Anyone with small children knows that a bedtime routine is pretty much the Holy Grail. Everything good revolves around a reliable bedtime, and astronauts are no exception. The European Space Agency (ESA) has shared this interesting little video which shows German Astronaut Matthias Maurer getting ready for bed aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
It’s more or less what you might expect, except of course, for the whole micro-gravity situation.
The action happens in the Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation, aptly named CASA for short. Maurer has been aboard the ISS for 6 months now, so seems like he has his bedtime routine down.
Before heading to his sleeping bag he takes us to one of the three ‘bathrooms’ on board to show how an astronaut brushes his teeth and showers.
Interestingly, you need a much smaller amount of toothpaste in space than on Earth, Maurer says because it tends to foam up more. That’s handy to know to save packing space for your next trip into space. “If you put a full line on your toothbrush,” says Matthias, “you have so much foam in your mouth that you could probably suffocate.” You’ve been warned!
Showering is little more than some water sprayed onto a sponge. It’s not really something I’d ever really considered but of course, a conventional shower relies on gravity in order to work effectively. In space in near-zero gravity, it would likely just send water droplets around the space station, although we can still see some in the video drifting around.
Maurer assures us on his blog, however, that it’s completely safe and these water droplets won’t harm any integral parts of the ISS. “The washing areas that we have are in separate locations where we also have shower curtains and no critical electronics,” he says.
After this, Maurer checks his laptop before floating up into his sleeping bag inside the sleep pod. The pod is large enough for one person, and like on Navy vessels, it’s common to strap yourself into the bed to stop yourself from floating around while you sleep. Fascinating stuff!
Would you enjoy a zero-gravity bedtime routine?
[Via Digital Trends]