Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Infinite Wonders And Formidable Challenges

I was quite taken with this reproduction of the ISS cupola, and the footage from it as it passes over the globe. When I was leaving, I stopped by the museum's gift shop. I bought a pen, a shirt with the Spitfire on it, and a book by American astronaut Scott Kelly, of his photographs taken from the ISS. The book is titled Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut's Photographs From A Year In Space. He spent a good deal of time in the cupola photographing the world in different ways, and he has a good photographic eye.

Among the many experiments astronauts take part in is looking at radiation exposure. A personal concern since you're exposed to it, mostly from the sun. 

A wall of photographs of Canadian astronauts can be seen here.

A golf shirt and crest seen here belong to Dave Williams, another Canadian astronaut.

Time in space takes a toll, especially extended time. Part of what is being learned now by extended time on the ISS will be applied to the missions of the future- how do we compensate for the challenges that space puts on the body? And what lessons learned from the astronaut experience can be applied in general on Earth?

Questions to be resolved before a manned mission to Mars. Unlike going to the Moon, that's a mission that will take a lot longer. We conclude this visit tomorrow.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Eating, Working, And Exercise In Microgravity

 Most food consumed in space is of the dehydrated variety in packages- from which you eat.

Care packages from Earth are a given. It's a morale booster to receive things from your family if you're up there for a year, not to mention being able to talk with them regularly. These are items belonging to Robert Thirsk of the CSA.

The aforementioned dehydrated food? Right here.

Tools are specifically made for work in space. No, Red Green, duct tape is not the answer to everything.

When work is called to be done, Mission Control is always on hand.

Microgravity wrecks havoc with the body for extended tenures in space. To work against this, astronauts need to exercise daily, minimizing their recovery time back on earth.

There is a reconstruction of the ISS cupola here, a spot on the station that looks out on the earth as the station passes by in orbit. Video footage from the ISS fills the screens in a loop.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Complexities Of Living In A Space Environment

The displays go into detail in this part of the Museum on how life unfolds during a mission to the International Space Station. Astronauts will be spending months together. A microgravity environment makes for interesting adjustments in how you do literally everything. Need to shave? Get used to a razor that doubles as a vacuum cleaner, for instance, sucking up all your stray stubble. 

Brushing your teeth or shampooing your hair requires adjustments all their own. 

What we deem simple tasks can mess around with the machinery of the ISS, hence being very careful about what you do and how you do it.

Mission control includes doctors; while astronauts receive a certain amount of training, any real emergency would require evacuation of a patient to the Earth via a Soyuz capsule.

This is the personal hygiene kit of Robert Thirsk, a Canadian astronaut.

There's even a contemporary space suit on display.

When you're not working or sleeping, you have free time on the ISS. Some of that is spent in exercise. Some of it is just spent in relaxation.

NASA commissioned a Canadian company, Larrivee Guitars, to make a smaller guitar for the ISS. This is a reproduction of the one that has its home in the ISS.

Eating in space is a challenge in and of itself.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Rest, Sleep, Relaxation

 The first day of each month is a theme day for members of City Daily Photo. This month that theme is Rest, Sleep, Relaxation. Take a look at how other members of the group are taking on the theme right here.

I am in the midst of a series from the Canada Aviation And Space Museum. For me, a museum visit is relaxing. And as I live in a national capital, there are a number of national museums here- as well as local museums. I start today where I left off yesterday. This is a Canadarm, part of the exhibits at this museum, and part of the ongoing program by the Canadian Space Agency in space, as there's one on the ISS in space. This particular one came here from the space shuttle Endeavour after the retirement of the shuttle program.

A model alongside it explains that what we think of as the Canadarm is in fact three distinct elements called the Mobile Servicing System, developed by Canadian engineers, consisting of the mobile base system, the Canadarm itself, and the Dextre, a two armed robot doing some of the specific tasks.

The next area beyond this looks extensively into life on the ISS in particular and space in general. Canada is one of the partner nations in the ISS.

In keeping with the theme of sleep- how do astronauts sleep? In a padded compartment with items secured to the walls, including a sleeping bag you slide into. It's recreated here.

A video display screen alongside it features Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who became well known during his last mission to the ISS for social media posts about life in space. In the video he talks about the process of tucking yourself in for a night's sleep.