THE STORY SO FAR...
For the last 20 years, people have been living and working in space continually on board the International Space Station, the ISS. As one of the brightest things in the night sky, you might have spotted it passing overhead one night! The astronauts on the ISS carry out experiments and help scientists back on Earth to discover new things about how the human body works, about space and about Earth, itself. Some of those experiments include how to grow plants to see how astronauts in the future could grow their own food to survive. And as we learn more about space, it’s only natural that we as humans are looking to further explore how we can one day, live in space, establish a permanent base on the moon or even send humans to Mars.
For now, astronauts usually spend around six months in the International Space Station, travelling at 17,500 miles per hour around the Earth, and completing an orbit roughly every hour and half. While they’re up there, they’re floating about inside the craft as they can’t feel the effect of gravity, which has all sorts of effects on their bodies including weakening their muscles and bones. This is why you’ll often see astronauts exercising on their specially adapted treadmill, strapped in, to stop them floating away!
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