Outer space is fascinating. It's one of those concepts that sounds insane for it to even exist--like it's just this fun story to tell kids and make sweet dioramas about but not a real thing. Kind of like dinosaurs. (Those things were REAL you guys. I can't be the only one who thinks that is strange.) This is mostly because of my own self-absorbed hyper focus on what is happening in my tiny corner of one tiny continent on one tiny planet in the universe. I rarely think about space.
But it's there. Things exist outside our planet. It's hard to believe sometimes those planets and stars and various arrays of space-rocks in the photos are actually real and that people have seen them. You guys, people have WALKED on the MOON. Why are we not more impressed by this on a daily basis? We should just walk around going "YOU GUYS THERE IS AN AMERICAN FLAG ON A BALL OF ROCK FLOATING IN THE BLACK NOTHINGNESS MILLIONS OF MILES FROM OUR PLANET" like all the time.
I mean people voluntarily LEAVE our PLANET and just float around amid balls of gas and nothingness...for science! And that's really it. No other reason than just to know things. Space is awesome.
All that to say, if you haven't heard, there is a fellow out on the International Space Station right now* who has been filming the greatest youtube videos of all time. His name is Chris Hadfield. He's Canadian (what up) and is doing all sorts of fun show-and-tell videos about what it's like to live in space.
First of all WHY has no one done this before? Why has no one else wrung out a wet washcloth in space and filmed it for the rest of us to see? Why has no one showed us how to eat gross rehydrated spinach or sing David Bowie or brush your teeth in space?
Well, Chris here has stepped it up and filled that void in the human experience.
I am learning so much from this guy, including the fact that they can't use bread for sandwiches in space because of crumbs. CRUMBS. They would just float around and never fall to the ground. I mean duh, of course they wouldn't, but if I were an astronaut I totally would have just packed bread for my sandwiches like an idiot and then been like OH NO THE CRUMBS ARE EVERYWHERE and now, thanks to Chris, I know to use space tortillas. Y'know, should I ever been in that situation.
I love that scientists have to think about trivial things like crumbs when considering sending people into the great beyond where there aren't even things like oxygen to do important science things for the future of humanity.
Here are a few of my favorite videos he's done:
The one that sparked my interest in it all: what happens when you wring out a wet washcloth in space.
How To Eat Dessert in Space:
How to Sleep in Space:
(I mean come on, how adorable was that video? SPACE PAJAMAS.)
Oh and just for good measure, he also sang "Space Oddity" for our entertainment, and he is now in the running for most beloved (and most fantastically-mustached) astronaut of all time. I love the Internet. [more videos here]
So now you know way more about space than you did before. Should you ever try to take a sandwich in your backpack to space. Thanks, Chris!
Also, make sure you never go to space sad and expect to subtly shed a few tears when no one is looking. The tears just jumble up on your eyes and obstruct your vision until you wipe them off with a towel. Plus there is no crying in space exploration. Just like baseball.
What do you wish you knew about living in space? SIDE QUESTION: Have you ever been to space camp? (I have. And his dessert looked way better than that touristy freeze-dried ice cream crap they sell in the gift shop.)
*according to Twitter apparently he came back to earth last night...right after I wrote this.