What do astronauts do in their spare time on the ISS?

You’re right in thinking that it’s not all work and no play on the International Space Station (ISS). Since days or even months of solid work are certain to cause a large level of stress among space workers, flight planners back on Earth schedule time where astronauts can relax, exercise and have some fun.

Perhaps one of the most popular pastimes is simply looking out of the window. From inside the ISS, crewmembers can peer out of numerous windows at the spectacular sight of the Earth spinning below them. Sunsets and sunrises are also amazing, occurring every 45 minutes above the Earth’s atmosphere.

Aboard the space station, there are plenty of opportunities for astronauts to have time to themselves. Similar to people that work full-time on Earth, astronauts get weekends off where they can watch movies, listen to and play music, read books, play cards and various other games as well as talk to their families. Exercise is also an incredibly important part of a crewmember’s free time. An exercise bike, treadmill and various other pieces of equipment are used to keep the astronauts’ bodies in shape against the lack of gravity.

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