PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is the size of a football field, has its own gym and the best view in the solar system. It is also home to astronauts who observe life 254 miles above the earth.
The view of deep space from the International Space Station is one-of-a-kind.
“Seeing the moon come up from behind the earth, and sometimes if the sun angle is right, you can see more stars than you see on earth but then very quickly that goes away when the angles change and it’s all black,” ISS astronaut Scott Tingle said. “And the thing that mesmerizes me is how quickly we go from being able to see everything and not see everything.”
The ISS travels at over 17,000 mph, lapping Earth every 90 minutes.
“Sixteen times a day, we go around the globe,” said ISS astronaut Norshige Kanai.
Tingle and Kanai witness a sunrise and sunset every 45 minutes.
And with the out-of-this-world views and space-aged speed, the most important material on board is velcro.
“We have velcro everywhere,” Tingle said. “We even have it on our pants so we can attach things so we don’t lose them.”
Exercise is also important for the astronauts.
“We have to exercise everyday about two hours,” Kanai said. “We have a good weightlifting machine and a treadmill and a cycling machine.”
After a 12 hour day of hitting the gym and performing hundreds of scientific experiments, the astronauts say it’s easy to sleep.
“We have a sleeping bag that’s attached to the wall, and so we open the sleeping bag, climb in, zip it up. It’s a pretty sound sleep up here.”