Space House Rules

There are lots of things that you can do on Earth and absolutely can’t if you’re in space. Some of them, you wouldn’t believe. You might imagine that life in space is just floating around the International Space Station without a care in the world. However, just like at any workplace, astronauts must follow some house rules.  Normal, everyday activities can be a challenge. So it is necessary to follow special protocol.

No crying

In microgravity, says astronaut Chris Hadfield, “your eyes make tears but they stick as a liquid ball.” In zero gravity, the tears can’t flow downward in the way they do on Earth. The moisture generated has nowhere to go. Fortunately, it is possible to just wipe them away. Or, if you can put up with the stinging, you can wait for them to get big enough so they simply break free of the eye and float around.

No bread

How many times did your mother nag you about crumbs on the floor? In space, you can say goodbye to peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Crumbs and liquids can damage equipment or be accidentally inhaled by astronauts as they float inside the spacecraft. NASA has used flour tortillas on the space shuttle since the 1980s. These special tortillas are designed to take the place of crumbly bread.

No sex

Sorry to report, but sex is off limit. Obviously, close quarters, a professional environment, and being in space are good justifications for the ban. Also, it is not the most brilliant idea to get pregnant in space. Apart from gravitational difficulties, there is also the radiation problem.

No water wasting

Which means, controlled teeth brushing, hand washing, showering, using the restroom. To rinse their toothbrushes after a cleaning, astronauts suck a bit of water into their mouths and then spit it back onto the toothbrush. If an astronaut wants to wash his hands he can do it with pre-soaped water that comes in the special pouch, no rinsing. The same goes for the showering. Doing laundry is out of the question cause water’s way too valuable to waste on that. Believe it or not, before going into space, astronauts complete a toilet training program. There are two different bathroom mechanisms, each designed for a specific bodily function. When nature calls, astronauts use a specially designed toilet seat (for solid waste) and a liquid waste vacuum tube with different sized funnels for men and women.