You no doubt have seen images taken from the International Space Station. You likely have seen images taken of the International Space Station, too. But do you know what the ISS looks like, wall to wall and "room" to "room"? Do you know what it would be like to call it, in the most meaningful way possible, home?
Now you can. Because astronaut Sunita Williams, on the last day of her recent stay on the orbital laboratory, made a video tour of the place. It is wonderfully detailed, and narrated with the kind of winking wonderment that so many astronauts, as storytellers, seem to have perfected.
Featured in the tour, among other things:
• Crew sleep stations, their entrance ports oriented spherically "so all of us sleep in a little bit of a circle"
• A home office, complete with computes and books
• Science labs filled with various experiments
• A home gym, with a stationary "bike" and "weight" machines for squats, bench presses, etc.
• A kitchen, filled with baggies of food anchored to a wall. "It's like opening the refrigerator," Williams says. "You've got all the different stuff that you want to have: drinks, meats, eggs, vegetables, cereals, bread, snacks (and that's a good place -- that's where you find all the candy)." There's also a special pantry filled with food items that the astronauts have specifically requested -- in Williams's case, a jar of marshmallow Fluff. ("I like Fluffernutter sandwiches," she explains.)