Cave diving in the attic and a very special film premiere
One of the larger jobs planned is cleaning up the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM). The Space Shuttle brought this module to the ISS, the module is better known by the name Leonardo. Leonardo used to return to Earth. In total it has been launched eight times. The last time, on the 24th
of February 2011, it became a permanent part of the ISS. You could call it our storage attic. It is very untidy. Both old and new equipment is stored there. We have to catalogue everything in the module in cooperation with ground control. I found tanks that can convert hydrogen to water, pumps, many spare parts and packaging material, food, waste and a whole lot more. It is like buying a new house and finding the previous owner’s possessions in the attic. It is always surprising what you find.Zwemmen
As soon as you dive into the module, in between all the bags and boxes, it is hard to remember what is up and what is down. If you turn a few degrees, everything suddenly looks very different. On Earth it is impossible to imagine how disorienting this is. Cargo that is not stored in racks and floats in free space is hard to track. It is like diving in an underwater cave and swimming through a dense patch of algae. After a while you have no
clue to where you are. But it is great fun. You can really swim by pushing through all the things that are floating around. I feel just like a sea lion.
On my blog and Twitter I get asked many questions about clothing. What does our clothes cupboard look like and what is in it. Not very much. I only have four polo shirts from Expedition 30, the permanent crew that I belong to. I retrieved two more Russian shirts from the Progress supply ship. Not my favourite colour but at least they are clean. On average I wear a clean set for a few weeks even up to a month. I can wear new exercise clothes every other week. Remember, I have to exercise for two hours every day. Of course we do not roll around in mud up here, so the clothes do not get very dirty. But after a month they do start to smell. Dirty clothes cannot be washed in space. They return as waste where they are burnt up in the atmosphere. Just as waste is on Earth.
Another question that is often asked is about free time. Everyone knows that I have lots of music and that I like to listen to radio plays before going to sleep. I enjoy films as well. Sometimes the whole crew watch a film together. We watch science fiction classics or a new release. NASA contacts film companies and asks if we may watch a movie that has not been released yet. Recently, after dinner, we saw a John Carter film about Mars, a fantasy story written by the same person who wrote Tarzan. A night spent eating and watching a film together is very cosy.
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