Although most of us would love to go to space, it’s fair to say that life up there has its share of inconveniences. There’s the whole space toilet thing, and let’s not get in to that. What I’m talking about is basically, there’s no Netflix. To the best of my ability to research, there is an internet connection to the international space station but it’s certainly not as reliable as what you’d expect in your home. It is on par with other satellite-based internet solutions, since that’s basically what it is, but the expectation is that the network connection would constantly be used for real work, not goofing off as is often the case down here on earth.
And that basically means no Netflix. It doesn’t mean no entertainment, however, as our friends at paleofuture found out. Spending time sifting through Freedom of Information Act requests, they were able to get the complete list of movies available on the space station. The article doesn’t say, but given the fact that the ISS is pretty cramped, you have to figure these are all on a hard drive, not on individual discs. It’s not a big stretch to imagine that a new flash drive filled with movies could come up on a resupply mission, either.
The article also shows the HDTV used in the ISS, and again, even though space is at a premium, the flat panel itself doesn’t take up a lot of volume. I have to imagine that the panel itself is something special, though, since it would have to be designed to work in harsher conditions and potentially not shatter into a million little flying daggers if there were some sort of problem. That could literally ruin your whole day, I’d think.