Traveling is one of the most exciting experiences one can have. Whether it’s exploring a new city, enjoying a scenic hike or simply relaxing on a beach, travel allows us to break free from the monotony of life and witness the beauty of the world. One of the most unique travel experiences is visiting the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is located in low Earth orbit and is the largest human-made object in space. Let’s discover what it takes to visit this fascinating space station and what makes it so remarkable.
The International Space Station- A Human Marvel
The International Space Station is a huge human-made structure, located approximately 408 km above Earth. It is a product of over two decades of human collaboration and engineering excellence. The ISS travels around the Earth at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour, which means it completes around 15.5 orbits of the earth every day. That’s equivalent to 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours! The space station’s interior includes laboratories, living quarters, and a robust communication system that enables astronauts from different parts of the world to work together seamlessly.
What Do You Need to Know?
A Visit to the International Space Station
Visiting the international space station isn’t exactly like planning a vacation to your favorite tropical island. It’s important to note that only trained and experienced astronauts have the privilege of visiting the ISS. So, unless you have undergone rigorous physical, mental, and technical training for years, you will have to wait for opportunities to visit the ISS as a tourist. In 2021, NASA announced that it would allow private astronauts to stay on the ISS for up to 30 days, but it will still come at a cost of $35,000 a night, not including transportation expenses.
Training and Qualification
To become an astronaut, you must have a degree in science, math, or engineering, and additional credentials such as having U.S citizenship and experience as a pilot. Afterward, you will need to pass an intensive evaluation process that includes physical and psychological testing. Upon selection, astronauts undergo two years of intense technical, physical, and simulation training, including swimming, weightlifting, and scuba diving training, and learn how to operate equipment in low gravity conditions.
Thrilling experiences on the International Space Station
The ‘Friendly’ Roommates
Astronauts aboard the ISS always experience unique and incredible moments that most earth dwellers can only dream of. They float freely around each room of the ISS, which is captivating due to the absence of gravity. Imagine floating around while having a meal, sleeping, or even exercising! Moreover, astronauts always enjoy the company of their ‘friendly’ roommates – the flocks of birds that traverse the earth at similar heights to that of the ISS’s location. For instance, astronauts have documented seeing beautiful orange and pink sunrises and sunsets and witnessed celestial events like meteors entering the earth’s atmosphere.
The View of Earth
One of the most thrilling parts of living on the ISS has to be the picturesque view of the earth below. From above, the earth appears as a blue, green, and brown ball, surrounded by the blackness of space. Onboard, astronuats have access to the largest window off the planet, which provides an unbelievable experience of watching storms, the auroras, and even the twinkling cities and towns below.
Experiments and Research
The ISS is a platform for conducting scientific research that will help improve our understanding of how the universe works and help us develop technologies for future space exploration. Astronauts onboard the ISS conduct experiments such as investigating the effects of microgravity on living organisms, studying the Earth’s natural processes, and producing materials for technological systems. They are also carrying out experiments on human physiology to understand how the body adapts to living in space and exercises to stay healthy and fit in the absence of gravity. Through these experiments, we can come with solutions to real-life problems like disasters and global warming.
Even though we can’t all get the chance to visit the ISS, it still remains a remarkable structure, a testament to human capabilities and achievements. It is an inspiring place for astronauts who have lived and worked there for months and a platform for conducting life-changing science. It proves that, as humans, there’s no limit to what we can achieve when we work together with passion and dedication, especially when we look beyond our planet—there’s much more to uncover.
Leave a Reply