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Life in Space

An astronaut (AS truh NAWT) is a person who goes into outer space. Astronauts travel into space on a shuttle powered by rockets. The men and women who become astronauts train by learning what it is like to live in space.

Most space trips take about 10 days. Astronauts work, eat, sleep, and have fun during that time. Living in the space shuttle is different from living on Earth.

Floating Food

Eating in space can be hard because everything floats in the air. Things float because there is no gravity in space. Gravity is the power that pulls things down toward the ground. For example, without gravity, juice poured into a cup would float up and away. Crumbs would get all over the machines.

Astronauts have special ways to drink and eat to keep the ship clean and safe. For juice, they use a special straw and pouch. The pouch closes around the straw so juice does not leak out.

Most of the astronauts' other food is dried until it's almost like powder. Then that food is put into pouches, too. The astronauts add water to the pouches to make the food taste good again. How would you like to eat powdered hamburgers and French fries with water?

Sleeping in Space

People usually sleep in beds on Earth. Most astronauts sleep in sleeping bags. The sleeping bags are in little cubbies and are attached in a particular way for travel in space. Astronauts sleep like this so they will not lose their pillows or float into something!

Working in Space

Astronauts have to work hard in space. They make sure that the machines on the space shuttle work well. They keep the ship clean. They check the engines that keep the shuttle moving. The astronauts also collect information about outer space and other planets. Their work helps people learn about space.

Space Fun

A space shuttle does not have much room inside. But astronauts can still have fun. Astronauts like to watch Earth from the windows. They also like to use exercise bikes or float around the shuttle together.

Home Again

When astronauts get home, they can stand on Earth again. They may want to look into the sky and think about their recent trip. They can drink juice in a cup, eat messy food, and drop crumbs, until their next adventure into space.