Let’s get real: Deep down, we all really want to be astronauts when we grow up. Probably because we never really outgrow the awe we first felt for outer space; the vastness, the infinite possibilities for exploration, the unknown.
More importantly, we wonder, what would life in space be like for our gravity-normalized minds and bodies? On Wednesday, Jan. 30, some 200 Canadian elementary school children gathered in the country’s Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa to find out.
Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, was on hand, live from space, to answer any and all questions the kids could come up with about what it’s like to inhabit the endlessly fascinating, zero-gravity world outside the earth’s atmosphere.
The conversation’s moderator, David Johnston, the governor general of Canada, fielded all kinds of questions from the curious kids, who wondered about every little thing in space, from what happens when you sneeze to how you wash your hands.
When one child asked what would happen to a marshmallow outside the space station, Hadfield reminded the rapt students that, in the vacuum of space, where it’s approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun and -184 in the shade, a marshmallow would swell up and go gooey or freeze, like a snowball.
But, he cheerfully cautioned, “If we had a marshmallow on the inside of the space ship, I’d eat it.”
Hadfield, who said he exercises two hours every day to stay strong, also tapped into that preternatural fascination with space we all possess, telling the kids that floating through it is “like magic” and that spending five months outside the confines of gravity is a “tremendous gift.”
To see the highlights of what everyday life is like in space, from washing your hair to making a burrito, check out our video, above. To see the complete QA, and hear some adorable interactions with the inquisitive students, we’ve embedded the full video below.
And, remember, you’re never too old for Space Camp.