In March, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) with plans to stay for almost an entire year. The expedition will be the longest continuous stretch of time that any American has spent in space. Over the weekend, Kelly hit the halfway mark. And although he keeps pretty busy up there, he took some time on Saturday—day 176—to answer Twitter questions about life on the ISS.
1. ASTRONAUTS HAVE A RENEWED APPRECIATION FOR TOILETS.
One of the first questions Kelly addressed was what's the hardest thing to do in space that we take for granted here on Earth.
Want to know more? Find out exactly what happens to astronaut excrement here.
2. THEY GET TO SKIP SOME CHORES.
Asked whether socks still go missing on laundry day in space, Kelly admitted he has a year off from laundry duty.
3. ALTHOUGH THERE'S PLENTY OF CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY ON THE ISS, SOME THINGS ARE A LITTLE RETRO.
Asked how Internet speeds up there compare to those here on Earth, Kelly had this to say:
4. THEY HAD AT LEAST ONE CLOSE CALL WITH SPACE DEBRIS.
One Twitter user wanted to know just how real the threat of space debris is.
5. WASTE NOT, WANT NOT WHEN IT COMES TO WATER ON THE ISS.
Asked how much water he needs to drink, Kelly answered—and elaborated.
Not just urine, but sweat and shower run-off, too.
6. THE DOWNTIME ISN'T THE MOST EXCITING.
The work itself is probably pretty fulfilling, but when asked what he does strictly for fun while up in space, Kelly had a simple answer.
7. WAKING UP ISN'T ALL THAT DIFFERENT.
Kelly said that sleep in zero gravity took a little getting used to. But his morning routine sounds pretty familiar.
8. IF YOU LIVE IN SPACE, YOU DREAM IN SPACE.
Asked about his dreams, Kelly said they've adapted to his new circumstances.
9. THEY CAN TELL THE SEASON IS CHANGING.
It might not snow in space, but Kelly said they can notice seasonal shifts.
10. TOILETS AREN'T THE ONLY THING YOU LEARN TO APPRECIATE IN SPACE.
Asked how his record-setting time in space changed him, Kelly had this to say:
11. MARS MIGHT SOON BE WITHIN REACH.
A voyage to Mars would take longer than a year (the first mission is set for 2020). There's no one more qualified to address the question of whether or not humans are mentally up for the trip than Kelly.
And assuming a round trip ticket is part of the deal, Kelly could see himself on a mission to Mars.
12. EXERCISE IS A LITTLE MORE COMPLICATED ON THE SPACE STATION.
Asked how he and the other astronauts manage working out and running in space, Kelly explained their setup.