NASA Developed a Super Compact Fitness Machine For Deep Space Missions

Astronauts at the International Space Station have to work out every day to keep themselves healthy. This means they exercise two hours per day on three different machines—a bike, a treadmill, and the so-called Advanced Restive Exercise Device, ARED—to prevent loss of bone density and muscle mass. On the ISS there is enough space for these machines, but what about the less roomy deep-space vehicles like the Orion Spacecraft, on which NASA wants to send astronauts on long journeys to the moon and Mars?

Source: NASA Developed a Super Compact Fitness Machine For Deep Space Missions

Clearly it has no earthly in-home use. It’s not even big enough to drape socks over, let alone the rest of the laundry.

Eat Like an Astronaut with NASA’s Recipe for Cornbread Dressing

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast in space is a lot easier than here on Earth, but the end after dehydration, irradiation, and rehydration aren’t exactly the height of appetizing. Still, the environment more than makes up for it, and apparently the cornbread dressing is (relatively) fantastic.

Source: Eat Like an Astronaut with NASA’s Recipe for Cornbread Dressing

The recipe is not vegetarian.  There’s no room for dietary restrictions when your food is determined by weight with respect to payload & getting it into space/upper atmosphere.

How the ISS Astronauts Grew Their Space Lettuce

Interesting to see what microgravity teaches us about agriculture!

Don’t know why they use the word “microgravity”?  If it’s in orbit, the effects of gravity have to be zero by definition… Because there is no such thing as “zero gravity”!  There’s gravity from the sun all the way out here, it’s really more like no relative acceleration.  As in microgravity, you’re actually in perpetual free fall.

How Much Whale Oil Is There in Space?

I swear this is not a Hitchhikers guide reference…

This is a real question. Whale oil is a wonderful industrial lubricant and remains liquid at extremely low temperatures. It was almost certainly used in some NASA technology over the decades. But how much whale oil have we sent out into the cosmos?

Source: How Much Whale Oil Is There in Space? More Than You’d Think

Fun fact: US automatic transmission fluid contained whale oil until it was banned in 1973 by the Endangered Species Act. Same goes for:

  • lamps
  • watch oil
  • glycerine
  • detergent
  • rust-proofing

The list goes on, so it could have been a floor wax and a dessert topping.  Good thing the industry found out about the Jojoba plant

How This Lake In Asia Became A Floating Tomato Farm

Myanmar’s Inle Lake is one of the largest lakes in the country, but in the last 20 years, satellite images have been revealing what looks like a smaller surface area. The lake, however, is still there — it’s just hidden beneath a sprawling, floating tomato farm.

Source: How This Lake In Asia Became A Floating Tomato Farm

Salman Rushdie talks about these in Kashmir in Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I had no idea they were still a major agricultural practice. I seem to remember something similar in Lake Titicaca in Bolivia as well – but again, not as a major commercial player.

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Farts

Admit it. You’ve always wanted to know whether farts can carry germs.

Source: 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Farts

I still fart in your general direction

…but my fav new euphemism is “windy poo”

The Secrets Of Highly Efficient Napping

I didn’t fall asleep – I was trying to suffocate a fly in my eye…

Not all naps are created equal. Some naps have been shown to rejuvenate where others boost creativity. What’s more, when you nap can be as important as how you nap. Here’s how to nap like a professional, nap-taking machine. Here’s how to nap like you MEAN IT.

Source: The Secrets Of Highly Efficient Napping

Sleep has been something I’ve come to respect more now that I train/exercise more.  I’d been testing my training plan in September, and by mid November/December I was noticing I was getting run down.  I’d have energy for a physical workout, but at my desk at work?  I was powering down around 10 AM, after having difficulty waking around 6:30.  I’d been passing it off as having to do with the days getting shorter and less light.

Sweet Potatoes = Astronaut Food

Although astronaut cuisine has improved considerably over the decades, this year’s Thanksgiving menu aboard the International Space Station still consists mostly of freeze-dried and dehydrated dishes. But future missions will likely have access to one fresh vegetable: sweet potatoes.

Source: Why Sweet Potatoes Are About to Become Astronaut Superfood

Super high in vitamin A, there’s numerous reasons to be eating sweet potatoes.  And super low in vitamin K – safe for us to eat! Here are recipes for:

I add cinnamon and a little salt.

NASA: Shrimp May Hold Key to Alien Life

According to exobiologists at NASA, these mysterious shrimp and its symbiotic bacterium may hold clues “about what life could be like on other planetary bodies.” It’s life that may be similar—at the basic level—to what could be lurking in the oceans of Europa, deep under the icy crust of the Jupiter moon.

Source: Scientists say these mysterious shrimp may hold keys to alien life

Not the shrimp you find on salad or at the grocery store.  NASA has yet to respond to how they (alien life) would taste, and what to serve it with.