As I wrote in my review of “The Martian,” the movie put NASA back on my orbit. I am amazed by how authentic much of the science in that film is. It leads me to more of the latest and greatest from NASA. The Space Agency’s YouTube channel could soon become my next addiction. If you spend any time checking out space videos, there are quite a few posted by NASA’s Canadian cousin, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
But I promised myself not to let my passion for NASA and CSA videos escalate to the point where I need a 12-step program as I did for my Dreamliner addiction.
What captivates me about these space videos is that even little things like eating, showering and brushing your teeth are challenging in zero gravity. Here’s a look at four cool videos from the International Space Station, including one with Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield from CSA’s YouTube channel.
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg (above) demonstrates that shampooing hair is quite different in space because water droplets float about in zero gravity. Nyberg spent six month on the International Space Station in 2013 on NASA Expedition 36.
In 2013, Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams offered a tour of the International Space Station. In this excerpt called Station Tour: Harmony, Tranquility, Unity, Williams shows off three nodes of the ISS that include the crew’s sleeping quarters, the hygiene station aka outhouse and the kitchen with meals ready to eat (MRE). I was most intrigued by teeth brushing and how an astronaut deals with peeing or pooping (which Williams gracefully dubs #1 and #2).
In Lettuce Orbit Earth — A New Form of Life Takes Root on the ISS, NASA explains the challenge of gardening in space and introduces us to the Veggie system. On August 10, astronauts were able to taste their first crop of “Outredgeous” red romaine space lettuce.
And what happens when you spill something in zero gravity? Canada’s Twitter darling, astronaut Chris Hadfield, demonstrated how to clean up a spill on the ISS: Chris Hadfield gets tough on Space Station spills. He commanded NASA Expedition 35 on the ISS, the mission that preceded Karen Nyberg’s arrival.
If you ever get a chance to attend a “space talk” by Hadfield, carpe diem — seize a ticket. He spoke at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival in October 2014. He spoke again this year, so Jasper can be a great place to meet up with astronauts and scientists — especially in October. But you don’t have to wait until next October to check out Jasper’s dark sky. It awaits year round, and it’s a great place to experience small town Canada. Jasper, Alberta is the world’s second largest dark sky preserve. It was designated a dark sky preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in 2011, because it has so little light pollution.
And if you prefer live TV to YouTube, check out NASA’s public TV programming. Tonight they were discussing Mars exploration zones.
This month I’ll review some NASA apps that are great for entertaining you while you sit at an airport waiting for your turn to circle the globe.
Featured Image Courtesy: Wiki Commons.