Why Space Travel Can Be Absolutely Disgusting

NASA’s requirements for becoming an astronaut are stringent, but not overly daunting. Essentially, hopefuls must have a bachelor’s degree in science, be physically fit, and stand between 58.5 and 76 inches tall. What NASA doesn’t mention, however, are the intangibles. You can probably think of a few: coolness under pressure, a problem-solving mentality, and the ability to work in a team setting. But one trait you might not consider is a strong stomach. The following stories illustrate why that definitely can come in handy.

The microgravity of space can lead to a lot of disgusting situations. If you think carpet spills are hard to clean, try collecting floating vomit, or desiccated skin.

“The calluses on your feet in space will eventually fall off,” astronaut Scott Kelly revealed in a Reddit AMA. “So, the bottoms of your feet become very soft like newborn baby feet. But the top of my feet develop rough alligator skin because I use the top of my feet to get around here on space station when using foot rails.”

Floating calluses with the potential to enter an unaware, open mouth is enough to irk most people, but that’s not the worst of it. Take what happened during STS-1, for example.


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