Tuesday, July 5

Astronauts also cut their hair and nails in space: this way they avoid filling the International Space Station with debris

When an astronaut travels to the International Space Station, he does so not to spend a week or two, but rather to stays for between two and six months. It is quite time consuming and there are certain aspects of personal hygiene that need to be maintained, things as simple and mundane as getting your hair trimmed, shaving or clipping your nails.

On Earth it is something very simple: a razor and scissors And voila, hair and nails cut, but what about the International Space Station? Where does all that hair that shoots out when we use the razor go? Are all the rooms full of freshly cut nails? Well, the truth is that the solution to keep the ISS clean is very simple: a vacuum cleaner.

My razor trims and also vacuums the hair

It may seem like a trivial question, but it is not at all. Let’s think about the amount of hair that falls on the floor when we go to the hairdresser and they pass us the electric razor. That, in an engineering and technical work like the ISS, can pose a good deal of trouble.

The International Space Station is a mess on the inside ... but it makes sense

Not only is it unhygienic to have hair fluttering around the enclosures, it can interfere with some science experiments. In fact, Thomas Pesquet, an ESA astronaut, Explain that when cleaning the filters of the ventilation system what they find most is hair and dead skin of human origin.

How do astronauts prevent the ISS from filling up with debris from personal hygiene processes? With something as simple as a vacuum cleaner. The electric razor is similar to the one we could have on land, but the one we find on the ISS can be connected to a vacuum system (a vacuum cleaner) that sucks up all the hair that, in another context, would be thrown everywhere.

And what about the nails? Almost more of the same. They don’t use any strange devices, instead they use a conventional nail clipper like the ones anyone could have in their bathroom. However, they have to be more careful as the nails can shoot out when cut. To prevent that from happening they use the air intakes.

The air intakes collect the air from the ISS itself through mesh filters. As you clip your nails on these shots, nails stick to filters thanks to the suction power. Then, simply, you have to use the vacuum cleaner to collect the remains.

Videos | CSA, NASA, THAT


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