Astronauts are people who go into
space. They have many different professions on Earth. For example, an
astronaut can be a medical doctor studying the effects of microgravity
on the human body. Astronauts living in space do most of the same things
they would do on Earth. They eat, sleep, and attend to personal hygiene
just as we do on Earth. However, the requirements in space are different
from Earth. It is easy for us to eat and sleep, but a "job"
out in space. Eating and sleeping in space is different because of
"weightlessness." The astronauts have to be careful with their
food, or it can float away. They have to strap themselves in a place
while sleeping or they could float away.
Astronauts brush their teeth, take
sponge baths, and go to the bathroom in space. Because of the
weightlessness, they have to be very careful about containing wastes so
they can bring it back to Earth for proper disposal.
- View the video on "Eating and
Sleeping in Space" provided on the video tape in APPLIED SCIENCE -
BUILT ENVIRONMENT (6) or purchased through resources below. This also
will help students prepare for lab which asks students to predict what
certain toys in space will do.
You can purchase videos and other educational material
from NASA or related agencies.
You can download video free from this site. Not only Toys
in Space but other video that may be useful.
- After the tape, you may want to
ask students if it seems like fun or very confining to be in space?
Don't be surprised if many students prefer to stay on Earth. It seems
fun for a while, but when you really think about it, an astronauts' job
is hard work.
- You may ask students why are we
exploring space? First, we need to know what resources may be available
for humans in the centuries to come. However, scientists are
investigating the possibility of products that can be built in space
that might help humans. The ultra vacuum of space is used to student new
microelectronic advances including compound semiconductors, synthesizing
metallic waters, and high temperature superconductors. Medical research
is trying to understand protein crystals in space that might lead to
understanding viral diseases. The production of zeolites in space
produces a better crystal for use in kidney dialysis machines, solar
energy panel, and other medical and industrial uses.