Another update form mission director Roland Luettgens on Luca’s weekly activities:
ESA’s second major activity planned after the arrival of the European supply spacecraft ATV Albert Einstein was unpacking and installing the FASES experiment. Last week Luca spent almost three hours preparing the physics experiment into liquids that do not mix.
After installation, the teams on Earth performed test activities to make sure that everything was working before starting the first scientific runs. We encountered a few problems that needed to be solved urgently during the test. The ground teams are always well prepared to deal with these kinds of problems. If a problem occurs, we call all the experts together in a meeting to agree on the next step. Because of other factors, we needed to reschedule our experiment for Sunday. We solved all the problems and our first science run began late Sunday evening.
The scientists on Earth were eagerly waiting to receive the first experiment images, and on Monday morning our science team confirmed the first successful run of FASES.
The next major activities for Luca will be installing the Water Pump Assembly in ESA’s Columbus laboratory on 5 July. A week later, on 9 July, Luca will do his first spacewalk. Getting ready for the spacewalk requires a significant amount of his time.