Sunday, June 10, 2007

A lunch break in space - The daily chores of astronauts

This is a YouTube video from a previous mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery. There are plenty of videos of shuttle available showing the Earth from space. This one I think is unique because of the the background audio.

Mission control is contacting the shuttle during their lunch hour. Mission control apologizes for bothering them during lunch hour, then lists chores and technical issues they have to resolve.

While they discuss their daily duties, the majestic Earth rolls by overhead.

If humans do manage to build space colonies and live in orbit long-term, daily life would be a contrast of constant wonder and the daily grind of work that most of us put up with.

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey offered a glimpse of this working space-life. The famous shuttle docking scene with the Blue Danube is followed by Dr. Floyd having to make small talk with station officials and make phone calls, just like any business person traveling to Dulles or LAX today.

What did you expect? That space travelers would spend all their time with their noses glued to the window in a state of rapture? There is work to be done.

The view would be amazing, but your boss would still find ways to bother you on your lunch hour, sticky notes would probably be all over your workstation, and as the sun rises and sets dozens of times a day, hitting that SNOOZE button on the beeping alarm clock would start your morning.

Space is the final frontier...and a job.

Make sure to bring coffee.

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