After days, weeks, and months in space, the never-ending litany of instructions coming out of Houston can become very, very annoying. Also, why are we always running out of tortillas!?!
Welcome to the inner monologue of some of the astronauts who've spent time aboard the International Space Station.
Over the years, many of NASA's astronauts have kept public journals, chronicling their adventures and experiences in space. Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield's videos and social media posts probably best embody the uniqueness of life in orbit.
For the past decade, however, researcher Jack Stuster has been having astronauts fill out another set of journals. Stuster's journals are different: they're confidential. Where the astronauts' public expressions are generally full of joy at life on high, the confidential writings turn up something else: problems, frustrations and the struggle of adjusting to life in an giant space can.
At New Scientist, Aviva Rutkin has pulled out some of the common themes captured in the astronauts' diaries, as reported by Stuster in a recent presentation. They include disdain for their overbearing Texan overlords, the challenges of isolation and, yes, their fondness for the beauty of Earth as seen from above.