Uses of Velcro in Space

Velcro is necessary to have in space.
Velcro is necessary to have in space. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The lack of gravity in space creates a weightless environment that is completely different than that experienced on Earth. Being weightless means when you place an item down on the floor or table, it will not stay there. Astronauts use Velcro as a way to attach items to the shuttle and themselves in order to keep them from floating away while they are trying to use them.

Close up Space Suits

Space suits are heavy and bulky. Astronauts are not able to get in and out of these space suits easily. Velcro is necessary on the space suits along the back opening in order to ensure the suit is closed properly. Velcro is also used on the bottom of space boots and socks to allow astronauts to attach themselves to the floor of the shuttle in order to keep them upright for specific experiments. The astronauts even use a bit of just one side of velcro inside their space helmets in order to scratch their noses while in the bulky space suits.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene items are kept in a storage bag that is lined with Velcro in order to keep these items, such as toothbrushes and combs, safely attached. Women are allowed to take certain makeup items with them into space and Velcro is used in a similar way. They have a makeup bag lined with Velcro straps that can be wrapped around the smaller items to keep them secure.

During Maneuvers

There are instances during space flight when the astronauts need to maneuver the space vehicle while in space. Velcro is used to attach cue cards or other instructions to the dash to allow the astronauts to keep their eyes focused on what they are doing instead of chasing after a floating instruction manual during a critical moment.

Food and Play

Astronauts use Velcro to keep their food from floating away and the trash from floating into computer instruments. While playing the game of chess, astronauts attach Velcro to the bottom of each of the pieces and on the board to keep track of where the pieces are during game play. A dart board is used that is made entirely out of Velcro because pointy dart tips could prove dangerous in space. Velcro darts also stick to the board with less effort, which is needed due to the lack of force behind a throw in space.

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