Astronauts like to enjoy themselves and have fun sometimes, just as they do when back on Earth. The difference is, of course, that they have to make their own fun inside the space shuttle and so are limited when it comes to choices. However, many astronauts are pretty inventive and come up with novel ways of using their weightless environment to their advantage.
Most of the time astronauts are given two hours per day in which to relax, have fun and exercise if they want to. Combining fun with exercise is a great way to make the best out of free time when it’s available.
Astronauts have been known to play with frisbee’s, and even boomerangs while on board. Basketball isn’t unheard of either, although naturally the rules have to be adapted to suit the conditions. Relay races through the shuttles modules take place as do other games.
Team based sports are likely to become more of a regular occurrence from 2009 onwards. In the past there were often only three crew members on the shuttles during each mission. Now however, crew numbers are set to go up to between six and ten, making team games easier.
As if the above wasn’t enough exercise, astronauts like to engage in singular sport too. Exercise bikes and treadmills are generally made available for those who need to let off steam, or who just want to stay fit and healthy.
Musical astronauts can take their instruments into space to play. If you have never thought of them having a sing along or playing the trumpet in space then think again. It may not happen all of the time but when it does it must be fun. Astronauts can also listen to music as a way to relax and unwind, or even to liven themselves up.
The most spectacular sunsets and sunrises imaginable can be seen from the space shuttle windows, occurring thirty-two times a day and providing a fantastic view for the astronauts to gaze upon.
Apart from telling each other jokes for fun or indulging in lively conversation they can also contact home, only for them it’s far easier than it was for ET. All they need is a laptop on which they dial a number, plus the aid of a satellite system and an antenna and they can be happily chatting to friends or family members in no time at all.
Astronauts are encouraged to carry on with their usual hobbies when possible while in space. Reading, writing, drawing, watching movies and various other activities and forms of entertainment are still viable for the crew to engage in, despite their weightlessness.
The Future of Fun in Space for Astronauts
John Wedgren, who helped with training flight crews going into space for ten years, believes that a little more humor wouldn’t go amiss in space. He is a consultant nowadays and hopes to create a medical training programme, helping astronauts to feel light hearted as well as lightheaded, for NASA.
Wedgren intends to introduce a course for space crews in stand up comedy, stating that this will provide them with stress relief while on missions and add to their emotional well being. So the future for astronauts in space looks like it’s going to get even funnier from now on if all goes to plan.