When we think about the life of an astronaut, we usually think about them working on the space station. But what we don’t think about is their free time or what they do with it. A lot of astronauts spend months at a time in space and they are confined in the same rooms throughout their stay. So what do they do to keep from going crazy with boredom? Here are just some of the many astronaut activities you can do in zero-g!
Not unlike the rest of us, many astronauts use their weekends to relax and watch movies, read books, use Skype to talk to folks at home, etc. Most space stations even have wifi throughout the station! So, apart from being in space, that sure sounds a lot like our average weekend on Earth.
Hobbies and Games
Like the rest of us, astronauts have hobbies which they can practice while in space. A lot of them enjoy cooking, which is way more difficult in space and takes a lot of practice. Others like to play something similar to football or invent their own games using balls, rails, goals, etc. Astronauts often also race from one end of the station to the other using rails to push and propel themselves forward. Another popular pastime in simply flying! Doing pirouettes and floating around can be immensely fun!
A lot of astronauts like to use their down-time to sit next to a window and enjoy the view. Our planet looks amazingly interesting from way up there, so it’s no wonder that many people just like to gaze at is for hours. “Staring out the window” might seem like a pretty boring way to spend an afternoon, but remember that they can gaze into endless space on one end see Earth and its sunsets and sunrises on the other. It’s definitely a mesmerizing view!
Going to the Gym
Since many astronauts spend a lot of time in space, they have flight planners at home to help them remember to exercise. Since exercise relieves stress, it’s a great way to spend some time in space. And it is also very important to exercise to stay fit and healthy. If astronauts don’t exercise, their muscles will become much weaker due to the fact that zero-g doesn’t put so much pressure on them, and when they return to Earth they might have serious problems. And there is also a problem with bone density. Many astronauts lose a lot of bone density while in space, but a recent medical study showed that astronauts who weight-lift lose much less bone density then those who don’t. Specifically, this study has shown that 2 hours of exercise per day is essential to maintaining on-earth bone and muscle density.
So if you ever think you’d be bored to death in space, remember that astronauts also have plenty of activities available.