Iridian's Rules for Life in Space

  1. You shouldn't feel the atmo. If it's humid, you're wasting water. If it's dry, you have plumbing problems (or the habitat runs dry and you'll get used to it, but check first). If it's hot or cold, you're wasting energy or a sensor's broken. If it's blowing, you have a fan using too much power or a hull breach.
  2. Do what I do. If you're worried about any aspect of habitat life, imitate the most experienced spacefarer in the room. If you're alone, find one to hang out with.
  3. If you see something, say something. Spacefarers like to laugh at Earthers, so reporting a spurious concern will do us a favor. And if it's not spurious, you're saving all our asses and we'll thank you for that too.
  4. Find out what grav to expect before you board. On a ship, what's the pilot's grav philosophy? Is their priority passenger comfort, evading enemy fire, speed of transit, or protecting delicate cargo in a particular area of the ship? On a station, does it spin? If so, what's the g generated? This will help you react to emergencies the right way and keep you from puking.
  5. Speaking of which, carry puke bags. Until you're very used to life in the cold and the black, carry puke bags everywhere you go. They're light and small and they'll keep you from polluting the enviro while you acclimate. You never know when a shift in grav will be the last straw for your inner ear.
  6. Where a mask when someone's sick. People tend to wear masks when they're sick, which is polite but doesn't do much. If someone else is sick, you're less likely to catch it through a face mask. Sneezing in micro-g is extremely inconvenient.
  7. In micro-g, hang onto your stuff. You'll see spacefarers let go of something in micro-g and it'll hang there until the spacefarer wants it again. That's because we know all about how forces interact and we know what grav to expect. If you do that it will end up in somebody's eye, and that somebody will be pissed.
  8. It's not fixed until somebody fixes it. Nothing in a habitat fixes itself, not even the AI. If something stops displaying symptoms before somebody works on it, that just means it'll start up again at the least convenient moment. Maintenance records are public knowledge on civilized habs. Look them up.
  9. Pay attention to personal space. There's not a lot of it in most habs, so respect what people have. Don't shove yourself into it without asking. Don't let your stuff drift into it. Don't fart. Recognize when somebody's offering you some of their personal space and thank them.
  10. Learn the emergency procedures. I put this last instead of first because it should be obvious, but if there are nine rules people want ten. Most procedures are standardized and work the same way on every hab. Your hab will have a manual or poster about them, even if it's a ferry you're on for fifteen minutes. Read it. And take the practice drills seriously, even if they start at 02:00. They'll keep you alive, and that's what these rules are all about.
R. E. Stearns