts who helped build the space station --
discussed the excitement and the day-to-day routine of life in orbit.
"We were a construction team to help assemble the space station and deliver
supplies," explained Lu about their mission on STS-106 last September.
"We delivered hardware, water, and other consumables for the occupants
to use. We also made the electrical connections between two of the
station modules previously assembled in orbit. And, we also delivered
the first scientific hardware to Station, a protein crystal growth
STS-106 was Lu's second time in space, but only the
first for Burbank.
"Space really is the most hostile environment humans have ever tried to live in,"
said Burbank. "You depend on the Station and the people on the ground
for everything you need to survive. It is complicated and everything
has to work!" It's a risky adventure with very little margin for
error, but, said the astronauts, the thrill of being there is something
that neither would give up.