What would you take with you on a trip into space?
Every astronaut takes a Personal Preference Kit (PPK) into space with them.
The contents of a PPK are limited to 20 separate items, which had to fit in a 5″ by 8″ by 2″ container/bag. That’s about the size of a small lunch box. So we’re calling our containers a “LAUNCH BOX.”
What would you take with you on a trip into space? Don’t tell us; show us!
- Pick up a free LAUNCH BOX in the 21FSS Marketing Office, Bldg. 1042 (Pikes Peak Lodge), anytime between 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday – Friday. Fill out a registration form at the Marketing Office.
- Limit one per household.
- Limited supply available. Get yours now.
- You can decorate it inside and out.
- Fill the LAUNCH BOX with items you would want to take into space – mementos, personal photos, books, article of clothing (as long as it’s 100 percent cotton), ball cap, etc. *
- If you take a LAUNCH BOX, you must bring it to/show it off at the SPACED OUT! Opening Reception on Friday, May 7, at The Hub (location change). Check-in time for LAUNCH BOXES is 5 p.m. (NOTE: The location of the Opening Reception was changed Wed., April 21, due to limited technology options outside during daylight hours.)
- The first 21 people to arrive at the reception with their LAUNCH BOX will receive their choice of –
- HOW TO ASTRONAUT: AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO LEAVING PLANET EARTH, by Terry Virts – or
- STAR WARS MANDALORIAN THE CHILD, Plush, 11″ tall.
- All LAUNCH BOX participants will be entered into a drawing for either the HOW TO ASTRONAUT book or THE CHILD Plush, three of each will be given away.
WHAT ASTRONAUTS HAVE TAKEN WITH THEM INTO SPACE
Some astronauts have taken mementos for organizations that were important to the crewmember.
Astronaut Rhea Seddon, veteran of three space shuttle flights, took with her a pennant for her university, a sorority pin, and a ball cap for an athletic team. She also took a long roll of calculator tape with signatures from every student in her hometown, so they could all say their signatures flew in space.
Lots of astronauts bring camera gear, as photography is a favorite pastime when orbiting above fantastic views of Earth.
Today, on missions to the International Space Station, both the Soyuz spacecraft and the SpaceX Crew Dragón spacecraft allocates 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg.) for personal preference items. Many astronauts bring musical instruments to the space station and leave them there for future use.
WHAT ASTRONAUTS CANNOT TAKE WITH THEM INTO SPACE
Food is allowed, but anything with significant crumbs – such as potato chips and peanuts, depending on the packaging – that can stray into the air, causing problems with computers and the ventilation, can’t go.
Products containing alcohol – not just alcohol to drink, but alcohol in perfume, aftershave, and mouthwash – can’t go into space; neither can cans under pressure, like shaving cream.
Clothing can go, as long as it’s 100 percent cotton.
Certain electronics, like handheld video games, aren’t allowed either, due to concerns about batteries (they have sparking potential) and off-gassing problems.
* There is a distinction between the PPK and the Crew Care Package as far as what they typically contain, but we’re not fussy for this event.