Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who popularized answering questions about what happens to astronauts and how things are done in space with his video Q&A series this year, might have retired, but he left a legacy that has those on and off the International Space Station still answering questions from the curious.
The latest: what happens to skin in space?
NASA's ISS Science Garage on the Inside ISS YouTube channel set out to take on this question that has a somewhat gross answer.
"You molt, sort of like birds molt in the spring," Don Pettit, a chemical engineer and NASA astronaut, said. "The calluses fall off the bottoms of your feet."
Pettit explained that after about three months of being on the space station in zero gravity, the calluses will begin to fall off.
"This sounds actually pretty disgusting," NASA astronaut Mike Massimino said.
And Pettit agreed. In fact, he even goes into more detail describing how astronauts will carefully pull their socks off in space to minimize the amount of skin being sloughed off.
A foot backlit as the sock is being taken off to show the "cloud" of skin particles that are dispersed after months of feet not being subjected to the usual pressure experienced on Earth. (Image: YouTube screenshot)
"But then you get to a point where the sock just pops off your toes and this cloud, this explosion of skin particles, detritus floats out. And you're in this weightless environment where the particles have no where to go but out," Pettit said, noting that they often try to pull off socks and other clothes in front of a filter.
Watch the segment:
Now you know what happens to your skin in space -- even if you wish you didn't.
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.