We Forced ISS Astronauts to Answer Your Google Searches About Whistling and Peeing
When we did Google Autocomplete interviews with Angela Bassett, Gerard Butler, and Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Bell, we learned that the Internet is mostly preoccupied with celebrities’ dietary restrictions, or if they’re actually dead. With astronauts, though, it seems the people of Google are more curious about pee, whistling, and Earth-bound immigration.
To answer Google’s most burning questions about astronaut life, we set up a very long distance call with International Space Station astronauts Jeff Williams (NASA), Tim Kopra (NASA), and Tim Peake (ESA). And these guys should know: All three are are on six-month missions aboard the ISS. Kopra and Peake are set to return to Earth in June, and Williams will follow in September.
We let kindergarteners run a similar Q&A with returning ISS astronaut Kjell Lindgren about a month ago, and they were adorably obsessed with astronaut food and aliens. It turns out that when you let the (relatively) more mature folks driving Google search trends take the wheel, things don’t necessarily get more technical.
How do astronauts dodge the 500,000 some pieces of space debris hurtling around Earth at speeds of 17,5000 mph? Google doesn’t care. We want to know what happens when astronauts stare down at their Thanksgiving soy protein loaf and burst into tears.
“Water in space is different,” Kopra says. “It’s almost like this gluey substance that has the ability to stick to your skin. So if you were to have a really big cry, your eyes would swell up with water.”
Williams, Kopra, and Peake very patiently answer a whole host of Google’s goofy questions about everything from passports to diapers. So if you want to find out how exactly astronauts do—“in a sense”—drink their own pee, check out the video above.
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