20 things about living in space

Space is soon to become the next frontier, for travel and maybe for living too. With the world’s first space hotel set to start accommodating guests within 5 years, here are some things you should know about spending time in space, courtesy of Discover:

  • Space sickness is common. You could have several symptoms, including nausea, headaches and trouble locating your limbs.
  • Your health will be affected in others ways too — including kidney stones, muscle atrophy and slower bowel movements. And the scariest side effect? Your heart will shrink.
  • But you’ll be taller overall. Expect to grow about 2 inches.
  • If you’re pregnant, it will affect how your baby’s inner ear develops, meaning he or she (or they) could have problems with balance.
  • If you snore on earth, you won’t in space (I live with a snorer so this one sounds ideal, actually)
  • But you won’t get regular sleep — in space, there are 16 sunrises a day!
  • If you like salt on your food, you have to use it in liquid form.
  • When you use the bathroom, you have to position yourself precisely in the right spot so things will go to … well, you know. But don’t worry, cameras will help guide your way.

Hmmmm …. suddenly, staying in space doesn’t sound all the fun. Want to know more about what happens in zero gravity? Read the full list.

Space hotel accepting guests within five years

The reality of spending the night in an outer space hotel is coming sooner than you might imagine.

We’ve posted before about billionaire space enthusiast Robert T. Bigelow’s efforts to launch the first space hotel, and now we follow up with a more detailed insight into the man himself and the plans he has in store for future citizen astronauts.

The cool thing about Bigelow’s pie-in-the-sky project is that he has already launched working prototypes which are currently circling the globe and providing internet surfers with some pretty cool satellite photos (most recently of the fires in Southern California).

The prototypes are basically pods made of a special, flexible fabric that weighs less than standard space station materials, just as strong, and is easily compactable for rocket ship transport.

Here’s the best thing, however. Bigalow plans to have a six-person module ready to accept paying guests by 2012. That’s just five years away! That gives us all plenty of time to save up the $12 million price tag for the four-week outer space adventure. In the meantime, I just hope that jealous Russian cosmonauts protecting their monopoly on space tourism don’t arrange a little “accident” for their up-and-coming competition.