So you're thinking about going into space and you're wondering what you will, or could, do when you get there? Well you've come to the right place, this article will break down the potential activities you could engage in during suborbital and orbital flights. However, based on which type of flight you take, your options will be constrained. Suborbital flights will provide you with about 3 to 4 minutes of zero gravity – giving a very limited time in which to engage in unique activities. Orbital flights offer significantly more time from days to weeks.
Many of the following activities come from the experiences of the over 500 astronauts who have traveled into space, and others not so much…
Experience the view
Take in the view of the curvature of the earth, the blackness of space, and the breathtaking view of the earth surface far below you. Watch sunrises and sunsets every 45 minutes.
Many astronauts speak highly of the view and mention this as one of their favorite things to do while in orbit.
Capture and share the experience
Take candid photographs of the earth, your environment and fellow travelers to authentically capture the experience that you can use as the basis for a book when you return to earth.
Keep a written journal of your experiences to form the basis of a book.
Keep a video journal and post it to YouTube.
Use social media, email or call to keep in touch with friends and family.
Bring some souvenirs with you to give as gifts to your friends and family when you return e.g. custom made challenge coin, flag, mission patch.
Participate in a media event from space. The media event can be a one-way communication where you might talk about your experiences so far. The media event can also be a two way interaction where you take questions from people on the ground.
Learn how to live in space
Living in space is not the same as living on earth. The lack of gravity means that every day activities we take for granted need to be re-learned –
Go to the bathroom
Brush your teeth
Prepare food and eat
Get a haircut
Shampoo your hair
Cut your fingernails
Experience space motion sickness
Learn how to move around zero gravity
Learn how to weigh yourself
Get to know your way around the ISS
Play and relax
Get to know your fellow space travelers.
Read a book.
Practice Tai Chi.
Play a sport, e.g. badminton, soccer, darts, synchronized space dancing, no-handball, sharpshooting, lack-of-floor-routine, baseball, gymnastics, football, frisbee, boomerang, golf, tennis, ping-pong, skipping rope.
Play with some toys, e.g. wind up airplane, paper airplane, fidget spinner.
Experiment with doing yo-yo tricks.
Watch a movie and chill.
Educate and motivate others
Host an art exhibition displaying paintings from children on Earth.
Create a public service announcement video for a worthy cause.
Post messages, videos and photos to social media.
Live appearance on a TV show.
Celebrate a birthday, wish somebody back on earth happy birthday!
Host an Ask Me Anything live session on Reddit.
Show people what you brought in your luggage to the space station.
Exercise your creativity
Make a movie or documentary for one of the major broadcast networks or streaming services.
Decorate the space station for the holidays.
Contribute to Art – to inspire, celebrate and showcase space exploration – create a work of art (e.g. drawing, painting) that evokes the emotional experience and captures the magic that photographs cannot.
Play music using an instrument, or sing a song, video record and post it to YouTube.
Write a poem and read it from space.
Set a Guinness World Record, find something unique that you can be the first person to do in space.
Star in a reality TV show for one of the major broadcast networks or streaming services.
Contribute to scientific knowledge
Participate in human physiology studies investigating the effects of microgravity on the human body.
Perform scientific experiments sponsored by universities or commercial entities.
Produce the first porn film made in zero gravity.
Define a scientific experiment to execute in space and write a paper that will win an Ig Nobel prize, for example explore the use of flatulence as a means of propulsion in a zero gravity environment.
Take photographs suitable for art galleries, e.g. fine-art, portrait, conceptual, abstract.
Host a fashion show from the world's leading clothing designers showcasing designs made exclusivity for zero gravity.
Do a commercial advertisement or endorsement.