American Astronauts Showcase Life Onboard the International Space Station

Rick Mastracchio, Mike Hopkins compare spacewalk to the movie "Gravity" and give bathroom demo using candy.
3:00 | 02/19/14

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Transcript for American Astronauts Showcase Life Onboard the International Space Station
The harrowing scenes from the movie gravity the Oscar nominated Hollywood thriller. That brought the attention to the dangers for astronauts when they step outside the International Space Station hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York. That danger was all too real for American astronauts Rick -- -- -- and Mike Hopkins when they had to make the dangerous trip to repair a cooling system on the ISS. Back in December but that mission was a success and they are both joining us now for a unique look. Into life in space guys thank you for joining us like -- I just wanted to get this out of the way right enough that I don't. From what you've seen in the movie gravity that's something -- could actually happen a robotic arm breaking off leaving you untethered out -- space. -- Well of course things can happen in space things go wrong there's always risks there is danger that's that's definitely true but. You know it was a movie they over dramatize things stay. -- the the actors overreact to situations we train for a lot of off nominal situations and if something goes wrong that we stay very common we run procedures and we worked with the ground to. Goes to recover whatever goes wrong so the -- -- movie gravity was a very exciting movie was great to watch but it is obviously not very realistic. And Rick -- -- spacewalk veteran that you had some trouble with your suit during one of the TVA's. Is that a -- adrenaline pumping every single time. Well whenever you're out doing a spacewalk. You're definitely have tight ends alertness and a heightened awareness of where you are and what you're doing. Is so. But he also remain very count because like I said we train this many times I've done many space -- now I train many many times in Houston in the large swimming pool. So if something goes wrong we have procedures we worked with the grounds like I said before -- -- but every once in awhile you. Something does -- your attention if you get an alarm on your suit -- something goes wrong it definitely gets your heart -- and a little bit. And Mike want to ask you a question two do you ever get a chance -- sort of taken a moment when you're out there are you just too busy and too nervous. No actually there were several times a wing had to we had time to just look around and Nancy the -- Columbine and there was actually -- amazing truly incredible because for the first time you get to see the earth. Passing by without any obstructions without having to look out -- when bill. What the frame around it all of that so. We were certainly very busy but there are times when you need to just slowdown of pause that maybe there's. You're waiting ought to step that the ground needs to take care with the system -- of that nature so we had a few moments to look around. Very good now there's been an interesting video that's been making the rounds -- from when your colleagues Cady Coleman showing us. How the toilet works all that stuff you know that everyone has questions about. In space seizing -- -- doesn't look too comfortable but that does represent what you guys have to go through. So the question. Well there are so that the systems appear like the elected toilets and all of that it's certainly a little bit different then them what we use down on earth but it does work pretty well but it also takes a lot of maintenance to keep -- -- so. It's a you know that's one of those things that if anything does go wrong with that it did takes priority -- getting fixed. Now of course you've been out there are doing all sorts of repairs but there's also experiments you are doing up there for students on -- one of them involves an ant farm. What happens if those. -- kind of escape that area. Well -- -- -- the answer obviously encased in May in a container -- unable to escape but. You know -- they got out I guess it would be our job to catch them and nothing. And -- and -- -- corral on back up but so luckily and out of a missed this state. I know all those things you have to think about and all those questions we have here are some of them seem very silly but I know that your space there is very limited so how are you dealing with the garbage issue. At the IS. Actually that's that's a fantastic question very relevant to what just happened so yesterday. We actually released the sickness or -- one vehicle. And that vehicle. About a month ago brought up a bunch of supplies -- part of food clothes experiments brought up the -- But when it left yesterday it took away all of our trash it and so it's it's a great day here on bus station because it's nice and clean there's -- any trash around. Smells really good dead dad actually I think guys are speaking right now orbital -- total one is is probably getting close to go on into the atmosphere. You know Mike let's stay with -- looks like even trying to bring some new life to the ISS but it hasn't seemed to work out some of those experiments with the plants. Yeah that's right I I was able to bring a few seats up with me some pumpkin seeds of sunflower seeds and it's pretty amazing how easy it is to to get -- started to get -- germinating and and but then after that unless you've got the right kind of -- unless you've got the right kind of food. That it's not very easy to keep -- -- and and so that's that's been pretty tough like him like a Macomb last for about about three weeks two to six weeks or so but but then after that they just -- to weigh -- and die on me. When -- in those -- -- so it can either of you describe an average day on board the ISS of course we. Don't normally have a chance to go up there and see that so give us an idea of what you guys go through a daily basis. -- what we wake up fairly early we get about an hour -- breakfast and get ready for work. First thing in the morning after that is we have a meeting with the ground folks and kind of give us our schedule for the day. That schedule includes three basic things a lot of exercise -- but two and a half hours of exercise. Certain amount of maintenance of the space station if we have two do some maintenance on the the toilet or any other systems and but the biggest part of it will be science. Today -- was working in this glove box right here burning small samples to see how off fire and flames through react in space or behave in space so. It's most of our day or is is set with experiments and science but then of course we have maintenance and we have a lot of exercise so that we can walk we get back to earth. And back to Mike you're about ready to come down in March and your schedule could actually be moved up a little bit because of two months now what's going on with. He actually we were scheduled to return on the twelfth of march but -- and as of right now that's been moved to the eleventh of march and baseless because of where we're gonna land so we originally gonna land in the northern part of -- -- which still has a lot of snow there. And so for the search and rescue folks and for all of those to be able to to get this out of the vehicle safely once we touchdown we've moved to a southern landing zone. And just due to the orbital mechanics and all of that that means we're gonna we're gonna depart the station a day earlier landed day earlier. -- -- -- something like I don't know -- billion people are watching the Oscars on earth are we also going to have to be yours for space rooting for gravity perhaps for the Oscars. I don't think we're going to be watching -- just alive but still will probably ask Houston maybe doubling its force or at least give us the results of all the movies that won the awards but. It'll be interesting to see how gravity does. Fantastic -- astronauts Rick -- struck you and Mike Hopkins thank you so much for joining us and giving us a unique look and the link. The International Space Station you of course can get a complete recap right here on For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York with this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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