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Space Living: Astro Home

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You’ve known you were destined to dwell in outer space ever since you first saw The Jetsons. So, how do you do that? Your new home will be the International Space Station (ISS), the only place in space that is known to be habitable. So far, the crews of the ISS have included pilots, engineers, scientists, and a few eccentric tech-zillionaire tourists. However, serious people are working hard on cheaper civilian rockets, and the station briefly had 13 people aboard it this year, the biggest space crowd ever. It’s not a fantasy: The place is as real as Poughkeepsie.

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  Backdropped by Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation. Earlier the STS-128 and Expedition 20 crew concluded nine days of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Photo taken September 8, 2009. Courtesy of NASA
    Backdropped by Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation. Earlier the STS-128 and Expedition 20 crew concluded nine days of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Photo taken September 8, 2009. Courtesy of NASA
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  Space life doesn’t differ much from the daily grind on Earth—–it just demands more attention. Leroy Chiao’s daily workout requires tying on both sneakers and 
a bungee harness before putting in miles on the TVIS (“treadmill vibration isolation system”). Image courtesy of NASA.
    Space life doesn’t differ much from the daily grind on Earth—–it just demands more attention. Leroy Chiao’s daily workout requires tying on both sneakers and a bungee harness before putting in miles on the TVIS (“treadmill vibration isolation system”). Image courtesy of NASA.
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  A haircut, performed by Tim Kopra for Roman Romanesko, calls for clippers connected to a vacuum to entrap cut hair. Image courtesy of NASA.
    A haircut, performed by Tim Kopra for Roman Romanesko, calls for clippers connected to a vacuum to entrap cut hair. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Dinner, however, has fewer rules and playing with food is permissible, as Tony Antonelli displays. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Dinner, however, has fewer rules and playing with food is permissible, as Tony Antonelli displays. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  The ground-control crew sets all the schedules, including when to eat and sleep, since the day’s 16 sunsets quickly become disorienting. In the ISS’s Kibo laboratory, Koichi Wakata sleeps while secured to the wall in a sleeping bag. Image courtesy of NASA.
    The ground-control crew sets all the schedules, including when to eat and sleep, since the day’s 16 sunsets quickly become disorienting. In the ISS’s Kibo laboratory, Koichi Wakata sleeps while secured to the wall in a sleeping bag. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Bungee cords become your new best friends, as they harness both you and all potentially moving objects to the floors, ceilings, and walls. These elastic workhorses keep Nicole Stott’s float through the station from being a literal crash course through its contents. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Bungee cords become your new best friends, as they harness both you and all potentially moving objects to the floors, ceilings, and walls. These elastic workhorses keep Nicole Stott’s float through the station from being a literal crash course through its contents. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Astronaut Nicole Stott, mission specialist and flight engineer. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Astronaut Nicole Stott, mission specialist and flight engineer. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Crew members on the ISS pose for a group photo following a joint crew news conference in the Harmony node of the International Space Station. Pictured from the left (front row) are European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, Expedition 20 flight engineer and Expedition 21 commander; spaceflight participant Guy Laliberte; Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, Expedition 19/20 commander; and NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, Expedition 19/20 flight engineer. From the left (middle row) are Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, Expedition 20/21 flight engineer; NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams, Expedition 21 flight engineer and Expedition 22 commander; and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, Expedition 21/22 flight engineer. Pictured on the back row are NASA astronaut Nicole Stott and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, both Expedition 20/21 flight engineers. Photo taken October 5, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Crew members on the ISS pose for a group photo following a joint crew news conference in the Harmony node of the International Space Station. Pictured from the left (front row) are European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, Expedition 20 flight engineer and Expedition 21 commander; spaceflight participant Guy Laliberte; Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, Expedition 19/20 commander; and NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, Expedition 19/20 flight engineer. From the left (middle row) are Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, Expedition 20/21 flight engineer; NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams, Expedition 21 flight engineer and Expedition 22 commander; and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, Expedition 21/22 flight engineer. Pictured on the back row are NASA astronaut Nicole Stott and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, both Expedition 20/21 flight engineers. Photo taken October 5, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  NASA astronaut John "Danny" Olivas, STS-128 mission specialist, poses for a photo with the growing collection, in the Unity node, of insignias representing crews who have worked on the ISS. Photo taken September 7, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    NASA astronaut John "Danny" Olivas, STS-128 mission specialist, poses for a photo with the growing collection, in the Unity node, of insignias representing crews who have worked on the ISS. Photo taken September 7, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, both Expedition 21 flight engineers; along with European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne (background), commander, work in the Harmony node of the ISS. Photo taken October 15, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, both Expedition 21 flight engineers; along with European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne (background), commander, work in the Harmony node of the ISS. Photo taken October 15, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Astronauts Nicole Stott, Expedition 20 flight engineer; and Patrick Forrester, STS-128 mission specialist, work in the Kibo laboratory of the ISS while Space Shuttle Discovery remains docked to the station. Photo taken August 31, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Astronauts Nicole Stott, Expedition 20 flight engineer; and Patrick Forrester, STS-128 mission specialist, work in the Kibo laboratory of the ISS while Space Shuttle Discovery remains docked to the station. Photo taken August 31, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Dinner, however, has fewer rules and playing with food is permissible, as Tony Antonelli displays. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Dinner, however, has fewer rules and playing with food is permissible, as Tony Antonelli displays. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 20 flight engineer, is pictured in the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), temporarily attached to the ISS while Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-128) remains docked with the station. Photo taken September 5, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 20 flight engineer, is pictured in the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), temporarily attached to the ISS while Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-128) remains docked with the station. Photo taken September 5, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Expedition 20 crew members pose for an in-flight crew photo in the Harmony node of the ISS. Pictured clockwise are Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka (bottom center), commander; Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne and NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, all flight engineers. Photo taken October 1, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Expedition 20 crew members pose for an in-flight crew photo in the Harmony node of the ISS. Pictured clockwise are Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka (bottom center), commander; Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne and NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, all flight engineers. Photo taken October 1, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  The ground-control crew sets all the schedules, including when to eat and sleep, since the day’s 16 sunsets quickly become disorienting. In the ISS’s Kibo laboratory, Koichi Wakata sleeps while secured to the wall in a sleeping bag. Image courtesy of NASA.
    The ground-control crew sets all the schedules, including when to eat and sleep, since the day’s 16 sunsets quickly become disorienting. In the ISS’s Kibo laboratory, Koichi Wakata sleeps while secured to the wall in a sleeping bag. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 21 flight engineer, equipped with a bungee harness, exercises on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) in the Harmony node of the ISS. Photo taken October 20, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 21 flight engineer, equipped with a bungee harness, exercises on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) in the Harmony node of the ISS. Photo taken October 20, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Astronauts Brent W. Jett, Jr. (left) and William M. Shepherd participate in an old Navy tradition of ringing a bell to announce the arrival or departure of someone to a ship. The bell is mounted on the wall in the Unity node of the ISS. The bell-ringing took place shortly after an in-space reunion on STS-97 Flight Day 9. Photo taken December 8, 2000. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Astronauts Brent W. Jett, Jr. (left) and William M. Shepherd participate in an old Navy tradition of ringing a bell to announce the arrival or departure of someone to a ship. The bell is mounted on the wall in the Unity node of the ISS. The bell-ringing took place shortly after an in-space reunion on STS-97 Flight Day 9. Photo taken December 8, 2000. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Astronaut Nicole Stott, STS-128 mission specialist, floats through a hatch on the Space Shuttle Discovery during flight day three activities. Photo taken August 30, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Astronaut Nicole Stott, STS-128 mission specialist, floats through a hatch on the Space Shuttle Discovery during flight day three activities. Photo taken August 30, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  NASA astronaut Nicole Stott and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, both Expedition 20/21 flight engineers, are pictured at the galley in the Unity node of the ISS. Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, Expedition 20/21 flight engineer, is mostly out of frame at right. Photo taken October 5, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    NASA astronaut Nicole Stott and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, both Expedition 20/21 flight engineers, are pictured at the galley in the Unity node of the ISS. Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, Expedition 20/21 flight engineer, is mostly out of frame at right. Photo taken October 5, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Crew members on the ISS share a meal near the galley in the Zvezda Service Module. Pictured from the left are NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, Expedition 19/20 flight engineer; European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, Expedition 20 flight engineer and Expedition 21 commander; Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, Expedition 19/20 commander; Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, Expedition 20/21 flight engineer; and NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams, Expedition 21 flight engineer and Expedition 22 commander; along with NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 20/21 flight engineer. Photo taken October 5, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Crew members on the ISS share a meal near the galley in the Zvezda Service Module. Pictured from the left are NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, Expedition 19/20 flight engineer; European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, Expedition 20 flight engineer and Expedition 21 commander; Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, Expedition 19/20 commander; Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, Expedition 20/21 flight engineer; and NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams, Expedition 21 flight engineer and Expedition 22 commander; along with NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 20/21 flight engineer. Photo taken October 5, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Backdropped against the blackness of space and the Earth's horizon, the ISS was photographed through an aft flight deck window following separation from the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Photo taken December 15, 2001. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Backdropped against the blackness of space and the Earth's horizon, the ISS was photographed through an aft flight deck window following separation from the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Photo taken December 15, 2001. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, both Expedition 21 flight engineers, work in the Harmony node of the International Space Station. Photo taken October 11, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, both Expedition 21 flight engineers, work in the Harmony node of the International Space Station. Photo taken October 11, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Members of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and ISS crews spend some rare leisure time together on the orbital outpost as they move within a day and half of undocking and going separate ways. Astronaut Sandra Magnus, flight engineer for Expedition 18, is partially visible at lower left corner. Others sharing a few moments in the Unity node, from the left, are cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov, Expedition 18 flight engineer, and astronauts Steve Bowen and Donald Pettit, both STS-126 mission specialists. Photo taken November 26, 2008. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Members of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and ISS crews spend some rare leisure time together on the orbital outpost as they move within a day and half of undocking and going separate ways. Astronaut Sandra Magnus, flight engineer for Expedition 18, is partially visible at lower left corner. Others sharing a few moments in the Unity node, from the left, are cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov, Expedition 18 flight engineer, and astronauts Steve Bowen and Donald Pettit, both STS-126 mission specialists. Photo taken November 26, 2008. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Astronaut Nicole Stott, STS-128 mission specialist, looks over a checklist on the middeck of Space Shuttle Discovery during flight day two activities. Photo taken August 29, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Astronaut Nicole Stott, STS-128 mission specialist, looks over a checklist on the middeck of Space Shuttle Discovery during flight day two activities. Photo taken August 29, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Astronaut Rick Sturckow, STS-128 commander, gives a "thumbs-up" signal while exercising on a bicycle ergometer on the middeck of the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Discovery. Astronaut Nicole Stott, mission specialist, is visible at right. Photo taken August 29, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA..
    Astronaut Rick Sturckow, STS-128 commander, gives a "thumbs-up" signal while exercising on a bicycle ergometer on the middeck of the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Discovery. Astronaut Nicole Stott, mission specialist, is visible at right. Photo taken August 29, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA..
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  As seen through a window on Endeavour's aft flight deck, the ISS, then staffed with its fourth three-person crew, is contrasted against Earth's horizon during a farewell look from the shuttle following undocking. Photo taken December 15, 2001. Image courtesy of NASA.
    As seen through a window on Endeavour's aft flight deck, the ISS, then staffed with its fourth three-person crew, is contrasted against Earth's horizon during a farewell look from the shuttle following undocking. Photo taken December 15, 2001. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk (left), NASA astronauts Jeffrey Williams and Nicole Stott; along with Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, all Expedition 21 flight engineers, share a meal at the galley in the Zvezda Service Module of the ISS. Photo taken October 12, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk (left), NASA astronauts Jeffrey Williams and Nicole Stott; along with Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, all Expedition 21 flight engineers, share a meal at the galley in the Zvezda Service Module of the ISS. Photo taken October 12, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  European Space Agency astronauts Christer Fuglesang (top foreground), STS-128 mission specialist; and Frank De Winne, Expedition 20 flight engineer, install a Materials Science Research Rack-1 (MSRR-1) in the Destiny laboratory of the ISS. NASA astronaut Kevin Ford (partially out of frame), STS-128 pilot; is at left; and NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, mission specialist, works in the background. Photo taken September 2, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    European Space Agency astronauts Christer Fuglesang (top foreground), STS-128 mission specialist; and Frank De Winne, Expedition 20 flight engineer, install a Materials Science Research Rack-1 (MSRR-1) in the Destiny laboratory of the ISS. NASA astronaut Kevin Ford (partially out of frame), STS-128 pilot; is at left; and NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, mission specialist, works in the background. Photo taken September 2, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  A close-up view of a Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE-6) on the exterior of the Columbus laboratory is featured in this image photographed by a space walking astronaut during the STS-128 mission's first session of extravehicular activity (EVA). MISSE collects information on how different materials weather in the environment of space. MISSE was later placed in Space Shuttle Discovery's payload bay for its return to Earth. A portion of a payload bay door is visible in the background. Photo taken September 1, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    A close-up view of a Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE-6) on the exterior of the Columbus laboratory is featured in this image photographed by a space walking astronaut during the STS-128 mission's first session of extravehicular activity (EVA). MISSE collects information on how different materials weather in the environment of space. MISSE was later placed in Space Shuttle Discovery's payload bay for its return to Earth. A portion of a payload bay door is visible in the background. Photo taken September 1, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Backdropped by Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, the unpiloted Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) approaches the ISS. Once the HTV was in range, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, all Expedition 20 flight engineers, used the station's robotic arm to grab the cargo craft and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node. The attachment was completed at 5:26 (CDT) on Sept. 17, 2009. The Japanese Kibo complex (top right) and the Canadarm2 (bottom right) are also visible in the image. Photo taken September 17, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Backdropped by Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, the unpiloted Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) approaches the ISS. Once the HTV was in range, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk and European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, all Expedition 20 flight engineers, used the station's robotic arm to grab the cargo craft and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node. The attachment was completed at 5:26 (CDT) on Sept. 17, 2009. The Japanese Kibo complex (top right) and the Canadarm2 (bottom right) are also visible in the image. Photo taken September 17, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  A gibbous moon is visible above Earth's atmosphere, photographed by an STS-128 crew member on the Space Shuttle Discovery during flight day three activities. Photo taken August 30, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    A gibbous moon is visible above Earth's atmosphere, photographed by an STS-128 crew member on the Space Shuttle Discovery during flight day three activities. Photo taken August 30, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
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  Astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 20 flight engineer, participates in the STS-128 mission's first session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction and maintenance continue on the ISS. During the six-hour, 35-minute spacewalk, Stott and astronaut John "Danny" Olivas (out of frame), mission specialist, removed an empty ammonia tank from the station's truss and temporarily stowed it on the station's robotic arm. Olivas and Stott also retrieved the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) and Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) from the Columbus laboratory module and installed them on Discovery's payload bay for return. Photo taken September 1, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.
    Astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 20 flight engineer, participates in the STS-128 mission's first session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction and maintenance continue on the ISS. During the six-hour, 35-minute spacewalk, Stott and astronaut John "Danny" Olivas (out of frame), mission specialist, removed an empty ammonia tank from the station's truss and temporarily stowed it on the station's robotic arm. Olivas and Stott also retrieved the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) and Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) from the Columbus laboratory module and installed them on Discovery's payload bay for return. Photo taken September 1, 2009. Image courtesy of NASA.

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