While astronaut communication with us terrestrial beings isn’t all that uncommon (it happens through Twitter, space videos, and sometimes, even a phone call), getting to “speak” one-on-one with a denizen of the International Space Station is still a pretty spectacular experience. I mean, come on — not everyone is stationed in space. Today, astronaut Scott Kelly hosted a live “Answer Time” session, essentially Tumblr’s answer to Reddit’s wildly popular “Ask Me Anything” series. Questions ranged from the practical to the puny and everything in between during the candid session, and both the inquiries and their responses made for some pretty hilarious reading.
The whole session began, of course, with the age-old question — how would this non-pants wearing entity wear pants?
The answer? According to Kelly, he’s worn the same pair of pants for six months — guess there’s really no one to impress that high above the stratosphere.
There were quite a lot of food-related questions, with a number of Tumblr users curious about both the taste of space meals and the logistics of their consumption. When asked, “Does food taste differently in space?” Kelly responded, “Fluid shifts seem to affect your sense of smell and taste, so people find their preferences of foods change here in space.” Apparently, tortilla-based sandwiches are a staple in an astronaut diet, but to fight the blandness, the astronauts specially requested hot sauce to be sent up from Earth.
And of course, once you’ve eaten, you’ve got to brush your teeth, which appears to be quite a challenge in space — Kelly says that he uses “a little bit of toothpaste and swallow[s] it.” He does not recommend it.
There were also logistical questions about how Kelly and his colleagues spend their days on the ISS. According to the astronaut’s Answer Time answers, the team divides their time quite evenly in three directions — doing science, general upkeep, and maintenance. There is, Kelly says, “very little time for free time.”
Perhaps some of the most interesting questions Kelly received were about his sleep and dreaming patterns while away from Earth. He revealed that when he first began his mission, “most of my dreams were Earth-based. Then, they became space-based. And now as I am getting ready to return home, I am dreaming of Earth again.” The astronaut also noted that he sleeps less in space than he did on Earth, adding, “I definitely miss sleeping in a bed.” And as for that terrifying feeling of falling in your dreams, Kelly admits that it’s much more pronounced in space. “Initially [that feeling] can be a little bit startling,” he said. “I can definitely make myself feel like I am falling. But it doesn’t bother me anymore.”
To check out the rest of the questions and answers (including whether or not he is actually in space and his day-to-day schedule), visit Kelly’s full Answer Time Tumblr page, and follow the astronaut to ensure you never miss a post.
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