Living in space is not just all work and no play.
Astronauts like to have fun, too. If you're going to work on the
space shuttle for a week or two, it is certainly okay to look out
the window, play with your food or tease your crewmates once in
awhile. If you're staying on the International Space Station for
a few months, fun is an essential ingredient to the quality of life.
Astronauts need a break from their busy schedules
when they are orbiting Earth. Days or even months of straight work
is certain to cause stress among space workers. That is why flight
planners on Earth schedule time during each day so astronauts can
relax, exercise and have some fun. Shuttle and station crewmembers
even manage to have fun while working. Experiments in space sometimes
involve ordinary toys and how microgravity affects them.
A popular pastime while orbiting the Earth is simply
looking out the window. Astronauts onboard the space shuttle can
look out the cockpit windows and watch the Earth below or the deep
blackness of space. Inside the International Space Station, crewmembers
have numerous windows they can look out. Astronauts often comment
on their fascination and awe as they look at the Earth spin beneath
them with its multiple shades and textures. Sunsets and sunrises
are also very spectacular, occurring every 45 minutes above the
Check out an orbital sunset and lightning from the space shuttle.
Onboard the space station, crewmembers have many
opportunities to relax and play. Like most people who work full
time, they get weekends off. On any given day, crewmembers can watch
movies, read books, play cards and talk to their families. They
have an exercise bike, a treadmill and various other equipment to
help keep their bodies in shape. During their off time, they certainly
take time out to play games and generally have a good time.