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What do Astronauts do For Entertainment in Space?

Once just an idea in sci-fi pictures such as 2001: A Space Odyssey but now a realistic vision, space tourism could be on the horizon. Programs like Space X plan to put civilians in space by 2026. One of the biggest questions for people who may be intrigued about making the journey is whether they will have any entertainment options while on the way to Mars. The good news is that astronauts do have access to films, television series, and sports out there in the great expanse.


Netflix and Streaming Services



Astronauts in the International Space Station can watch television shows and movies up there. Streaming is a possibility, thanks to the various satellites that NASA has. However, because the ISS travels around the earth around 16 times per day, it is sometimes further away from where it needs to be to catch the signals. This means that there is often buffering to contend with, and astronauts have to be patient.


It is easier for astronauts to use DVDs when it comes to watching films and television. Each person aboard the ISS is allowed to choose some options to take with them. They have projectors and screens on the vessel and can watch entertainment during their downtime.


If Elon Musk does manage to send regular people into space, the ships that they travel in will most likely have built-in entertainment options. The journey to Mars will take around seven months so, to keep people busy, it will be crucial to have movies and series for them to enjoy.


Sport is one of the most popular entertainment options in the world, with leagues like the Premier League in the UK attracting over 4.7 billion viewers every year. It is a thriving industry and, in addition to watching the games, people also enjoy betting on the outcomes. There are markets for everything from the first team to score, to where a player like Sergio Aguero may end up after leaving Manchester City. The bookies placed Barcelona as firm favorites to sign the player, and he has now moved to the Spanish city.


It should come as no surprise, then, that astronauts in space are keen to get their sports fix while they are up there. For those residing on the ISS to watch games, they need to be transmitted from Houston’s Johnson Space Center. They center bounces the signal from nine satellites and can send high-quality streams out to space.


Astronauts have famously watched the Super Bowl in space, along with other major sporting events. However, they are unable to stake on the outcomes when not on planet earth. It is unclear at the moment as to whether live sports will be available on a ship traveling to Mars. But the fact that the ISS can get some games is promising.


Of course, astronauts have learned to adapt to being a long way away from the things we take for granted down on the ground. While they do enjoy some forms of entertainment, they have mastered other ways to make the most of their downtime. This includes everything from reading books to listening to music. Anyone thinking of traveling to space will need to broaden their entertainment options as well.



Author: Jason Martinez









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