A day in space

Jean-Pierre Haigneré onboard Mir

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Astronauts have very busy lives. Each day in orbit (apart from rest days) is carefully planned by mission control. The times used by the crew are based on those at the mission control centres in Houston, Texas, or Moscow.

The 12-hour working day on the International Space Station begins with a wake-up call. After a quick rub down with a soapy cloth, the crew have breakfast and run through the jobs for the day with mission control.

Space stations are like large, complicated houses that need constant care and attention. A lot of time has to be spent on housekeeping chores – such as cleaning and repairs.

Eating in space

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There are three meal sessions – breakfast, lunch and dinner – though drinks and snacks are always available. Much of the crew's time is spent preparing and carrying out scientific experiments. This may involve speaking to scientists on the ground.

At least two hours each day are spent on exercise. This is essential to keep the crew fit and healthy. Loading ferry craft with rubbish and unloading fresh supplies is a major task. Many hours can also be spent getting ready for spacewalks.

Last modified 30 June 2010

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Living in space