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10 things you don't know about the International Space Station

By: Katherine Butler on Aug. 29, 2011, 9:13 a.m.
Mikhail Tyurin plays guitar on board international space station

Photo: NASA

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Long hours, but still time to relax

Life aboard the International Space Station is busy with research, but there is still time for relaxation. Because the ISS orbits Earth once every 90 minutes, its residents experience multiple sunrises and sunsets. Consequently, the windows are covered at night to give the crew a sense of darkness. The crew generally rises at 6 a.m. based on a Mission Elapsed Time schedule. Their day usually lasts 10 hours through a normal workweek and includes conference calls with Mission Control, inspections, experiments, exercise and repair. They work five hours on Saturday and the rest of the time is their own. A favorite pastime is simply to watch Earth from space. Here, cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, Expedition 14 flight engineer representing Russia's Federal Space Agency, plays a guitar in the Unity node of the ISS.