A Day in the Life Aboard the International Space Station

In-Flight Downlinks

Cartoon of the International Space StationSpeak with astronauts in orbit.
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Sally Ride EarthKAM

Cartoon of an astronaut looking through a large camera at EarthTake pictures of Earth from the ISS.
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Cartoon of a man talking on a HAM radioSpeak with astronauts via ham radio.
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Working in Space

Cartoon of astronaut conducting a spacewalkCrew members conduct spacewalks to construct the International Space Station. Image Credit: Fred Sayers

Astronauts perform many tasks as they orbit Earth. The space station is designed to be a permanent orbiting research facility. Its major purpose is to perform world-class science and research that only a microgravity environment can provide. The station crew spends their day working on science experiments that require their input, as well as monitoring those that are controlled from the ground. They also take part in medical experiments to determine how well their bodies are adjusting to living in microgravity for long periods of time.

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Working on the space station also means ensuring the maintenance and health of the orbiting platform. Crew members are constantly checking support systems and cleaning filters, updating computer equipment: doing many of the things homeowners must do to ensure their largest investment stays in good shape. Similarly, the Mission Control Center constantly monitors the space station and sends messages each day through voice or email with new instructions or plans to assist the crew members in their daily routines.

Video Tour

View of a hatch inside the International Space StationTour of the International Space Station's Onboard Science and Technology Research Efforts, November 2011  →

Expedition 27/28 Flight Engineer Ron Garan conducts a fantastic onboard tour of the fully assembled International Space Station's laboratory modules, science and technology facilities, payload hardware, racks, equipment, capabilities, various multidisciplinary investigations, and more where all the crews operate their research experiments on Station. Microgravity research aboard the space station has been ongoing since March 2001.

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Page Last Updated: October 16th, 2014
Page Editor: Sandra May