Revealed: 15 Things That Astronauts Take Into Space

15 things that astronauts take into space

Astronauts are brave individuals who venture beyond our planet to explore the mysteries of space. They must be equipped with the essential items to survive and succeed in their missions. NASA, the world’s leading space agency, carefully selects and approves every item that astronauts carry with them into space. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 15 things that astronauts take into space, from space suits to communication equipment and everything in between.

  • 15 essential items that astronauts need to survive and succeed in their missions
  • NASA carefully selects and approves every item
  • From space suits to communication equipment, each item plays a crucial role in ensuring a successful and fulfilling space mission
  • Astronauts bring personal items from Earth to provide comfort and a sense of familiarity
  • Exercise equipment, cameras, and tools are also crucial for mission success

Spacecraft

A spacecraft is the ultimate mode of transportation for astronauts during their space missions. It is equipped with astronaut gear and space essentials to make the journey as comfortable and safe as possible. The spacecraft usually consists of several sections, including the crew module where the astronauts live and work, the service module where essential equipment is kept, and the docking mechanism, which connects the spacecraft to other spaceships or the space station.

Inside the crew module, the astronauts have access to everything they need for their daily life in space. They have sleeping quarters, food and water supplies, scientific equipment, communication gear, and tools for repairs and maintenance.

Astronaut Gear in the Crew Module
Item Description
Space Suits A set of two space suits are kept on board for emergency spacewalks or repairs.
Food and Water Specially packaged, pre-prepared meals and drinks designed for microgravity consumption are kept on board.
Communication Equipment Radios, antennas, and advanced communication systems allow for seamless communication with mission control and fellow crew members.
Scientific Equipment A variety of scientific equipment is available for conducting experiments and gathering data.
Medications and Medical Supplies A supply of medications and medical supplies are on hand to address any health issues that may arise.
Hygiene Supplies Items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, wipes, and other hygiene products are available to maintain cleanliness.
Personal Items Each astronaut is allowed to bring a few personal items to provide comfort and a sense of familiarity during their time in space.
Laptop Computers Essential tools for astronauts to perform various tasks onboard the spacecraft, such as data analysis and research.
Cameras Important tools for documenting experiences in space and capturing high-quality photographs and videos.
Exercise Equipment Specially designed exercise equipment such as treadmills and resistance devices are available to maintain physical health.
Sleeping Bags Sleeping bags are designed to keep astronauts secure and comfortable while floating in microgravity.
Tools A variety of tools are available to assist in various tasks and repairs onboard the spacecraft.
Entertainment Items Astronauts are allowed to bring entertainment items such as books, music, and movies to combat the isolation and monotony of space travel.

Spacecraft are marvels of engineering designed to meet the unique challenges of space travel. They are equipped with everything astronauts need for their missions, from astronaut gear and space essentials to scientific equipment and communication gear. Without them, space exploration as we know it would not be possible.

Spacecraft

Space suits are not your ordinary suits. These specially designed suits are crucial for astronauts to survive outside of their spacecraft. They protect against extreme temperatures, radiation, and micrometeoroids. In addition to providing insulation, space suits also provide pressurization and life support systems. NASA astronauts rely heavily on this gear to perform spacewalks, repair and maintain spacecraft, and conduct scientific experiments.

Space suits are equipped with multiple layers of material, including fire-resistant Nomex and Kevlar, to protect the astronauts. The suits are also designed to be airtight, preventing leaks that could lead to decompression sickness or other serious health issues. The helmets are made of high-impact-resistant polycarbonate and have a protective sun visor to safeguard the astronauts from the harsh sunlight in space.

The latest version of the NASA space suit, the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), is the result of more than 20 years of research and development. It has been designed to provide maximum comfort and protection for the astronauts, while also ensuring a full range of motion. The suit is equipped with advanced communication systems that allow for seamless communication between the astronauts and mission control.

NASA astronaut outside spacecraft in space suit

Astronauts train extensively to learn how to operate in their space suits and to perform maintenance tasks while wearing them. The suits are complex pieces of equipment, and astronauts must know how to use them effectively to ensure their safety in space.

In summary, space suits are critical NASA astronaut equipment that is essential for their survival outside of their spacecraft. They provide insulation, pressurization, and life support systems to keep astronauts safe while they perform spacewalks or work outside the spacecraft.

Food and Water

One of the most crucial items that astronauts need to carry during their space missions is a sufficient supply of food and water. Astronauts need to ensure that their food and water supplies are lightweight, easy to consume, and nutritionally balanced. The food and water supplies are carefully chosen and packaged to meet the requirements of a space mission. Astronauts consume food and water in a microgravity environment using specially designed utensils and straws.

The food supply includes dehydrated, freeze-dried, and vacuum-sealed pre-packaged meals. These meals are easy to prepare and consume, and they provide the necessary nutrients to keep astronauts healthy during their space travel. In addition to pre-packaged meals, astronauts also grow and eat fresh vegetables and fruits onboard the spacecraft.

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The water supply needs to be carefully managed to prevent contamination, and astronauts drink it through special straws that use surface tension to move water to the mouth. Astronauts recycle and reuse their wastewater through advanced purification systems to ensure a sufficient supply of clean water during their long missions in space.

a yellow package of astronaut food floating in space

Personal hygiene is crucial to maintain astronauts’ health and comfort during their space missions. Astronauts carry personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, wet wipes, and hand sanitizers. These items are carefully chosen, packaged, and designed to work in a microgravity environment.

Astronauts use wet wipes to clean themselves and their living quarters since water does not behave the same way in space as it does on Earth. They also have specially designed waterless shampoos and soaps to maintain their cleanliness.

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Waterless shampoos and soaps

Communication Equipment

Astronauts rely heavily on communication equipment to stay in touch with mission control on Earth and with their fellow crew members. This equipment includes radios, antennas, and advanced communication systems that allow for seamless communication in space.

The communication equipment used by astronauts is specially designed to function in the harsh conditions of space and to withstand radiation and extreme temperatures. NASA astronaut equipment is carefully selected and tested to ensure it meets the high standards required for space missions.

In addition to traditional communication equipment, astronauts also use laptops and other devices to exchange data and information with mission control and conduct research while in space. These devices are essential tools for astronauts to perform various tasks onboard the spacecraft and make their missions successful.

astronaut communicating with mission control

Without reliable communication equipment, space missions would be impossible to complete. Astronaut gear and space mission gear always include the latest and most advanced communication technology, allowing for precise and timely communication in space.

Scientific Equipment

Astronauts carry a variety of scientific equipment onboard to conduct experiments and gather data during their space missions. From telescopes to microscopes, this equipment plays a crucial role in advancing our understanding of the universe.

One essential piece of scientific equipment is the spectrometer, which is used to analyze the composition of gases and liquids in space. Another important tool is the electron microscope, which allows astronauts to examine specimens up close and in great detail.

Space missions also require advanced navigation and mapping systems, such as GPS and laser altimeters, that help astronauts navigate through space and explore new territories. These systems are crucial for ensuring the success of the mission and the safety of the crew.

Finally, astronauts use specialized tools and equipment to study the effects of microgravity on various organisms and materials. These experiments can yield important insights into the long-term effects of space travel on human health and the environment.

Scientific Equipment Function
Spectrometer Analyzes composition of gases and liquids in space
Electron microscope Examines specimens up close and in great detail
GPS and laser altimeters Navigation and mapping systems for exploring new territories

Medications and Medical Supplies

Astronauts must keep themselves healthy while on space missions, which means they need to have access to medications and medical supplies in case of illness or injury. These medications and supplies are carefully chosen, tested, and packaged to ensure they are safe and effective in a microgravity environment. NASA astronaut equipment includes a medical kit that contains items like pain relievers, antihistamines, and antibiotics, as well as medical devices like syringes, IV bags, and defibrillators.

In addition to the medical kit, astronauts may also bring their own personal medications with them into space. However, each medication must be approved by NASA’s flight surgeons before it can be used, and astronauts must follow strict guidelines for storing and administering medications while in space.

One of the biggest challenges of administering medication in space is the lack of gravity, which can make it difficult to swallow pills or keep liquid medicines contained. To overcome these challenges, NASA has developed special delivery systems, such as syringes with retractable needles and tablets with adhesive coatings.

NASA astronaut equipment

Overall, the health and safety of astronauts is of utmost importance on space missions, and having access to the right medications and medical supplies is critical to their well-being.

Hygiene Supplies

Personal hygiene plays a critical role in an astronaut’s mental and physical health during their space mission. Astronauts carry a range of hygiene supplies onboard, carefully chosen to maintain cleanliness and avoid the spread of germs in the confined space environment. Essential items include toothbrushes, toothpaste, wet wipes, shampoo, and soap. Additionally, NASA provides specially made antibacterial towels that astronauts use to clean themselves. These towels are made of a viscose and polyester blend that allows them to clean without the need for water. As space missions can last for months, astronauts need to pack enough supplies to last them for the duration of their stay in space.

Astronaut hygiene supplies

While astronauts have limited space for personal items, bringing a few personal items from Earth is essential for their well-being during space missions. Familiar objects can provide comfort and help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Personal items can include photographs of family and friends, books, or small mementos. These items can serve as a reminder of home and loved ones and provide a sense of connection to Earth.

Astronauts understand the importance of staying connected to their families and loved ones while on a mission. NASA provides opportunities for astronauts to communicate with their families through email, video calls, and other communication methods.

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The personal items that astronauts bring to space may seem insignificant compared to the other essential supplies they carry, but they play a crucial role in their emotional well-being during long-duration space missions.

astronaut holding a photo of their family

Laptop computers are crucial tools for astronauts to perform various tasks onboard the spacecraft. NASA astronaut equipment includes laptops that are specially designed to withstand the harsh conditions of space. These computers are equipped with advanced software and hardware that allow astronauts to perform data analysis, communication, and research.

With limited storage space on the spacecraft, laptops are essential for storing and accessing important files and documents. Astronauts use them to keep track of their daily tasks, communicate with mission control, and conduct scientific experiments.

The laptops used by astronauts are designed with special features to withstand the space environment. They have a rugged design to withstand vibrations and shocks during launch and landing. They are also equipped with radiation-resistant materials and cooling systems to protect them from the harsh radiation and extreme temperatures in space.

In addition, these laptops are specially programmed to function in a microgravity environment. They have features like touchscreen displays and trackballs that allow astronauts to use them without having to rely on gravity.

Overall, laptops are an essential piece of astronaut gear and space essentials. They play a crucial role in ensuring the success of space missions and enabling astronauts to perform their tasks efficiently.

NASA astronaut using a laptop computer onboard a spacecraft

Cameras are an essential tool for astronauts to capture the breathtaking beauty of space and document their experiences during their missions. From the earth’s curvature to the colorful hues of the Milky Way, astronauts use cameras to capture images that are simply awe-inspiring.

These cameras are not your typical everyday cameras; they are specially designed to withstand the extreme conditions of space. They are lightweight, compact, and are equipped with advanced features to capture high-quality pictures and videos.

Astronauts have a variety of camera gear at their disposal, including handheld digital cameras, DSLRs, and 360-degree cameras. The cameras they bring for their missions depend on the type of mission they are undertaking and the specific requirements of the mission.

With cameras, astronauts can capture their memories of life in space. They take pictures of themselves floating in microgravity, their crew members conducting experiments, and the view of Earth from space. These images are then shared with the world, inspiring us all with the beauty and wonder of our universe.

astronaut taking a photo in space with a camera

Documenting space missions through photography and videography has played a pivotal role in advancing scientific knowledge and understanding of space. With these images, scientists can study the effects of space on humans and the Earth’s atmosphere, and better understand our place in the universe.

Cameras may seem like a small item compared to other astronaut gear, but they play a vital role in capturing the vastness and beauty of space, and in the documentation of human space exploration.

Exercise Equipment

Astronauts in space must maintain their physical health, and one way to do this is through regular exercise. When in a microgravity environment, astronauts experience muscle and bone loss due to lack of gravity. Therefore, staying fit is crucial for their well-being and the success of their mission.

The exercise equipment on board is specially designed for space travel, taking into account the unique challenges of working out in microgravity. The equipment includes treadmills, resistance devices, and other tools that help astronauts maintain their physical fitness.

Regular exercise not only keeps astronauts physically healthy, but it also helps them cope with the psychological stress of space travel. Exercise is known to boost mood and reduce anxiety, making it an essential part of an astronaut’s daily routine.

The image below shows an astronaut using one of the exercise machines in space.

astronaut exercise equipment

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are essential for astronauts to get a good night’s sleep in microgravity. These bags are specially designed to keep them secure and comfortable while floating in space. Astronauts need a good quality of sleep to function well and perform their duties efficiently. In a microgravity environment, however, sleeping can be challenging as astronauts tend to float around in their sleep.

Astronauts use specially designed sleeping bags that come with straps and Velcro to keep them in place and prevent them from floating around. These bags are made of lightweight materials to reduce the overall weight of the spacecraft.

A good quality sleeping bag is one of the essential astronaut essentials since a rested astronaut is a productive astronaut.

astronaut sleeping bag

Astronauts carry a variety of tools to assist in various tasks and repairs onboard the spacecraft. These tools are specially designed for use in space and are crucial for maintaining and repairing equipment during the mission. Spacewalks are an essential part of space missions, and astronauts need the right tools to perform repairs and maintenance tasks while outside the spacecraft in the vacuum of space. These tools include screwdrivers, wrenches, socket sets, and power tools that are designed to withstand the extreme conditions of space. The tools are also tethered to the astronauts to prevent them from floating away in microgravity.

spacewalk tools

The spacewalk tools include an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), which provides the astronaut’s life support, mobility, and protection against the harsh space environment. Another essential tool is the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), a self-rescue device that astronauts wear during spacewalks. If an astronaut becomes untethered from the spacecraft, they can activate SAFER to fly back to safety. Other tools like drills, saws, and wrenches are used to install or remove equipment, replace faulty parts, or repair a malfunctioning system. Astronauts are extensively trained in the use of all these tools to ensure their safety and success during space missions.

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Entertainment: A Vital Astronaut Essential

While the safety and success of space missions are paramount, NASA recognizes the importance of supporting the mental health and well-being of astronauts during their missions. To combat the isolation and stress of space travel, astronauts are allowed to bring some personal items for entertainment and relaxation. These items provide a much-needed break from the rigorous work of space missions, helping them recharge and maintain a positive mindset.

Books are a common choice for astronauts, allowing them to escape into fictional worlds and learn new things during their downtime. Music and podcasts can also be a great option for relaxation and entertainment. Astronauts may listen to music or podcasts during their workouts or while working on their experiments.

Movies and TV shows are also popular entertainment options, and NASA has even provided astronauts with a small projector to watch movies on the walls of the spacecraft. This technology helps astronauts feel like they are at home, relaxing in front of the TV.

Ultimately, providing astronauts with these personal items is a crucial aspect of supporting their psychological health and well-being during long space missions. The items offer a much-needed sense of familiarity and comfort, reminding them of their life on Earth, while also providing a break from the monotony of space travel.

astronaut playing guitar in space

Conclusion

As we conclude our exploration of the 15 things that astronauts take into space, we gain a deeper appreciation for the complexity and importance of each item. From the spacecraft itself to the smallest personal item, every piece of essential equipment contributes to the success of the mission and the safety of astronauts.

It’s incredible to think about the amount of planning, research, and innovation that goes into ensuring that astronauts have everything they need to survive and thrive in the harsh environment of space. From the selection and packaging of food and water to the development of advanced communication and scientific equipment, every aspect of space travel is carefully considered, designed, and tested.

As we continue to explore the vastness of our universe and push the boundaries of space travel, we can be confident that the essential items that astronauts take into space will continue to evolve and improve. With each new mission and discovery, we will deepen our understanding of space and expand our potential to explore and learn.

FAQ

What are the 15 things that astronauts take into space?

The 15 essential items that astronauts cannot leave Earth without include space suits, spacecraft, food and water supplies, communication equipment, scientific equipment, medications and medical supplies, hygiene supplies, personal items, laptop computers, cameras, exercise equipment, sleeping bags, tools, and entertainment items.

Why do astronauts need space suits?

Space suits are specially designed garments that protect astronauts from the harsh conditions of space. They provide insulation, pressurization, and life support systems to keep astronauts safe while they perform spacewalks or work outside the spacecraft.

How do astronauts communicate in space?

Astronauts stay connected with mission control on Earth and with their fellow crew members through communication equipment such as radios, antennas, and advanced communication systems.

What kind of scientific equipment do astronauts carry?

Astronauts carry various scientific equipment onboard to conduct experiments and gather data during their space missions. This equipment plays a crucial role in advancing scientific knowledge and understanding of space.

Why do astronauts need medications and medical supplies?

Astronauts need to have a supply of medications and medical supplies to address any health issues that may arise during their time in space. These supplies are carefully selected and tested to ensure they are safe and effective in a microgravity environment.

What personal items are astronauts allowed to bring?

Astronauts are allowed to bring a few personal items from Earth to provide comfort and a sense of familiarity during their time in space. These items could include photographs, books, or small mementos.

Why do astronauts need laptop computers?

Laptop computers are essential tools for astronauts to perform various tasks onboard the spacecraft. These computers are specially designed to withstand the space environment and help astronauts with data analysis, communication, and research.

How do astronauts capture photos and videos in space?

Astronauts use specially designed cameras to capture stunning images and document their experiences in space. These cameras are built to function in the extreme conditions of space and capture high-quality photographs and videos.

Why do astronauts need exercise equipment?

Exercise is crucial for astronauts to maintain their physical health and prevent muscle and bone loss in the microgravity environment. They have specially designed exercise equipment, such as treadmills and resistance devices, to stay fit during their space missions.

What do astronauts use to sleep in space?

Astronauts use sleeping bags designed for microgravity to sleep in space. These sleeping bags keep them secure and comfortable while floating in space.

What tools do astronauts carry with them?

Astronauts carry a variety of tools to assist in various tasks and repairs onboard the spacecraft. These tools are specially designed for use in space and are crucial for maintaining and repairing equipment during the mission.

Can astronauts bring entertainment items into space?

Yes, to combat the isolation and monotony of space travel, astronauts are allowed to bring entertainment items such as books, music, and movies. These items help astronauts relax and recharge during their time in space.

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BaronCooke

Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of measuringknowhow.com

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