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How Do Astronauts Live In Space?

Team StoryWeavers|September 26, 2019, 11:34 IST| 28

Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut? Renowned astronauts like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Kalpana Chawla, and Sunita Williams have made us all curious about space travel, but do you know what it’s like to actually live in space? 

Today, we’re going to walk you through a regular day on one of the oldest and most famous space stations out there, so you know what it feels like to be a space explorer yourself!

The International Space Station (ISS) is an artificial satellite that orbits the earth and acts as a laboratory for low gravity experiments. Currently, five space research organisations are working on the ISS. They are NASA from the USA, Roscosmos from Russia, JAXA from Japan, ESA from Europe, and CSA from Canada.

Astronauts are sent to the ISS to conduct experiments on biology, astronomy, physics, and various other topics. On average, an astronaut stays on the ISS for six months, and there are three to six astronauts on the ISS at all times.

How do these astronauts go about their daily activities in space? Let’s find out!

For earthlings, it’s easy to know the right time to sleep and wake up because the sun helps track the day with a sunrise and a sunset. But on the ISS, an astronaut sees 16 sunrises and sunsets in 24 hours! This is because the ISS orbits the earth at a speed of 27519 km/hr. Therefore, in 24 hours, the ISS goes around the earth 16 times. To keep track of the day, the ground staff of the space research organisations alerts the astronauts when it’s time to sleep and wake up. Once they receive the alert, the astronauts jump into their sleeping bags, make sure it’s hooked to a wall (to prevent them from floating away) and get some restful sleep.

Once awake, astronauts have to start their morning routine of brushing, using the toilet and taking a bath. In space, water doesn’t flow like a liquid. Instead, it forms round, bubble-like beads. Astronauts use a few beads of water to brush (their toothbrush and toothpaste remain the same as on earth) and then spit out the toothpaste into a paper towel or sometimes swallow it (not recommended for earthlings).

Taking a bath in space is not as comfortable as on earth because there is no gravity to drain the water off your body. Astronauts use rinseless shampoos, liquid soap, and beads of water to cleanse themselves and wipe off excess water with a towel.

A toilet in space consists of vacuum devices that help in sucking the waste into a tube once it’s outside the body.

Once the astronauts are ready for the day, they need to eat a nutritious meal to help them work on the space station. Astronauts are sent freeze-dried, dehydrated, pre-cooked meals at the start of the journey. Freeze drying food removes close to 97 percent of the water from the food, making it lighter and easier to send more food to space. The astronauts simply need to add water and heat up the food before eating it.

Food that crumbles or breaks into small pieces easily is not preferred because the crumbs can float away and get stuck in equipment on the space station. This makes tortillas (the South American version of roti), a favorite in space since it doesn’t crumble easily and can be eaten with a lot of different things. Salt and pepper are also given to astronauts in liquid form for the same reason.

In space exercising is not just important, it is essential. The skeleton and muscles of astronauts don’t get enough work since they’re floating in low gravity instead of walking. So overtime their bones and muscles start deteriorating causing a lot of damage to their bodies,  especially when they come back to earth. To prevent this from happening, it is very important for astronauts to exercise in space and keep their bones and muscles active.

Astronauts live an exciting life up in space and they contribute to important scientific work. They give up on the small luxuries of a daily routine to contribute to the cause of science. 

What surprised you the most about their routine? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Deepthi is an ambivert who is on a steady diet of good food, filter coffee, and self-improvement. Being an ardent reader, storytelling has been her first love and she enjoys exploring how to convey stories compellingly. Having studied psychology and experienced the learning and development field, Deepthi is driven to understand human behavior and to know what makes each of us unique. You are most likely to find her tucked into a cozy corner at a local cafe with a Kindle or a book in hand. If you find her there, stop by and say hello, she'd be eager to learn your story too. Until then, you can ping her at for anything you may like to share.

Leave a Comment



Gaurya Naik

June 5, 2020

If there are any astronomers in space now they are free from corona virus?????????


June 3, 2020

can i go to space


April 22, 2020

It was very interesting and informative knowledge


April 9, 2020

It is a nice topic i like it so much


April 7, 2020

The life is not to easy for them. Ater reading this I am feeling Lucky to be on earth


March 9, 2020

What surprises me is that how could they really get attached to such an environment easily and start making important contributions for new discoveries about life beyond earth.


February 27, 2020

Amazing information

Vasundra devi

February 27, 2020

Wow it was very interesting informations ?
Thank u byju.

Chinmayee Rajendra Khairnar

February 8, 2020

Same here ??


February 6, 2020

I love to be a astronaut .I ?♥️ space

Mimansha Sharma

February 6, 2020

Do swallowing of toothpaste not cause harm?

Vijeta khillare

February 6, 2020

Wonderful! It gave me a lot of knowledge.


February 6, 2020


Prohan Mukhopadhyay

November 24, 2019

Well,I didn’t no most of the routine of astronauts. It’s amazing!!!!

Inamul haq

November 15, 2019

Wow! I was really surprised after reading this. This is such an interesting fact. Thank you BYJU’S


November 10, 2019

It is faboulous. I’am interested to learn about such things.Thanks to Byjus


November 9, 2019

Very nice mail…?? I wish my name would be there in future…

Lasya Sri

October 10, 2019

Actually I want to become an astronaut.This is so…helpful to me as I want to do aeronautical engineering,as a good question”HOW DO ASTRONAUTS LIVE IN SPACE”,I am very thankful to byjus,as they are helping children in lots of studies,the way of thinking of byjus is absolutely perfect. A very help ful message to the children. Thank u byjus


October 10, 2019

That’s amazing and the most interesting topic was- the morning activities

Anuj Bhat

October 9, 2019

Wow! I was really surprised after reading this. This is such an interesting fact. Thank you BYJU’S

Trishan Saha

October 3, 2019

“Thats one small step for a man,one giant leap for mankind.”- Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to step on moon’s surface.


October 2, 2019

That’s great and knowledgefull


September 29, 2019

Wow that was an interesting topic I have come to know about the routine of the astronauts which helped me in

Utkarsh chorode

September 26, 2019

Wow what a interesting life in space. But how can one sleep or awake like a robot on third persons alarm.?
It’s very curious to know astronauts daily routine.
Thanks to Byjus

Ruth Rajan

September 26, 2019

This information about the routine of the astronauts was indeed wonderful as I gained knowledge about their routine which I was unaware of till today…
The thing which surprised me a lot was that “The skeleton and muscles of astronauts don’t get enough work since they’re floating in low gravity instead of walking. So overtime their bones and muscles start deteriorating causing a lot of damage to their bodies. To prevent this austronauts excercise in space too”.


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