Here's Bruce Sterling's Dwell interview with ISS engineer Nicole Stott on the living conditions in space:
"BS: It would be great to hear about any wear patterns that reflect the traces human beings always leave in a home. Hand-written labels, fridge magnets, welcome mats, duct tape, foam padding on metal parts where people bump their heads, posters, decals, wise-cracking graffiti, barracks pin-ups, spittoons, any of that. The human dwelling element. "
NS: There are several places across the different modules where "human traces" can be found. We all try to make our sleep quarters as homey as possible with pictures of our families and pets and with special things from home: toys our kids gave us to have with us, books, hobby supplies. We as crews have also established traditions for putting crew patches on display; there is a panel in Node 1 with patches stuck to it from every shuttle crew that's ever visited the station. One of my favorite areas that has the human touch is in the Russian Service Module where there is a classic picture of Yuri Gagarin, an Orthodox Russian crucifix, and picture of [Russian space theorist Konstantin] Tsiokovsky. And then there are some of the science experiments that help bring more life to the station: plant growing, mice, protein crystals, Earth observation photography
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Carrying this EDC card is like slinging around a handheld toolbox wherever you go. Its minimal design is small enough to fit in your wallet’s billfold, and it’s TSA-compliant so you’ll never leave it behind. It’s got hex wrenches, metric and imperial rulers, flathead and Phillip’s screwdrivers, and a bottle opener so that you’re ready […]