Why Don't Astronauts Snore in Space?

Astronauts Not Above Pranking Each Other in Space

Even astronauts aren't above playing tricks in orbit. Altman remembers an early mission when his commander sabotaged his menu.

"I had a day with all tomato eggplant surprise, which is my least favorite dish on the whole thing, for breakfast lunch and dinner," he said.

His pilot on this mission, Greg Johnson, took a look at his menus for the flight and decided he had loaded up with too much cauliflower and broccoli and didn't have enough pudding.

"Every night I have pudding at night on Earth," he said. "My wife looked at my menu and she discovered you have NO pudding, so I upped my pudding to one a day."

Now he has a nice variety of chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla.

And, as for snoring ...

The accommodations are cramped on a space shuttle, seven people sleeping in a space the size of a small bedroom.

Really? No Snoring in Space?

There isn't much privacy or personal space. McArthur, the only woman on this mission, has spent two years training with the six guys assigned to this flight.

Massimino snores, he admitted. But he made a solemn vow to McArthur.

"They promised me there would be no snoring on this flight," she told ABC News before she launched last week.

That's because there is less airway obstruction in space, flight surgeon Dr. J.D. Polk said.

"Earthly snoring occurs when gravity pulls the tongue and soft tissues in the rear of your mouth backward," he said. "If your airway is partially obstructed you get these tissues flapping. In microgravity, the tongue and the jaw do not fall back in the throat, so there is less airway obstruction in space."

So if you want a good night's sleep and your partner snores, you can get it in orbit. That is, if you can tear yourself away from the view.

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