Living the High Life Onboard the International Space Station | Weekend Watchlist

Living on a space station orbiting our blue marble of a home is easily one of the top dreams of technophiles and science fiction junkies alike. But what’s it really like? Well, how do you feel about sleeping upside-down and not sitting for six months? In this edition of the Weekend Watchlist we check in on the current living conditions within the orbiting modern marvel we know as the ISS.

Before we begin watching this weekend, we’re going to start off listening. You should have some sense of how hard it can be to live on the Space Station. It isn’t difficult to appreciate the complications of going to the bathroom in zero gravity, but have you considered living with the noise of all the equipment required to simply survive in this truly out of this world environment? Colonel Chris Hadfield made this recording of the ever present white noise generated by the millions of systems running 24/7 onboard the station. This recording was made in the US lab section of the ISS.


Ah, reminds me of my wall shaking “QuietMaster” air conditioner back home. Bear this background noise in mind and marvel at the production involved as we watch the rest of this week’s videos.

Shortly before departing the ISS on November 18th, 2012, delightfully dynamic station commander Sunita Williams takes us on a tour through the orbiting laboratory to show us the day-to-day lives of the highest folks around.

Sunita is notable not just as being a space station commander (and one heck of a tour guide!), but for holding records for the longest space flight, longest spacewalk, and most spacewalks for a female.

For a little more nuts-n-bolts (and stowage obsessed) tour of the ISS, we turn to Expedition 20’s Flight Engineer Michael Barratt for this 2009 walkthrough.

Hmm? Oh, you're back. Sorry. I was still Googling abbreviations.

Of course the International Space Stations wasn’t always the sprawling behemoth it is today. Modules built on Earth have were assembled together in space starting in 1998 and continuing through the station being declared complete in 2011. It took nearly one thousand hours of EVA activity (spacewalks) to complete.

So, let’s get a little meta for a moment. Here’s Satoshi Furukawa during his stint onboard the ISS earlier this year assembling the LEGO model of his home away from home and using it to teach us about the orbiting laboratory.

Check out, part of LEGO’s education network, for a ton more videos brought to you courtesy of the astronauts onboard the International Space Station and teaching materials.

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