Collection by Miyoko Ohtake

Life in Space: Email from the ISS

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For our December/January 2010 The Future issue, we asked science fiction writer Bruce Sterling to pen a piece describing The Future of Space Living. In addition to taking us on a step-by-step tour of what we’d experience—and what we’d need to pack—for a visit to the International Space Station (ISS), he also emailed NASA astronaut Nicole Stott from his home in Italy and received a reply back while she was floating in space aboard the ISS.

In her correspondence with Sterling, Stott describes the life in orbit from the nitty-gritty technical setups, family-style mealtimes (which sometimes include Italian sausage, Brie, pate, and even lump crabmeat), the smell of space (“a mild version of the smell of an overheating car engine”), and the module to which she most wants to give a fresh coat of paint.

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