I trained for over four years for this mission. Even in space the training continues. I recently practised initial manoeuvres with the Space Station robot arm: SSRMS (Space Station Robotic Manipulator System, spaceflight is full of acronyms). This robotic arm will be used in a couple of months when Space X’s Dragon freighter arrives at the ISS. We will grab the supply vessel with the robot arm and dock it to the ISS. Operating the robotic arm requires precise work and is quite challenging. Don, Dan and I have to practice so that we feel confident everything will go smoothly. Read on...

Bedroom
I conducted three manoeuvres whereby I had to fly to the coupling mechanism. All three exercises were a success. It is great to operate the real robotic arm. I realise the trainings on Earth are very well done. It felt exactly like the training exercises I conducted in Canada and Houston for these

procedures. This time however I could glance from the computer screen and look outside the Cupola to see the real robotic arm obeying my commands in space…

I get many questions via twitter and the blog asking us where and how we sleep. So I took a picture of my cabin. Four astronauts sleep in Node-2. We all have our own place. My bedroom has pictures of my friends and family. Helen also had a large sheet made with life-sized pictures of my children. I can phone and email my family from my bedroom. Before I go to sleep I listen to music or listen to a play. You can also see the necessary equipment for my contact lenses, a calendar that was made by friends and the Christmas stocking that was waiting for me when we arrived on the ISS on 23 December. In short: my bedroom is cosily chaotic.