HomeArticlesInternational Space Station Tour on Earth (1g) – Smarter Every Day 141
International Space Station Tour on Earth (1g) – Smarter Every Day 141
February 13, 2020
Hey it’s me Destin welcome back to Smarter Every Day. I want to be an astronaut so I love taking tours of the International Space Station online. But there’s a problem. Every time I do this I can’t get my bearings. It’s like without gravity my main reference frame has been stolen from me and I can’t tell up from down and I get turned around and I’m just confused. Scott Kelly just took command of the International Space Station as part of his one year tour. But before he left he took just a couple of minutes to walk me around one on one inside the mock up at Houston. Immediately after taking this tour with Scott Kelly I now know the International Space Station to a whole new level. I know where I am in relation to where they sleep or where they draw blood or get ready for space walks or where they poop or where they store the experiments. I know all that stuff now, just from seeing a video on the space station and I really enjoy it. I’m going to take you on the exact same tour that I took with Scott only I’ve made it better. In the bottom left part of the screen I’m going to include a video game style radar so that you know exactly what module you’re in what your position is and what your orientation is. You’re gonna be the white dot and Scott Kelly is the red dot. In the bottom right hand part of the screen I’m gonna add annotation links here so that if at any point you want to go up on orbit and see what it’s like in orbit, you can do that. Just click the annotation. I’ll also leave links in the video description. OK you ready? The International Space Station is big so try not to fast forward. If you can watch this whole thing at one go you won’t get disoriented. We’re gonna start exactly where Scott Kelly’s space craft docked to the ISS and we’re gonna let him walk us all the way through to the Japanese module. Let’s get Smarter Every Day. OK we’re in the ISS. This is where you dock? – Yeah so this is the Russian segment and a much higher fidelity mock up in Russia, but there’s a module that comes out of the top of the space station here called MRM2. My Soyuz will dock to that. The other Soyuz’s are docked in other parts of the Russian segment. That’s the service module down here. This is the FGB. It’s a Russian built module but the United States owns it. It’s mostly for cargo stowage. – That’s a lot of carpet. Is it a fire hazard? – It is linked for velcro and stuff but ah.. – Gotcha. Alright. – But ah.. Yeah we’re walking from the aft part of the space station forward. And here is the front part of the Russian segment where we’ll be going into the US segment, we’ll go outside first. – So we’re going into.. is it Unity is the first module? – Yeah Node 1. – OK – Although it’s interesting the crew members don’t really refer to them by those names like Unity and Destiny, we’ll say Node 1.. – Got it. – And ah.. Laboratory module. But this is node 1. This is kind of a, as the name describes it’s an adjoining module for other things but, this is kind of where the crew members on the US segment eat and the Russians will eat here sometimes we’ll have a galley rack here to fill your drink bags, little refrigerator things, food warmers. – Got it. – Over there is node 3. Very important.. – That’s where the cupola is right? – Yeah the cupola’s in there, we can run in there real quick. – Yeah. This is where you’re gonna take all the photos that you’re gonna send back to us right? – Yeah a lot of them we take them from here. There’s also a window in the US lab module that’s pretty good and the Russians have some good windows for Earth observations but the cupola’s down here so there’ll be the Earth. This is our exercise device or low fidelity mock up of it, for resistive exercise. – I just realized, the bathroom is right beside the cupola. – Yeah so the cupola, this exercise device, the toilet on the US segment and our treadmill are all within a few feet of one another and they’re all at different orientations so someone running on the wall, someone using the bathroom in this orientation, and sideways on the ARED makes for a pretty interesting picture. – Yeah. So one thing I didn’t realize is that when we’re taking these beautiful images of Earth that people on Earth can relate to so well, you’re probably smelling what just went down over here. – It’s not that smelly. – That’s good. That’s good. That’s pretty awesome. So this is, this sounds like the most fun segment. – Yes this module is very important and it’s also important because it’s got a lot of the life support systems in here. Oxygen generating system that converts water into Oxygen on the US segment. Um, it has the processor that converts our urine into water. It also has one of our carbon dioxide removal assemblies which kind of filters the carbon dioxide out of the air. – Do you guys still use lithium hydroxide? – We do that as a backup so if these two things, the one here and the one in the lab, a similar piece of hardware, if they didn’t work eventually we’d have to use lithium hydroxide. The Russian segment has a Vozdukh but that can’t support six people so at some point you’d be using the lithium hydroxide cannisters. – Sweet. – Hopefully we’d just get them fixed. – Good deal. – Through this little hole here the hatch is closed but.. Someone probably had training here.. That would be the airlock where you would do US space walks from. – Got it. – And then go into the US laboratory module. – I notice that node right there has, it seems like the most space, it’s the most spacious you can move around. – Yeah you know in space though we have a lot more hardware in here. – Got it. – Than we do in these mock ups. But this is the US laboratory module. Also has some life support equipment inside. It’s kind of like the main module of the space station, kind of like the bridge of the ship if you could have that kind of analogy. We can fly the robot arm from here. And also fly it in the cupola. Then we have a lot of science racks so we do a lot of the US science in here. The glove box, we have a minus eighty degree laboratory freezer, we have three of these on board but these are for some of our science.. – That’s where you like snip off pieces of yourself and stick them in there kind of thing right? – Yeah there’s human samples go in there, other science samples. The other two of these are in the Japanese module. This is where robonaut lives. And then as you go into.. still going further forward, we have node two. This is where a lot of our visiting vehicles dock. The shuttle docked forward. The HTV or Cygnus or Space X dragon vehicle dock to the bottom or the top. It’s also where our, forward and top will be where the US crewed vehicles will be at some point. We live in here, we sleep in here. So three of the crew members sleep in the US, or four of the crew members sleep in the US segment. The three.. – You’ll have one here as well right? – Yeah the coffin is on the floor, we call it. When you float by it looks like someone sleeping in a coffin. If you want to get in there, I’ll film you in there. – Oh sure. So this is.. Is this gonna be your bunk? – Actually it is. So I’ll be in the port side. It’s pretty spacious. – It is, it’s pretty good. I notice there’s some sound dampening in here as well. Can I see this real quick? – Absolutely. – So is this, I assume this one ethernet jack is your connection to the ground? You have two.. You’ll have two computers in here. It provides power and data, so you’ll have a.. One what’s called a CSL laptop that gives you some kind of intermittent internet connectivity and also another computer where you have your email and other applications that you use. But you’ll have a lot of personal items in here, your sleeping bag will be on the wall. So you kinda sleep in here floating. It’s actually not bad, you know. In micro gravity it’s not a bad bedroom. – Yeah it actually sounds kind of cosy. I like the sound dampening. – So going further forward the Columbus module which is the ESA science module, so we do a lot of science in here. Also have some stowage in this module. This module’s unique on the space station. – Am I allowed to walk in here? – Absolutely. – I notice you’ve got.. You’ll have racks on the ground and the ceiling so.. – Yeah we utilize all the space so a lot of science racks. A lot of our human research is done in here. We draw a lot of the blood samples in here, ultrasounds are done in here. Here’s a mock up, actually a picture, it’s not really a mock up, of where our ultrasound hardware is hooked into. We have a centrifuge for centrifuging our blood before we put it in the freezer. We have some other gas analyzers and systems that provide certain gas compositions for some of the experiments. – Real quick dumb question. When you’re looking back, that’s the JAXA Kibo node in front of us right? So when you’re looking down here after you’ve been spinning around in here doing science, how do you orient yourself, there is no down so do you think along the axis of the space station? Does that become your datum? – Most of the modules are kind of oriented in the same way. – I notice the words always point a certain way. – Yeah so usually the lights are on top and the labels are in kind of this orientation so you generally live in this kind of, “this is the floor and this is the ceiling” based on the lighting and how the labels are written. However in some modules like the PMM it’s clocked differently so you go in there you’ve got to spin around. It takes a little while for your gyro to engage but.. you know people are used to lighting from above so it’s really generally the lighting that describes or sets the orientation. – Yeah so some little haptic clues. I don’t even know if that’s the word but I know what you’re saying. – So this is JAXA we’re going into? – Yeah so this is the JPM. The Japanese Pressurized Module. One of the other science modules we have. We do a lot of science in here as well. Different science racks. This isn’t really a good mock up of how this looks on the inside. We don’t.. when we have our science training we generally don’t do it in here. We have a facility that’ll have a almost fully functional mock up of the science rack we have so.. – Got it. – this is just more for like emergency.. – So these racks are modular right? You can just pop them out? – Yeah we can move them in and out, bring them up on HTV or some of the other cargo vehicles. – Got it. – And as we go further forward the Japanese part of the space station has a robot arm with an exposed facility outside that allows us to move science payloads.. – That’s the back porch, isn’t it. – The porch.. the side porch. – Oh is it. Gotcha. – And then they have an airlock. We can also move stuff in and out. You can’t put people in here but you can put hardware in here to get it in and out of the space station. – That’s nice. – And then a big closet up overhead. – That’s just where you throw all the junk. – Yeah. – Yeah, well thank you for your time. I know you’ve gotta go, go to Russia. – My pleasure. – Be safe, and.. – Let’s walk out this way and we can walk around. – Sure. Alright. So I’m Destin. You’re getting Smarter Every Day. Thank you very much for Scott Kelly’s time. You’re like a national asset at this point so it’s a big deal that we got this tour. So have a good one. Bye. So there you go. Anytime from now on you see a video from the International Space Station I hope you know where you are in relation to where everything else on the station is. It’s really cool, I enjoy it, I really hope you do too. I want to say thank you to the patrons who support Smarter Every Day on Patreon. In this particular video not only did you pay for my flight out there, but that little radar thing in the bottom corner, you made that happen. It’s really complicated. We had to motion track my camera position relative to a wire frame of the space station for every single second of the video. There’s no way I could have done that on my own and you patrons made that happen. So if youre interested in supporting cool stuff like that in the future, patreon.com/smartereveryday I’ll leave a link in the video description. I hope this added value to your life. If so, please consider subscribing. If that ain’t your thing, no big deal. I’m Destin, you’re getting Smarter Every Day, have a good one. Are there reaction wheels on station? – Yes.. no, well not reaction weels.. – Control moment gyros. – Control moment gyros and only.. – Did we just become best friends? – And only an engineer would know the difference. – Did we just become best friends? – We just became best friends. – [laughs] Yes. – And the neat thing is, once you become this level of best friends, now you can sit and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of reaction wheels versus control moment gyros. – After karate in the garage of course, right? – Yes. – [laughs] I just had that conversation with Don Pettit.