Sunday, March 16, 2008

"What You Don't Know About Living in Space". Tidbits include:
iPods: For the last few years astronauts have been allowed to fly with iPods, a great space saver over CD players. The iPods had to be modified to fly in space; the lithium batteries were taken out and replaced with alkaline double As that are certified to fly on the shuttle.

Though iPods can fly on the space shuttle, when the shuttle docks to the space station, iPods can't cross over the hatch because they haven't been certified to fly on the space station yet.

But now the people who figure out just where to stow everyone on the space shuttle have to find space for spare double-A batteries, because the iPods tend to be battery burners!

Money: Money has no value in space. When seven astronauts are living together in a cramped atmosphere the psychology of small isolated groups kicks in. Whoever has squirreled away the most M&Ms, tortillas or coffee has the most bargaining power. Those are items that are most prized at the end of a mission if someone runs short in their own stash. Astronauts' meals are color coded on shuttle missions -- and reliable sources tell ABC News some astronauts aren't above switching the colored dots on their dehydrated meals if they have run out of say, lasagna, on day six and have way too much creamed spinach left.