Why microgravity makes life in space super, super annoying

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberger aboard the International Space Station.

NASA

If the 2013 film Gravity taught us anything — other than the fact that you should never go on a space walk without a serious number of backup cables tethering you to your spaceship — it’s that floating around in microgravity is fraught.

What happens when there’s no air resistance to slow you down? What happens when there’s nothing to stop you floating on forever into the infinite abyss of space? And just how annoying is it to get really basic activities done?

In this week’s episode of Watch This Space, we take a look at the realities of microgravity. 

Think astronauts are floating around in zero gravity when they’re up in space? Think again. Think the International Space Station is far away enough from Earth to escape its gravitational pull? Not by a long mile.

In actual fact, the International Space Station is hurtling through space at thousands of miles an hour, leaving astronauts in a constant state of free fall and making it really hard to get anything done.

So even though you feel like gravity doesn’t “get” you and has always been trying to hold you back, you’re pretty lucky to have a force keeping you grounded on terra firma.

To learn more about the harsh realities of life away from Earth, check out this week’s episode of Watch This Space. And you can get your space fix every other Friday with new episodes, or catch up with the whole series on CNET or YouTube.

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