A N.A.S.A. astronaut shows us what it's like to live on the I.S.S.
I want to go to space again. I used to want to go because I was a child, and aspiring to be an astronaut was my ticket to the sci-fi fantasy world that my imagination conjured up as a proxy for any actual understanding of the space beyond Earth. Being an engineer or a scientist that carried out experiments in zero-gravity had nothing to do with it, obviously. I wanted to go to space because it was the big boundless adventureland.
Now I want to be an astronaut because it seems like anyone can do it. Which isn't true, but it's the impression you get watching this wonderful video that NASA astronaut Sunny Williams filmed on her last day aboard the international Space Station. She was just wrapping up her tenure as station Commander; she even shows us the craft she'll board later that day to return home to Earth.
At the time of filming, the I.S.S. is soaring over Africa, and the crew is going about its regular schedule. Williams floats, bounces, and hovers around the station, offering what's likely the most in-depth look at the station we're likely ever to see. We see where the astronauts sleep, where and how they exercise, how they manage experiments, how they relieve themselves, how they pass the time; how they live. We see Williams' comfort with zero gravity, how she bobs in place, hair perpetually ascending into an elegant mane, how there's a naturalness to her movements, how it's no big deal. We're reminded, again, that there are people living in space, right now, in a station orbiting the planet. It's mundane and fantastic at once.