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Good hygiene not easy in outer space

education Updated: Sep 27, 2006 13:17 IST

The world's first female space tourist and first space blogger, American national Anousheh Ansari, told the world on Monday of the difficulties of keeping tidy in zero gravity.

"Well my friends, I must admit keeping good hygiene in space is not easy!" the Iranian-born woman wrote, saying she would reveal what "everyone wants to know" but is too modest to ask.

Ansari who took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 18 wrote on her website "Water does not 'flow' here, it 'floats' — which makes it a challenging act to clean yourself." Astronauts bathe with wet and dry towels and swallow after brushing their teeth, which they refer to as the "fresh mint effect", she said.

Hair-washing brings its own difficulties. "You basically take a water bag and slowly make a huge water bubble over your head and then very very gently, using a dry shampoo, you wash your hair," Ansari said. "At the slightest sudden movement, little water bubbles start floating everywhere."