Earlier today at 1am Singapore time, Facebook held the first ever live stream between Mark Zuckerberg and three crew members of the International Space Station (ISS).
Yes, Facebook has actually made it possible to stream Facebook Live from space.
This is a testament to Facebook’s commitment to build products to connect everyone in the world and beyond. Who knows, we may even have a chance to do a Facebook Live session with extra terrestrials next.
In his 20 minute interview with the International Space Station, Mark had the opportunity to speak to NASA astronauts Tim Kopra and Jeff Williams, and the European Space Agency’s Tim Peake, about life in space in general, and the technology behind getting connected to communicate with people down on Earth.
Let’s have a look at some of the more interesting points of their conversation.
What Do They Study Up There?
One of the main things that the astronauts and scientists stationed in the ISS try to find out and understand is how zero gravity impacts the human body; more so the negative effects that they may encounter during the voyage in space. This basically means that they are always in a constant state of studying themselves and each other – inadvertently or not, they are their own test subjects.
Other kinds of research includes physical science experiments ranging from combustion, to fluid flow, to microbiology – all to see how each process responds in an environment of zero gravity. Aside from that, they are also finding ways to improve future space explorations so that supporting nations will be able to build better equipment.
English And Russian Are The Two Main Languages On The ISS
The International Space Station has played host to a multitude of astronauts and scientists from many different nationalities worldwide. So that begs the question – how do they communicate?
Commander Tim Kopra shed some light on the matter – with every expedition crew sent to the ISS, there will always be two unchanged variables: native English speakers (from the USA and United Kingdom), and the native Russian speakers (from Russia).
Crew members whom hail from non-English speaking countries generally have a good enough grasp of the language to be able to communicate with everyone. As for the Russian language, since the ISS and Russia have close ties working together on space programs, and with training sessions being conducted in Russian, it made sense for everyone involved to learn the language. It is also a bonus that because of this, they are able to interchangeably communicate in both English, Russian or a mixture of both when they are up in the ISS.
Food And Drinks Don’t Taste The Same
Due to the zero gravity environment, human senses are affected. The fluid shift within their bodies causes a certain degree of fullness and stuffiness, thus affecting their sense of taste. Because of this, most of the crew tend to prefer spicier food since regular food tastes rather bland in space, and will often mix things up by introducing stronger flavours into their meals.
Best of all, they have actual ice cream on board, complete with their own freezer. To set the record straight, these are not the novelty snacks passed off as ‘space ice cream’ that you may have come across.
And Yes, They Do Play With Their Food
One would think that being stuck in space would be a bit of a bore. However, Jeff Williams would like to dispel that long assumed myth.
For one, no one ever gets tired of looking out the window. With each passing season, they are able to observe details about the Earth – weather patterns, lighting conditions, geography and geology. The mesmerising view they see daily is far from dull.
And the part about having fun with food in zero gravity? It’s all true, and not just what you’ll see in the movies. Every one of them enjoy letting loose their inner child, to have fun with food in zero gravity, and also other things, like taking a bubble of water to play with it. If not, they are just as happy flipping around, floating in space.
Passion And Hard Work Will Get You Where You Need To Be
Tim Peake shared that each member of the crew has their own fields that they specialise in. This may come in the form of sciences, engineering, aviation, medical, or research. At the end of the day, they all share one thing in common, everyone is passionate about what they do.
The advice that he will gave to any young person is that, you should focus on what you’re good at and at what you enjoy. When you enjoy something, it is, more often than not, something that you are best at. Work hard and be passionate about what you enjoy, and you’ll get to where you want to go.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely envy them. Gravity sucks.
If you’d like to catch the archive of the video, it’s right below.
Image Credits: Facebook, NASA