Space travel has long been hailed as the next human frontier, but rarely is it advertised as a disgusting nightmare. For instance, everyone knows about Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong being the first man on the moon, but you likely weren’t taught how he went to the bathroom on the three-day journey. Simply put, space is not as glamorous as it sounds. From the sweat that sticks to your body to the uncomfortable contraption to relieve yourself, putting the human body in space poses many challenges. If we want to get to Mars, we’re going to need to find ways to lower the ick factor. Ready to rethink your conception of traveling through space? Here are 25 Disgusting Things About Space Travel You Never Thought About.
You might assume a space station or spaceship would be immaculately clean, but it’s quite the opposite. It’s about as filthy as your house when it hasn’t been cleaned in weeks. Scientists have discovered somewhere around 4,000 different bacteria and microbe species living in space with the astronauts.
With the amount of force it takes to launch astronauts into space, not to mention the lack of gravity in space, most astronauts suffer from some kind of space sickness, also called space adaption syndrome. Along with disruption of their mental capacity, they also suffer from gastrointestinal problems, nausea, and vomiting.
On Earth, mucus empties through the nose and drains down the throat without you even knowing it. But, up in space, the lack of gravity causes the mucus to back up their sinuses. The only way to get rid of it is to blow into a tissue. Instead, most astronauts resort to hot sauce and spicy food.
As you’re noticing, Zero-G causes many of the gross and disgusting problems in space. Once in space, blood flow doesn’t work like it does with gravity. Instead of pulling toward the feet, it can flow up to the torso and the brain. For about four days, astronauts’ faces look puffy from all the extra blood pouring into their skull. Eventually, their bodies adapt to the environment.
Spicing up your food with regular salt and pepper won’t exactly work with Zero-G. You’d just have tiny salt and pepper particles floating all over. Instead, astronauts use spice and pepper in liquid form.