June 24, 2014 7:56 pm

Have You Ever Wondered What Life Would Be Like In Space?

Shown: Saturn's Rings from the Other Side. Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Shown: Saturn’s Rings from the Other Side. Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Today’s guest blog post comes from Lila Hitzig, StarTalk Radio’s first high school summer intern. Today, she’s writing about listening to our episode, “Cosmic Queries: Human Endurance in Space” with host Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice.

Do you ever take the time to sit back, look up at the stars, and wonder what on earth is going on up there? I’m Lila Hitzig, a high-school intern at StarTalk, and I’m always thinking about space.

The possibility of there being other life in space, or that one day we, the human population, could actually live there is so exciting. I’ve frequently asked myself questions such as, what are the short and long term dangers of space exploration or what happens to human biology when closely exposed to the sun’s radiation? In this episode, Cosmic Queries: Human Endurance in Space, all my questions about what life would be like for humans in space were answered.

Could we swim in a pool? Well in space our pool would actually be boiling water, giving off steam with chunks of ice! A pool in space would become an everyday Jacuzzi, using the basic laws of physics and chemistry. Maybe it’s just me but having a triple point pool seems like it would be a lot of fun. What? You don’t know what triple point means? Well neither did I until I listened to the episode, thankfully Neil explains to us that triple point is the condition in which water can coexist as a liquid, a solid, and a gas all at the same time.

As human beings, we like to eat, no surprise there, but have you ever wondered what food is best to bring on your 3-4 year round trip to Mars? Well you better pack a lot of tortilla rolls because you don’t want to have breadcrumbs floating around the spacecraft.

Have you ever imagined what Saturn’s rings would look like if you stood on Saturn’s surface? Trick question! Considering the planet is completely gaseous you would just fall right through the planet’s core! Yes, Saturn’s rings are beautiful but I suggest you stick to looking at NASA’s satellite pictures.

While ways to die in space seem pretty morbid, some of them are actually really cool and probably the most fun part of this episode! One way to die would be if the heating materials in your suit didn’t work, then the half of your body that faces the sun would rise to 200 degrees while the side of you facing away from the sun would decrease to -200 degrees. The only way to survive would to set up some form of rotisserie!

These are just a few of the numerous questions Neil and Chuck answer. You owe it to yourself to go listen to the episode or you’ll end up missing out on learning how to play Quidditch like Harry Potter in zero gravity!

-Lila Hitzig

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