“Off The Earth For The Earth” for a #YearinSpace Adventure on ISS
31,536,000 seconds. 525,600 minutes. 8,670 hours. 365 Days.
No matter how you break it down, one year is a long time. Then, put yourself in a 3-4 bedroom house (about 425 cubic meters of habitable space) with five other adults, no showers, no washing machines, and only two toilets for that amount of time. Feeling cramped yet?
For US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, they are already 149 days 7 hours and 28 minutes into the journey, as I write this, and usually they would be going home a mere 30 days from now.
NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. Credit: NASA
This will be the longest duration spaceflight for any American Astronaut since Michael López-Alegría spent 215.4 days aboard the ISS. For the Russians, 365 days won’t break their record of 438 days, set 20 years ago in 1995 by cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov aboard the Mir Space Station (Schwirtz, 2009).
You can read more about the ISS, facts and figures here. So what’s the big deal?
What good will spending a year in space do? It has everything to do with preparing capabilities for NASA’s planned #JourneytoMars.
The benefits for humanity on Earth, though the development of new technologies and medical research, are astounding.[/one_third][two_third_last]
From fluids to flames and crystals to leafy greens, the International Space Station (ISS) is helping advance technologies that benefit humanity on the earth and off.
For example, ever heard of osteoporosis? Astronauts experience the same effects at a much faster rate. You can learn more about the research being conducted regarding Bone Remodeling in Microgravity in this short video:
More videos about the Benefits to Humanity can be found here.
Astronauts recently tasted some red romaine lettuce that was grown on-board the ISS. You can read more about this “Outredgeous” advance toward sustaining astronauts on long-duration missions that could carry them as far away as Mars.
Credits: NASA/Gioia Massa
Credits: NASA/Gioia Massa
There are several research areas identified for evaluation as part of this mission that specifically address the effects of long-duration spaceflight on humans. Each of the U.S. investigations are included in these seven categories: functional, behavioral health, visual impairment, metabolic, physical performance, microbial, and human factors.
Educators should check out the classroom resources related to the ISS by going to the STEM on Station website. There is a whole section dedicated to “Get to Know” the space station and scores of education-related resources are available.
Our readers can find more information shared by NASA bloggers and Astronauts “Off The Earth, For The Earth” by visiting the Official Space Station Blogs site located here.
Watch here to get the most recent update from Day 100 of the One Year Mission.
You can join the conversation on social media by connecting with NASA and ISS using the links found here.
I would be remiss if I left you without posting one last cool photo from the “Masters” of the ISS… Expedition 45.
Schwirtz, M. (2009, March, 30). Staying Put on Earth, Taking a Step to Mars. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/science/space/31mars.html
By Brandon M. Hargis
Education Specialist, NASA STEM EPDC
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center