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Watch an astronaut explain how to take a shower in space

Published Jun 11th, 2015 12:48PM EDT
How Do Astronauts Shower In Space
Image: CBS News

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Have you ever wondered about the logistics of taking a shower in a zero-gravity environment? Well wonder no more. CBS News caught up with astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti at the International Space Station, where she gave a crash course in outer-space hygiene. It goes without saying that anyone who’s hoping there will be nice warm showers in space is going to be very disappointed.

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Essentially, astronauts keep supplies of soap and water in little pouches that they then squeeze out to apply to their skin. The method is very much akin to applying lotion to your skin, although in this case it’s part of your daily cleaning routine and not something you do just when your skin feels dry.

What’s really cool about this, though, is the way the space station’s life support system sucks up all the leftover water that’s floating around and purifies it so it can be reused. Essentially, the ISS is a model of resource efficiency that we could probably take some cues from back here on Earth.

The whole video of Cristoforetti showing off how to shower in space and how to generally keep yourself clean while in orbit can be found here.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.


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