January 16th, 2013
03:03 PM ET

Cutting your fingernails in space

If you had the chance to ask an astronaut one question about space travel, what would it be?

Some may ask what it’s like to be weightless, while others may inquire about the bathroom facilities available on a shuttle or space station.

But what about grooming? Hey, an astronaut has to look good for a NASA briefing or publicity photo! Thankfully, Chris Hadfield is here to help.

Hadfield is the Canadian astronaut who made headlines by posting a series of photos taken from the International Space Station, which he’ll take command of in March, on Twitter. Now he’s back to teach us the art of cutting one’s fingernails while living in space. Click on the above video to find out more!

Post by:
Filed under: In Space
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. j

    Were those 'space tourists' asking too many nerdy questions like:
    "Why is the ISS not in outer space, but deep in Earth's atmosphere?"
    "Why can't we move it into another orbit, like around the Moon?"

    Seems like pesky tourists with smart questions are not allowed to visit the ISS anymore; Do you agree?

    February 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  2. Pat

    CNN, according to your lightyears blog, Chris Hadfield (in the video) is not in orbit right now. But he clearly is, please update!

    January 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Buck

      Where does it say he isn't in orbit? What I've read here and on their twitter feed all says he's in orbit.

      February 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  3. mister shannon ray blake

    it easy to explain how remove cut finger nails.my question is different."does the earth's orbit spin and rotate the same direction as the black hole under our sun?because fire has no magnetism or gravatational pull,the sun can not spin our planet,or the planets of our milky way.a black hole has proven magentism the magma of iron in our earths core,and if we our spinning the same way as that black hole ,then that black hole makes us orbit around the sun."p.s. in the middle ages people thought the earth was flat and not a sphere,but people still think the sun makes orbit in circle.the black hole make our orbit rotation,not the sun!"

    January 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • mister shannon ray blake

      sorry for my terrible typing,i can spell much better than i type.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Pat

      Mister Shannon Ray Blake, all gravitational forces come from objects with mass. By that understanding, any material with mass will exert some gravitational force upon other objects with mass. Therefore, as our Sun has an incredible amount of mass (about 1 million times the mass of the Earth), it is able to exert a strong gravitational force upon the Earth and other planets. Thus, it is in fact the mass of the Sun (and not a black hole) that keeps the Earth in its orbit.

      January 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Bill

      you sir/mam, need to go back to elementary school

      February 1, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  4. Gervais Fillion

    Bonjour,pourquoi la station internationale n'a pas de gravité articicielle comme Wernher von Braun l'avait imaginé dans son future? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotating_wheel_space_station

    Gervais Fillion

    January 21, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  5. j

    Lajka, Luna 24 and the ISS at ~200 milesabove sea level (which is 99,800 miles inside our atmosphere) show the current lack of the scientific method for humans in outer space. Could someone please send a hungry for green cheese mouse or two to our Moon so we an place science back into human space exploration instead of cold war propaganda.

    January 21, 2013 at 12:55 am |
  6. helenecha

    Sorry, I'm just not in the mood for learning the arts of fingernails while living in Space, as I know there's a 53-year-old astronaut. I have no idea with the details about the requirements of an age to be an astronaut, but there's something made me feel unoptimistic once I found an older astronaut presented after I stuck with an idea that the younger the astronauts present, the smaller the risks hidden in their bodies present. Do we agree with that?

    January 20, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  7. Zoglet

    After the disgrace of Armstrong admitting he took drugs and cheated, should all astronauts now have to face regular drug tests? Also, are astronauts good at cycling because of the zero-G?

    January 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Brandon

      Lance Armstrong and Neil Armstrong are two very different people my friend.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • j

        Both lied!

        January 21, 2013 at 1:00 am |
      • The Ponderer

        "j" – What do YOU think Neil Armstrong "lied" about and WHY do you think it?

        January 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • j

        Moon landing conspiracy theories -Wikipedia, the free ... en.wikipedia.org/.../Moon_landing_ ... He claimed that the chance of a successful manned landing on the Moon was calculated to be 0.017%. .... NASA employees (and sometimes others) have lied; or that the landings did ...

        Armstrong's brother claims he lied about 'one small step' quote ... blastr.com/.../armstrongs-brother-claims. ... Jan 3, 2013 – Armstrong's brother claims he lied about 'one small step' quote ... as the first man set foot on the moon: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.

        January 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • j

        Retrieved from. gooogle
        he lied moon
        What. do You. think?

        January 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • Buck

        J, I'll tell you what I think. I think you need to go back to school and get yourself a better education. Your comments were difficult to read, you failed to make a valid point, and you clearly don't understand the things you're reading about on the internet.

        February 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Is j being censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

        I took
        my #2 pencil and ground many ovals, like "no planets around other stars" to pass school. Did you?

        February 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  8. thomas merritt

    Have u ever seen a UFO and do u believe in intelligent life on other planets wats space look like up there and was it everything u thought it would be when u went up there

    January 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  9. Terry

    Better yet, have the astronauts clip their fingernails inside a clear plastic bag.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:24 am |
    • flower

      they can feed the bacterias inside the bag

      January 17, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  10. GoodSmith

    I have a better idea than this astronaut's to cut my finger nails. I am surprised they didn't think about it. When using the clipper, and just before reaching the end of the nail, it's easier just to pull it out manually! Smart, eh ?

    January 17, 2013 at 12:44 am |
  11. SFC Mike

    @Buck: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

    January 17, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  12. The Flamingo Kid

    I , personally, would like to see them use the pot.

    January 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • lol

      I'd imagine it involves a specialized vacuum system. For their space suits, they would have something similar to what old people may wear.

      January 17, 2013 at 12:04 am |
      • SpaceNerd

        Correct. Astronauts use a hose similar to one attached to your vacuum cleaner to urinate into, and in order to carry out their other business, it's similar to a toilet on an airplane that vacuums everything out, except they have to strap themselves onto the toilet.

        The spacesuit uses a similar method but it is a very complicated system that ensures that urine is not leaked out.

        January 18, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  13. derpa

    do they recycle the finger nails?

    January 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
  14. Buck

    Speaking of grooming, I heard that NASA was offering a discount at the International Fake Station hair salon over in Baikonur.....


    January 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm |


  • Elizabeth Landau
  • Sophia Dengo
    Senior Designer