I subscribe to Universe Today and occasionally I come across some small gems. Well, they’re gems to me. To you they might be lumps of coal…
Today I learned that NASA’s online TV site now shows live streaming webcam feeds from the Space Station, which I think is pretty cool. (This is separate from the scheduled multimedia presentations that NASA TV does.)
I gather the feeds will show activity during duty hours (about 6 am to 6 pm GMT) and Earth views outside that period, as long as the high speed communication link is up (it does go down from time to time).
I can see a new past-time developing whereby you wait until your bit of the world is more or less visible in the feed.
Then you run outside and set off your camera flash a few times before running back inside to see if the flashes are being shown on-screen 🙂
But that’s not the main reason for this post.
The main reason is that I learned something I didn’t know before about sleeping aboard the Space Station.
Apparently all of the astronauts have to make sure they sleep near a fan. Not because it’s hot (although it sounds as though the station is kept at a fairly high temperature all the time) but because when you’re stationary for any length of time, as you breathe, a bubble of carbon dioxide builds up around you unless there’s regular movement of air, and that’s not good. Oo-bleedin’-er.
Of all the things I thought you’d have to watch out for in space – cosmic rays, explosive decompression, high velocity micrometeorites, badly-piloted cargo ships, green-blooded space aliens – actually needing to be in a draft in order to stay alive was not one of the things that occurred to me…