Hi, I am Commander Michael Foale and I am an astronaut.Hey guys, I hope you are having an awesome day. I sure am because every day is more awesome than the last here on board the International Space Station.
My name is Commander Michael Foale and I am one half of the international team currently aboard the ISS. I have been asked by NASA Mission Control to spend a little bit of my time each day doing some outreach to the kids and today I am going to introduce those of you who read this web site to life aboard the ISS. I will tell you about the sort of things myself and Russian astronaut Alexander Y. Kaleri have been doing since we arrived on the ISS all the way back in October. It has been a long and interesting journey here and luckily I have been keeping a journal of my experiences so I can share some of the most interesting things with you. And boy, it will be hard to pick, because everything has been so totally awesome!
Before I get into all that, let me tell you about our daily routine aboard the International Space Station so you can get an idea for what the normal life is like.
We start off each day doing chin-ups in zero gravity. On earth I can only do about a hundred chin-ups, but in zero gravity I can do a BILLION. I did chin-ups for three days straight back in November and for like a month my arms looked like Popeye.
After our chin-ups we practice math. Keeping your mind honed is as important in space as keeping your body in good shape. Alex brought a huge book of math story problems and we usually do those for about an hour. Remember that kids, if you want to be an astronaut you have got to stay in school because we rely on things like graphs and subtraction for our LIVES out here.
After our double workouts we usually have our breakfast. In space we can't drink coffee out of cups so we have to drink it out of bags! Isn't that crazy? I'm telling you, even with the bags you have to be careful, if one scalding-hot drop floats out and you don't notice you're liable to get a painful surprise when you least expect it. I think we should have a special oven that makes round cupcakes. That would be so cool, I wish I could have them on earth but gravity is not so cooperative.
Our morning hours are devoted to conducting science experiments. We have this huge book of experiments we have to do that NASA gave us when we showed up. These experiments suck pretty bad, but I guess we're not here for fun. Haha, I'm just kidding, the experiments are mind blowing! We had one experiment where we just shot miniature pigs with lasers until they exploded. It was so cool, I don't even know where they got all these tiny pigs from but they came in these vacuum tubes. We had a few extra and Alex tried to cook one by sweeping the laser back and forth, but it tasted like a pickle. He ate it anyway but I stuck to my space pills.
Did you know that astronauts drink our own pee? We do! It's not normal pee like the kind you buy in the store, but we pee into a special sock and it filters our pee back into drinking water. It's not too bad tasting if you get it cold enough. Pooping in space is a lot harder though. We have pressure toilets and you have to climb inside this plastic bag in case there is a problem. Let me tell you, there are problems a lot, but that's all I'm authorized to say about that.
Smoking is forbidden on the International Space Station for a number of reasons so after we are done with our experiments we sit and stare at a pack of cigarettes. Neither of us smokes but it's sort of a tradition here on the ISS. Sometimes when we get really bored or homesick we will eat some of the cigarettes.Here is me and Alex enjoying our astronaut dinner. Believe me, we are smiling for the camera.
Every afternoon the ISS reaches orbit within the direct contact range of the NASA main base in Houston or wherever. During the time that we are in the communications window we transmit all of our experiment data back to earth and then a NASA psychologist asks us questions to make sure we're not going crazy. We like to play tricks on the NASA psychologist, like the one time Alex and I smeared red paint all over the cockpit, put on our space suits, and then opened all of the airlocks. The data we sent that day was just recordings of us screaming "oh god no!!" When they activated the live feed they saw a frost-filled depressurized cockpit module smeared with frozen "blood". Boy, were they hot over that one! We had to do a lot of fast talking the next day to keep them from sending a shuttle up to throw us off the ISS.
In the evening Alex and I each take a little bit of personal time. I like to read books or browse the Internet. Did you know that we have the Internet in space? We sure do, but NASA has rigged the computers so we can only read the NASA web site and the FBI website. Alex likes to practice his watercolor painting in zero gravity. He's very prolific and after a few weeks he began requesting subjects to paint from me. You would be amazed how realistically he can render a watercolor version of my cheating whore of a wife performing fellatio on a black man.
After our free time we sit down together for dinner. Everything astronauts eat is either a pill or a paste. The pills smell funny but you can't taste them and the pastes smelly funny AND taste horrible. We try cooking a lot of different things to break up the culinary monotony. So far barbecue space boots are my favorite, but a close second is the casserole Alex made from his hair and toenails. It was just like a tuna casserole with Fritos on top!
Astronauts sleep just like people on earth do only tied to a wall. Sometimes I have bad dreams about the space station exploding or being sucked out into space. When you have a sexy dream in space it's called a "pearly night" because the semen will seep through your space underpants and float around the cabin. Alex had them so much that we have to saran wrap his whole body when he goes to sleep.
Now that you know a little bit about what our daily routine is like here on the International Space Station let me tell you about some of the more exciting events I have recorded in my astronaut journal. My astronaut journal is pretty awesome and it is filled with my musings on being an astronaut as well as a number of puffy stickers on the outside and a unicorn I drew on the back. Alex has his own journal but it looks like it's made out of cardboard and he writes all his entries in those kooky Russian letters that make me nervous.
This is where I am right now! Pretty neat, huh?October 18th - I'm Here!
It is so amazing here! I have been on some missions to outer space before and those were pretty cool but this is like 5,000 times cooler. The astronauts who we are replacing look awfully tired and they sure farted up the place. They're supposed to leave tomorrow, then I can put up all of my posters to make the place feel a little more like home. I still don't trust this Russian guy Alexander who I am supposed to spend months here with. I suspect that he is gay.
He's definitely gay. I caught him going through my astropants drawer.
October 26th - Blow Out!
Alex and I really got into it today. We were working on an experiment to see how fast a pony can put a puzzle together in zero gravity. Alex was welding the pony into its puzzle cage when a spark went down the collar of my shirt. I cussed him out bad. He said it was my fault for working on the pony's catheter while he was welding and I said "oh yeah, well you look through my underpants Comrade Gaylin". It turned out that saying that cleared the air between us. He admitted to doing it, but said that the Russian mission only sent him up with one pair of astropants and he was going to take a pair of mine if we were the same size. My astropants were too small for him though, so he put them back in the drawer. I apologized for accusing him of being gay and then I agreed to let him have two pairs of my astropants so that he could stitch them together and make one pair.
November 7th - Malfunction!
Our Game Boy Advance is on the fritz again. Tensions building.
November 8th - First Kiss!
I'm still feeling a little strange as I write this. Alex and I were sitting in the lounge pod and we were feeling a little goofy because the O2 mix is screwed up again. He asked if Americans kissed like Russians. I said "I guess", but then he said we should find out. I was really scared, but Alex said we should both close our eyes and pretend that we're kissing a beautiful woman. It totally wasn't gay and I imagined I was kissing Britney Spears. He is a pretty good kisser but his mustache tickles.
Alex and I have both agreed that tonight never happened and can never happen again. It might affect the mission.
REMINDER TO ME: Leave note for next crew that liquid boron is not a good substitute for whiskey.
December 2ndThis is me and Alex at a pre-mission press conference. Those things went on for hours, but I would pay 500 dollars to be giving a press conference right now.December 3rd
Alex just went EVA to attach the Christmas lights to the outside of the space station. AGAIN. I keep telling him that they will not work when there is no oxygen but he keeps coming back in all "Aaaah, de blasted leenks of lights vill not vork." Then, like an hour later, he comes up with another idea and goes back out. Right now it's like 20 degrees inside because every time he uses the airlock it lets all of the cold space air in. I am going to strangle him, I swear!
I don't know how he did it, but we now have working Christmas lights ringing the exterior of the ISS. Should be a big surprise for the re-supply shuttle coming up tomorrow.
December 4th - Awesome!
Just had a totally awesome party with the three re-supply astronauts. They brought up about ten of those little airplane liquor bottles and we totally got Mariana Klinger blitzed on those things and she showed us her tits. It took every ounce of restraint Alex and I had not to date rape her.
December 5th - That Son of a Bitch
As the re-supply crew was heading out this morning I noticed Mariana would not make eye contact with Alex. Turns out he DID date rape her. That son of a bitch, I thought we had a gentleman's agreement on that. The next re-supply shuttle I am nailing every chick that comes up and taking pictures to torment him with.
Christmas Eve has seen a flurry of activity here at the ISS. Both Alex and I have been hard at work preparing Christmas dinner for tomorrow and wrapping gifts for our gift exchange. There is not a whole lot we can give each other but I have saved my ration of dessert pastes for the last week and I'll be giving those to him. I wonder what he's getting me?! I hope it's something cool!
Man oh man am I stuffed! We had a whole barbecue space boot for dinner along with pasta salad paste and three pills each of mashed potatoes. The gift exchange was really funny because it turns out Alex got me the same thing I got him. When we each opened our ablative insulation wrapped machine parts box we found seven tubes of dessert paste. We laughed and laughed about them and then we each ate three whole tubes of the stuff. My favorite is the "Wedding Cake" flavor, Alex said he likes the "Jellybeans and Ice Cream" flavor the best.
Liquifd borrron ISSS a good replacmnt for WHIske
According to the blood spectrometer we have in the med kit one of my kidneys has failed. I've still got one, plus ca change, am I right?
You cannot reason with irradiated fruit bats. Your only option is to hit them over and over again with a notebook and then eject them through the waste lock.
I should have brought more than one CD with me. If I'm restricted to one CD on future missions I need to make sure that it isn't an Adam Sandler comedy CD. I swear when I get back to earth I am going to twist his head off of his body while singing that fucking lunch lady song of his.
January 20thHere is a picture of me and Alex doing some ultra stupid test about respiration live on CNN. I was so ready to hold up a sign that said "PLEASE SAVE US". I even had it sitting there, but Alex kept giggling and slapping my hand when I would reach for it.January 21st
Hey, guess what? I just spent the last three hours measuring the effects of zero gravity on the shape of rat feces. That sure is worthwhile Cape Canaveral. Face it NASA, the dream is dead, and I'm up here on Space Station Zebra with the fat commie version of Magnum PI using micro-calipers on rat shit.
Oh, wow, hey science breakthrough here folks! Quartz timing devices work in space! Another winner from NASA!
You would think that inflating twelve beach balls inside the confines of the ISS service module would be a fun use of time. It isn't. What exactly are we trying to learn with that one? I think NASA is just fucking with us now.
Alright, this is it, I draw the line. The experiment calendar said today I was supposed to give Alex a barium enema and then map the path of the radioactive isotope through his colon. They didn't include any radiology equipment in the mission, then I see in fine print "if you lack all of the necessary equipment, trying using your fingers; the barium should feel cold to the touch". Not only did this experiment make a mess of the crew module, but now the whole space station smells like a mixture of chemicals and Alex's filthy Russian asshole. I am done with NASA's bullshit experiments.
Got to talk to some grade school kids in Missouri today via the live feed. Great bunch of kids. Dumb as posts. At least five of them asked me what astronauts ate. After the second one asked I just started making things up like "desks" and "every alien we find". The kids started laughing at that second one but I made my crazy-serious astronaut eyes and they shut up.
Thinking about growing a beard. Thinking more about murdering Alex in his sleep.
When you are in space everything back on earth not only feels so remote, it also feels so unimportant. I got a message from NASA today that my dad died from cancer. I thought for a second "man, my dad died, and I'm here in space". Then I thought "man, I'm here in space". Then I looked out the view port at space and I was just thinking "man…space." I mean really guys, fucking space, how the hell can I care about my dad dying? Space is like 500 times cooler than that.
Alex figured out a way to rig the CD player so that it plays CDs backwards. I am beginning to warm to Reverse Adam Sandler.
Fuck Reverse Lunch Lady song. Seriously. I am going to drop that thing into the terrestrial gravity well the next time I go out to fix something.
More cutting edge science straight from space! NASA had us microwave a sheet of paper thirty times to test the effect of zero gravity on microwaving a sheet of paper. Results of experiment inconclusive! Sorry NASA, science may never unlock the dark secrets of microwaved sheets of paper!
Alex and I were playing soccer today with one of the tiny pigs and my kick lodged the pig behind one of the communications consoles. We spent like three hours trying to get it out, but the more crap we unscrewed the further into the guts of the ISS it fell. Man is that thing going to stink to high heaven.
Not only has the dead pig been stinking horribly for the past couple days, but today I actually saw space cockroaches. They look just like normal cockroaches but they run a little slower and glow red when they make their high-pitched screeching sound. The good news is that they seem to be eating away at the pig AND they taste absolutely delicious.
March 15th - Goodbye Salad Days
The last of the cockroaches have been eaten and we're back on pills and paste. No more space boots to eat and even Alex's hair is not growing fast enough to make any more casseroles. A lack of variety in my diet is quickly driving crazy.
Got to go EVA to fix the clogged waste lock. Pretty gross work but you can't smell anything when you're wearing a space suit. While I was out there clearing the obstruction I just stopped and looked at the moon and shit. There's no way to describe how clear everything is out in space. There's something to be said about not having any atmosphere. I mean I could see car-sized satellites from 1500 miles away at least, with the earth you've got all this atmosphere bull crap making everything all hazy and then there's the whole retarded "globe" fiasco. Forget it. Space is where it's at.
Hull integrity down to 20%. We have a serious pressurization problem and have retreated to the crew pod and sealed it off. I can hear air escaping from somewhere though, hope it's outside the-oh god it's not it's------
Hahahaha Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike! April fools you fags!
A little joke! We like to have fun in space.
I hope this update from earth orbit has proved to be both exciting and educational. The most important thing to me is to inspire the next generation of astronauts with my adventures and my space bound antics. If only one of you reading this grows up to become an astronaut and comes to work on the Intenrational Space Station then I HAVE TOTALLY DUPED YOU SUCKER! Hahahaha, this place is horrible. Our April 30th departure can't come soon enough.
Remember to Vote this Coming Phriday
Hey gang, the conclusion to "Unlikely Political Campaigns" is up, and you can view it at the following underlined bit of text. Check it out and see what a real election would be like if we lived in a magical fantasy world similar to the one we live in now but with more robots and monsters. Here is a preview:
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
If you still have any difficulty transitioning to chip readers, please refer to the FAQ compiled from average user reactions.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.