Being the ginormous nerd that I am…and my recent trawling of ISS sites and following @cmdr_hadfield (the current ISS commander) on twitter. I noticed that there were many things in common in terms of living in space and serving as a PCV
- You’re on the clock 24/7. Even if you are alone in your house at site, you’re still on the job. Astronauts are always on duty in orbit.
- Isolation from friends and family. BF is not a big tourist destination. Neither is Space.
- Short turnover between crews/stages. 2 years is not a long time. Neither is a typical 14 day mission or a 6 month increment on the ISS
- The internet is slow. (Even on the ISS, tweets are sent to a mirror site in Houston at JSC)
- No running water. Nope, the ISS nor Shuttle/Soyuz have running water.
- It’s more complicated to go to the bathroom. (Space toilets and latrines).
- Working with people in different languages towards a greater goal. ISS partners are from all over the world, USA, Russia, Canada, Japan. Peace Corps Volunteers work with people from different countries, ethnic groups, and in many national and local languages.
- The unimaginable joy when you receive a care package from home. I mean, that’s the only way they get things into space, on the Soyuz, Progress, or Dragon vehicles.
- Both Peace Corps and NASA have movies about them starring Tom Hanks (Volunteers and Apollo 13).
- Both Astronauts and PCVs live in a constant fishbowl. Except I’m almost certain that astronauts have a better view of the earth from LEO (low earth orbit).