A Day in the Life Aboard the International Space Station: Introduction

    Cartoon of the International Space Station

    The International Space Station is a working laboratory orbiting 240 miles above the Earth. Image Credit: Fred Sayers

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live and work in space? Follow astronauts on the International Space Station in a series of videos as they explain their daily routines. Learn where they sleep, and how they eat, exercise, work and spend free time. Compare life in space with life on Earth.

    Educators can use this series of videos and resources to enhance K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula.


    Cartoon of astronaut wearing many hats to represent different duties he has on the station

    Astronauts have many duties on the International Space Station. Image Credit: Fred Sayers

    The space station is a working laboratory orbiting 240 miles above the Earth and is home to an international crew. The station has more than 15,000 cubic feet of habitable volume, which includes more room than a conventional three-bedroom house. The station provides a laboratory complex where gravity, a fundamental force on Earth, is virtually eliminated for extended periods. The ability to control the variable of gravity in experiments creates unimaginable research possibilities.

    The station is vital to human exploration. It is where we are learning how to combat the physiological effects of being in space for long periods. The space station is our test bed for technologies and our decision-making processes when things go as planned and when they don't. It is important to learn and test these things 240 miles up rather than encountering them 240,000 miles away while on the way to Mars or beyond.

Video Topics

Morning Routine in Space

A female astronaut brushing her teeth

Cleaning yourself in space in comparison to on Earth can be very difficult.

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Exercising in Space

Cartoon of astronaut lifting weights

Crew members must exercise every day to prevent bone and muscle loss.

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Eating in Space

Cartoon of astronaut eating in space

Eating in microgravity can be very different than eating on Earth.

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Working in Space

Cartoon of astronaut conducting a spacewalk

Astronauts perform many tasks as they orbit the Earth.

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Free Time in Space

A man working with a magnet and a circuit board

Living in space is not just all work and no play. Astronauts like to have fun, too.

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Sleeping in Space

Cartoon of astronaut sleeping in space

Just like on Earth, an astronaut must go to bed at a certain time to be prepared for work the next day.

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Time Matters in Space

On-orbit Opportunities