The real truth about daily life in outer space

Tim’s time: Major Peake says the most surprising thing about space was how black it appeared during the day. © ESA

Should we humans be happy to live on Earth? Or is space an alternative? Astronaut Tim Peake is publishing a new book describing the most fascinating details about living without gravity.

What’s happening

British astronaut Tim Peake spent 186 days floating above Earth on board the International Space Station. He took part in experiments to find out how humans can survive in space. Now, he is publishing a book called Ask An Astronaut, in which he answers hundreds of questions about his mission.

Find out more

In the book, Tim says that the weather he missed the most was rain. When he was exercising in space, “Cold drizzle on my face sounded blissful.”

He says space smells like barbecue or static electricity.

Earth is very beautiful during daytime and night-time, but he slightly prefers daytime. That is when you can see Earth’s natural beauty most clearly.

And the best bit about floating? “It’s very relaxing.”

Tim makes living in space sound exciting and wonderful, but it is also very challenging. Astronauts could die if they fell off the space station or got hit by a micrometeorite. The lack of gravity can also damage their health if they do not exercise or eat the right foods.

Should humans accept that it is better to stay on Earth?

Some say…

Yes! Space is great for the lucky few who get to go, but clearly humans were built for Earth. Just think: there is enough gravity to keep us on the ground, but not so much that we are stuck there. We can breathe the air without a space suit. Food grows naturally for us. Hearing about life in space should remind us to be grateful for life on Earth.

Others think…

It is in our nature to explore, and we should not limit ourselves to just one planet. As long as we have the technology to live in space or on other worlds, we should try to find ways to do so. It is important that people like Tim keep travelling to space, as this is how we will learn the best ways to survive while we are away from our home planet.

You Decide

  1. Should humans stay on Earth, or learn to live on other planets?

Activities

  1. Imagine that you are living on the International Space Station, just like Tim Peake. Write a diary entry describing what it is like on your first day. Be sure to explain how you feel seeing Earth from above for the first time.

Some People Say...

“Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.”

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

What do you think?

Word Watch

International Space Station
A large spacecraft which orbits the Earth. Six people can live there at a time.
Publishing
The book can be bought from October 19th 2017.
Static electricity
When the particles of an object become charged, such as when you rub a balloon on your jumper.
Fell off
If this happened during a spacewalk, astronauts could get lost in space.
Micrometeorite
A tiny particle of rock or metal in space.
Gravity
The force which pulls objects to the ground.

Subjects

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.