Only a small percentage of people ever actually get to venture into space and call themselves “astronauts”. These brave people are on the cutting edge of discovery and experience the world in a way that most of us only dream of. But nobody ever talks about what life is like in space. Sure, the experience as a whole is exhilarating, but what about when you’re actually floating around in a pod in space?
Between showering with squirt guns, eating extremely expensive prepackaged meals (corned beef, crackers and brownies? yum?), it sounds like a good time. But we can’t help but wonder, what type of underwear do astronauts wear in space?
Apparently, we’re not the only ones. Do astronauts wear boxers or briefs in ISS? originally appeared on Quora, a question-and-answer website dubbed “a place to share knowledge and understand the world”.
Clayton C. Anderson, a resident of the ISS in 2007 and 2010 chimed in with his experience.
“Oh, man! Here we go!
THIS astronaut wore Hanes brand, perfectly white cotton (at least they started out that way!), loose-fitting boxer shorts…every single day. And each of those days was spent on board the International Space Station (ISS) over the summer of 2007.
The difficult part was that I had to wear those boxer shorts for at least 4 days. You see, with no laundry service up there, clothes (including underwear) are what we at NASA call a “consumable.” Using up your consumables too fast results in a need for more frequent supply deliveries, and when those deliveries come by rocket ship… well, let’s just say it’s a bit costly.
Never one to be cavalier with tax payer dollars, I made the best possible use of my briefs. After 4 days, I turned them inside out… 4 more days. Then, I rotated them 180 degrees and yep… 4 more days. Most of you can see where this is going, so I turned them right side out and again… 4 more days! If you believe all that, then I have some swamp land in Florida ready for your purchase.
While not being worn according to NASA procedures, donning a clean pair of boxer shorts was ALWAYS an uplifting experience!
My Russian colleagues — much to my surprise — wore American-style “tighty whities” (also Hanes) during our 5-month stay. NO ONE…that’s right, no one, wore the Russian-supplied male briefs during our stay together in space. Looking much like a European Speedo, they simply didn’t provide #TheOrdinarySpaceman with ample coverage, and they “crept up on me…,” even in zero gravity! So, as a matter of practicality and conservation of resources, I used them for packing material. In one instance, I signed a pair with a Sharpie and sent them home wrapped around a science payload, much like a shipping company uses foam “peanuts.” Imagine the expressions on the faces of the folks who unpacked that cargo transfer bag!
During my second flight, on the space shuttle Discovery mission STS-131 in 2010, I was asked by the lovely ladies who assembled our crew clothing of my underwear preference. This time, I requested they surprise me, with a specific caveat telling them “no loosey goosey white boxer shorts.” The result was wonderful! Red, white, and blue, horizontally striped Hanes Michael Jordan extended-leg cotton briefs. Beautiful! You can find a pair of them…hanging on the wall of a very famous steakhouse in Phoenix, AZ.”
There you have it — white cotton boxer shorts. Sounds excruciating (especially considering the fact that they probably kept riding up!). As in most cases, boxer briefs are the winner. With the length of boxers and the comfortable hug of briefs, you get the best of both worlds.
We at Nooks share the same view, and that’s why we’re making the world’s comfiest pair of boxer briefs using ultra-sustainable, crazy-cozy materials. Although we say that our goal is to “make the world a comfier place, one pair of briefs at a time”, maybe we should consider making the universe comfier. Then, no astronauts would ever have to go through the pain of boxers riding up and briefs suffocating their precious hazelnuts.