17 Things Astronauts Need in Space to Survive

Space travel is a fascinating aspect of humanity’s quest for knowledge and discovery. Many of us love learning about the universe and how humans could venture further into it someday. But have you ever wondered how exactly humans can withstand such an unearthly environment? Here are 17 things astronauts need in space to survive.

Reliable Life Support Systems

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According to Science, there is little to no breathable oxygen in space. This is why it is vital for astronauts to take an ample supply of oxygen on board to ensure they have enough fresh air to breathe while journeying through space. They must also make use of systems that regulate the temperature and carbon dioxide levels of their living environment.

Nutritious and Shelf-Stable Food

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It’s hard to find a local grocery store in the depths of space, so astronauts must pack a large supply of nutritious food that will keep them going for weeks, months, or even years. Because space trips can be so lengthy, it’s important that the food has a long shelf-life and is compact in size.

Clean Water Supply

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You may wonder how astronauts find enough space on board to keep all the water they need to drink every day. Well, one trick they use is actually purifying and recycling their waste products to make it drinkable again. This is completely safe and allows them to maximize their space efficiency.

Efficient Waste Management Systems

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Speaking of waste, it’s essential that astronauts properly manage their waste to keep their ships compact and hygienic. As well as turning their liquid waste back into drinkable water, they have many systems in place to reduce odors, compact their waste, and minimize the risk of contamination.

Protective Space Suits

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Unlike Earth, space and other planets are not designed for human life. Because of this, astronauts require those funky-looking spacesuits we’ve all seen to stay safe when they venture off their ships. These suits protect them against extreme temperatures and solar radiation, and supply them with all the oxygen they need to stay alive.

Exercise Equipment

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The zero-gravity environment of space can make it difficult for astronauts to maintain their muscles. To combat this issue, scientists have designed compact yet effective machines they can use to work out and prevent muscle atrophy and bone density reduction.

Medical Supplies and Equipment

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It’s possible for astronauts to get ill or hurt just like anyone else. Therefore, it’s important that they bring along medical supplies such as bandages and medications in anticipation of any potential health problems.

Personal Hygiene Products

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How does one shower in space? Well, according to the National Air and Space Museum, they often use liquid soap, rinseless shampoo, and a little bit of water to keep themselves clean. These products help them minimize water usage while staying fresh and clean.

Sleep Quarters

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As you might imagine, sleeping in a zero-gravity environment is a little different than taking a nap on Earth. Astronauts usually sleep in personalized sleeping pods or bags that keep them tethered to the ship so they do not float away while they sleep.

Communication Systems

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It is essential that astronauts have a constant communication link to those back down on Earth in case of any issues or emergencies. As such, they use reliable technologies to ensure they can keep in contact. They also have access to entertainment options, including books, music, and movies.

Psychological Support Resources

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Just like anyone else, astronauts are at risk of developing mental health issues. In fact, according to the National Library of Medicine, the unusual and isolated environment can make them more prone to psychological problems than most people. To combat these issues, astronauts have constant access to counseling and psychological support from trained individuals back on Earth.

Radiation Protection

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Solar radiation can be extremely damaging to humans. Because of this, it is important that they adequately protect themselves and their ships from these harmful effects. Special materials and technologies are used to ensure they can withstand solar flares or similar high-radiation events.

Emergency Response Equipment

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Space travel naturally comes with its risks and health concerns. Because of this, it is important that astronauts are equipped with the necessary emergency response equipment to deal with any issues. This includes escape pods, safe areas, survival gear, and emergency training for the crew.

Navigation and Control Systems

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When you’re staring into space, there’s not a whole lot to go off in terms of navigation. This is why astronauts travel with advanced computer systems designed to let them know exactly where they are and where they need to go.

Solar Power Systems

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Fuel and power can be very costly in terms of space and weight. For this reason, astronauts make use of solar power, converting sunlight into electrical power to fuel their equipment and spaceships. They also stock batteries that are capable of storing energy in case sunlight is not available.

Atmospheric Control

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It’s difficult to stay healthy in space without ideal environmental conditions. This is why atmospheric control plays an essential role in space travel. Astronauts use advanced technology that can produce atmospheric conditions very similar to those on Earth, keeping them alive, safe, and healthy.

Thermal Regulation

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It’s pretty cold out there in space. In fact, according to USA Today, the baseline temperature of space is a bone-chilling minus 453.8 degrees Fahrenheit. To combat these extreme temperatures, astronauts are fully equipped with the insulating and heating systems required to keep them nice and warm on their journey.

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