Yesterday was the day of goodbyes... very special goodbyes. How often does it happen that you can say "See you in space in a few months?"...
First Terry and I said goodbye to Butch after one last robotics class together... next time we'll see him will be in November in MRM1, the Space Station module to which we'll dock our Soyuz. Later in the afternoon Sasha and Elena came to say good bye, joking that we'll see them at "customs control" before being allowed to enter Station.
These people have been part of my world for years - every time I was in Houston or Russia or Europe or Japan, depending how our respective schedules looked like, one or more of them could be "in town" at the same time. Well, we won't be in town together any more before we rejoin in space.
Butch, Elena and Sasha will leave in September, so I was expecting this moment to come soon. But amazingly enough, looks like I also said my good bye to Scott, whom I will see again on Station when he joins us next March. If we've recalled our schedules correctly, for the next four months we'll be dodging each other around the planet, arriving "in town" when the other has just left.
Besides giving bitter-sweet hugs, I had a full training day yesterday with many short events ranging from HAM radio to robotics, from retinal imaging to LAN troubleshooting. One very "different" event I had is the HAP sensitivity training. The HAP is the absorption pad we now apply in the helmet of a spacewalking suit to help mitigate the risk of a water leak event, like the one that happened to Luca last year.
Just like we have glove checks built in our EVA timelines to verify periodically that there is no damage, we now have periodic HAP checks, when crewmembers are asked to "feel" the HAP in the back of their head and report any changes. To get an idea of how it would feel to have the HAP loaded with different quantity of water we now have this HAP sensitivity training. We progressively added more water until, at about 150-200ml, I was confident that I would be able to feel that there is fluid in the HAP. Then we went to maximum capacity - about 600 ml and that's what you see in the picture. The HAP thickens significantly at that point and really pushes your head forward towards the front of the helmet.
Of course, we wouldn't let it go that far. We have procedures in place now to stop the accumulation of water in the helmet!
Futura mission website (Italian): Avamposto42avamposto42.esa.int#SamLogbook #Futura42
(Trad IT) Traduzione in italiano a cura di +AstronautiNEWS
(Trad ES) Tradducción en español aquí:http://www.intervidia.com/category/bitacora/
(Trad FR) Traduction en français par +Anne Cpamoa