Speed Reads

Sardine Can Space Travel

Peek inside the tiny space capsule that shoots astronauts back to Earth

Decades of Hollywood movies have taught us that astronauts should expect certain accessories in their space capsules — captain's chairs and mazes of controls, for instance. But a peek inside the vessel that shot three astronauts back to the Earth's surface last week reveals just how cramped and spare space travel can get:

(ESA/NASA)

That's European astronaut Alexander Gerst, Russian cosmonaut Max Suraev and American astronaut Reid Wiseman testing out the sardine can that successfully shepherded the trio back from the International Space Station last week. But from the looks on the men's faces at the welcome home ceremony...

(S. Corvaja/ESA)

...maybe they prefer the tiny capsule.