ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Astronomy for Kids: Learn About Space Stations

Updated on March 9, 2021

Imagine living in a small space for months at a time. You can't even walk around in that area. You have to float around. Your food is stored in vacuum sealed plastic bags. Powered drinks mixed with water must be sipped from a bag using a straw. When you need to use the bathroom, you have to be fastened to the toilet seat. This is what life is like on board a space station.

The International Space Station (ISS) is an artificial satellite that people can live in. It orbits the Earth 16 times every day. It is called international because 16 different countries were involved in its development. Astronauts travel to and from the space station in Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Some past space stations were Skylab and Mir.

The International Space Station (IIS)
The International Space Station (IIS) | Source


Astronauts live in the space station for six months. They carry out various scientific experiments while they are there. The astronauts live and work in weightless conditions. They float around. This is called weightlessness. Weightlessness is also called zero-g or zero-gravity. Many scientists prefer the term micro-gravity.

Micro-gravity can be harmful to humans. It can lead to bone and muscle loss because we need the force of gravity pushing down on us to keep us strong. Astronauts must exercise for about two hours every day to prevent bone and muscle loss. The equipment they use is different than what we use on Earth. They need special equipment. They can't just lift weights to stay strong because a 100 pound weight on Earth would weigh almost nothing in zero-gravity conditions.

European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)
European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) | Source

Space Station Supply Ships

Unmanned supply ships, like the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) bring necessary supplies like food, fuel and experiments. Each ATV is launched by a rocket. They must travel through space for five days to reach the space station. They dock with the station until the supplies are unloaded. When they undock they burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Build your own model ATV:

Preparation for a Trip to Mars

It would take astronauts months to reach Mars because it's so far away. They would have to spend months on Mars and then make the months long trip back to Earth. That's a long time for people to be stuck in a very small place. We need to know in advance what effects this might have on astronauts and what their needs would be.

The IIS helps us learn about the effects of being in space for long periods of time. It's used to test the technology that is needed for future manned space exploration. Astronauts can learn about what can go wrong and how to solve it. It's easier to learn these things on a space station that's only 240 miles away versus having to figure them out on the 240,000 mile journey to Mars.

A Soyuz spacecraft approaches the International Space Station
A Soyuz spacecraft approaches the International Space Station | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 JoanCA


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)