# How does the ISS regulate heat?

## How does the ISS regulate heat?

A system called the Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) keeps the temperature inside the ISS comfortable for the astronauts. Heat collection happens through several heat exchangers around the ISS. These keep the temperature at around 24 °C, allowing astronauts to work comfortably in t-shirts.

## How does the ISS not burn up?

The ISS doesn’t fall to Earth because it is moving forward at exactly the right speed that when combined with the rate it is falling, due to gravity, produces a curved path that matches the curvature of the Earth.

How do you cool the space station?

There are three forms of cooling on the space station: radiators that release heat, air conditioning, and reflective paneling. The reflective paneling reflects heat away from the station. The air conditioning circulates air inside the station. Radiators draw heat out of the space station to keep the station cool.

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Does the ISS need heating?

Cool is harder. The outside of the ISS can reach temperatures as high as 250 degrees F (121 C) on the sunny side and as low as -250 degrees F (-157 C) on the shady side. For the parts of the ISS that do need active effort to keep warm, that is accomplished using simple electrical resistance heater pads, like these.

### How are spacecraft heated?

The Sun heats up one side of the spacecraft, and black space on the other side pulls the heat out. The hot side is thus hundreds of degrees hotter than the cold side. All these methods work by adding or subtracting heat from air and then moving it around (this is called convection).

### How does heat radiate through space?

Radiation is the primary way that heat travels in space. That means that heat is not spread out through the medium it travels through as on Earth. On Earth, heat also travels in large density-driven convection loops that spread out the warmth. In space, heat can only exist where the heat waves are traveling.